Ohio ban forced sexual assault victims to seek abortions out of state

The alleged rape of a 10-year-old Ohio girl who had flown to Indiana for an abortion is not the only instance of a kid who had to cross state lines as a result of a state law prohibiting practically all abortions, according to health practitioners.

In affidavits released this month as part of a lawsuit contesting the Ohio statute — which took effect following the U.S. In June, the Supreme Court overturned the historic Roe v. Wade decision that established a constitutional right to an abortion – two distinct providers said they each had a case in which a teenager was sexually attacked and had to fly out of state for an abortion.

Aeran Trick, the operations manager of the Women’s Med Center of Dayton, stated that they were contacted in July regarding a 16-year-old girl from southwest Ohio who had reportedly been sexually assaulted by a family member.

Due to the detection of fetal heart tones, the girl could not legally obtain an abortion in Ohio, so she flew to Indianapolis, where the center maintains a sister clinic. Trick noted that Ohio law enforcement was aware of the case and had to travel to Indianapolis to obtain tissue samples for testing as part of a sexual assault inquiry.

Trick stated in the affidavit, “I am worried that Ohio’s ban and the need to travel ever-greater distances to seek abortion treatment not only causes unspeakable pain to these young victims, but could also hinder the ability of law enforcement to investigate and prosecute these incidents in the future.”

A teenager who had been sexually abused was taken by her mother to Michigan for an abortion, according to an affidavit by Dr. Adarsh Krishen, the chief medical officer of Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio, the suit’s plaintiff.

Krishen stated in the affidavit, “This patient had tremendous trauma from the assault itself as well as additional trauma from a forensic interview and physical examination to acquire evidence for the continuing police investigation.” “This anguish was heightened by the fact that she had to wait almost three weeks for her appointment. In each step of this process, she experienced a complete rejection of physical autonomy and safety, which is something that all individuals, and particularly children, should feel at all times.

The Ohio Capital Journal first published the affidavits. NBC News was unable to quickly corroborate Trick and Krishen’s claims, and their offices did not respond to a request for additional information.

A doctor, Caitlin Bernard, told The Indianapolis Star about the situation of the 10-year-old girl who had to obtain an abortion outside of Ohio due to the state’s restriction. This garnered attention and scrutiny from Republicans such as state Attorney General Dave Yost.

President Joe Biden cited it as an example of how states with so-called trigger laws, or bans on abortion that would only go into force if Roe were overturned, were subjected to unfair hardships as a result of Roe v. Wade’s repeal.

“Ten years old, raped, six weeks pregnant, and already traumatized, she was forced to fly to another state,” Biden said at a speech at the White House in July, when he signed an executive order preserving access to abortion.

A 27-year-old suspect was charged with two counts of felony rape following an investigation. In Franklin County, a trial is scheduled for the following month.

The office of Yost did not reply quickly to a request for comment on the affidavits.

This month, the Ohio Supreme Court dismissed a case brought by abortion providers in June, who argued that the state’s constitution contains extensive rights for individual liberties that would ensure abortion access.

However, a further lawsuit launched by the ACLU of Ohio on behalf of the state’s remaining abortion providers is still pending before a lower court judge, who has temporarily delayed the statewide abortion ban until October 12. The court proceeding is planned for October 7.

In a previous statement addressing the initial case, Yost said that state law does not safeguard the right to an abortion. He is among the defendants in the current lawsuit.

He stated, “Races do not begin at the finish line, and cases do not begin in the last court.” “In addition to filing the improper action in the wrong court, they also violate Ohio law. There is no mention of abortion in the Ohio Constitution.”

Following the overturning of Roe v. Wade, thirteen states have enacted legislation banning the majority of abortions. If retained, Ohio’s statute prohibiting abortions would outlaw the practice with only limited exceptions for the mother’s life and health.

In their affidavits, medical practitioners stated that they have been overburdened by the restriction and have been forced to reschedule hundreds of appointments this summer, leaving patients with tough decisions.

Sharon Liner, the medical director of Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio, stated in the affidavit, “Many patients wept in our office.” “Many patients who came to our health facility expecting to have their appointment and whom we were unable to reach by phone were highly angry; some even threatened to injure themselves because they were so distraught.”

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