DeWine reacts to 10-year-old who traveled to Indiana for abortion: Assault is 'tragedy'
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine called the sexual assault of a 10-year-old Ohio girl seeking an abortion in Indiana a "tragedy," but didn't weigh in on the law he signed that barred her from getting the procedure here.
Dr. Caitlin Bernard, an Indianapolis obstetrician-gynecologist, told the Indianapolis Star that she received a call from a colleague, a child abuse doctor in Ohio, seeking an abortion appointment for a young girl.
Abortion in OhioHow many Ohio minors seek an abortion? Fewer and fewer
Ohio law bans abortions after about six weeks into a pregnancy and has no exception for rape or incest. The law, signed by DeWine in 2019, was allowed to take effect hours after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, the landmark abortion decision of 49 years.
The 10-year-old was blocked from obtaining an abortion in Ohio because she was six weeks and three days pregnant, according to the Star report.
"This is a horrible, horrible tragedy for a 10-year-old to be assaulted, for a 10-year-old to be raped," DeWine said Wednesday. "As a father and as a grandfather, it's just gut-wrenching to even think about it."
DeWine said he assumed the doctor, a mandatory reporter, referred the case to children's services and Ohio law enforcement.
"We have out there, obviously, a rapist," he said. "We have someone who is dangerous and we have someone who should be picked up and locked up forever."
The girl's story quickly became a flashpoint for the abortion debate nationwide. Ohio House Minority Leader Allison Russo, D-Upper Arlington, opposed the 2019 law and weighed in on Twitter: "Please tell me how forcing a 10yo sexual abuse victim to carry her pregnancy to term and endure childbirth is anything other than barbaric?"
Jessie Balmert is a reporter for the USA TODAY Network Ohio Bureau, which serves the Akron Beacon Journal, Cincinnati Enquirer, Columbus Dispatch and 18 other affiliated news organizations across Ohio.
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This article originally appeared on The Columbus Dispatch: DeWine calls assault of 10-year-old seeking abortion 'tragedy'