But what is really strange is that the anti-abortion people wanted to deny that the story took place. Forcing a 10-year-old girl to travel to another state to terminate her pregnancy is the inevitable result of their stated political preferences. For those who have fought for years to overthrow Roe vs. Wade and ensuring that states can enact abortion bans with no exceptions for rape and incest should be a sign that the laws they fought for are working as intended. So why aren’t they partying?
There was no plausible reason to think the story wasn’t true. The Indianapolis Star is a reliable source of information; he cited the obstetrician who performed the procedure by name. Under medical confidentiality laws, the doctor could not have released the girl’s identity without her consent, which she was highly unlikely to give. And even if that were the case, every American media outlet, from the Associated Press to the smallest local newspapers, has a policy, written or unwritten, of not identifying victims of child sexual abuse. It goes beyond belief that Carlson, the other Fox News hosts who described it as a hoax, and the Log editorial board didn’t know: it’s a canonical standard in the newsgathering industry.
More importantly, however, the fate of the 10-year-old is an entirely predictable post-Dobbs state of play in Ohio. Abortion is prohibited after six weeks under current state law unless there is a “serious risk of substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function,” according to The Cincinnati Investigator. Determining what falls under this exception is left to “reasonable medical judgment of the physician,” which is vague enough to have a potential chilling effect on medical practitioners. The newspaper noted that state law does not provide exceptions for rape or incest, requiring the girl to travel to neighboring Indiana to get the procedure.