'She's 10': Child Rape Victim's Abortion Denial Sparks Outrage on Twitter

A 10-year-old rape victim in Ohio was denied an abortion, sparking outrage online as many Republican-led states strip away reproductive rights following the Supreme Court's overruling of Roe v. Wade.

Dr. Caitlin Bernard, an obstetrician-gynecologist in Indianapolis, received a call last Monday, three days after the Court's ruling, from a child abuse doctor in Ohio who had a 10-year-old girl in their office who was six weeks and three days pregnant, and therefore ineligible to receive an abortion in the state, according to a report from The Indianapolis Star.

The child was unable to receive an abortion in Ohio because the state bans the procedure after six weeks when fetal cardiac activity may be detected. Some Republican-led states banned abortions at that point, claiming that a heartbeat can be detected within that timeframe.

However, these so-called "fetal heartbeat" bans on abortion have faced criticism from medical experts, many of whom argue there is no heartbeat at six weeks. Rather, doctors can detect a flutter in the region where the heart will eventually form. Additionally, many women and girls do not know they are pregnant at that point.

10-year-old denied abortion sparks criticism
A 10-year-old girl was denied an abortion in Ohio, sparking outrage online. Above, a woman carries a pro-abortion rights sign in Los Angeles on June 26. APU GOMES/AFP via Getty Images

A ban has not yet taken effect in Indiana, which meant that the girl was able to travel to Dr. Bernard for the procedure. Other information about the child's case was unknown, likely due to her age. Bernard told the Star that "it's hard to imagine that in just a few short weeks we will have no ability to provide that care."

However, lawmakers in Indiana are pushing for the state to enact its own abortion restrictions, which may force women and girls seeking the medical procedure to travel even further to receive it.

Critics argued the girl's situation shows the devastating impact of the Supreme Court's decision, which will result in other children who are victims of rape being forced to carry their pregnancies to term.

Following the Court's decision, many states' "trigger laws," laws banning abortion passed in anticipation of the ruling, went into effect—essentially banning the procedure for large swaths of the country. Other states with conservative legislatures are also moving to ban the procedure, while Democratic states have tightened abortion protections.

North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein, a Democrat who has been critical of the Supreme Court decision, described laws banning the girl from being able to receive an abortion as "insane."

"A 10 year old victim of abuse denied an abortion in OH because she was 3 days past 6 weeks pregnant. This is insane. She's 10 years old!" he tweeted Friday night.

Twitter user @MomSheenanigans wrote: "GOP: Maybe she should use protection if she didn't want to get pregnant. D: she was raped GOP: *switches talk track* what was she wearing? D: she's 10. GOP: *checks notes* this is a blessing from God. MONSTERS."

"Victimize the victim. Victimize her parents. How the hell is it acceptable to force a 10 year old rape survivor to carry the rapist's offspring and deprive the family the choice to spare her body and mind the traumas?! She's 10!! Abortion is a human right!" wrote @LittleMamaKin.