[544 / 1 / ?]

Should 11-year-old girls have to bear their rapists' babies? Ohio says yes.

No.397919 ViewReplyOriginalReport
https://www.chicagotribune.com/columns/eric-zorn/ct-perspec-zorn-abortion-rape-heartbeat-ohio-child-argentina-20190509-story.html

An 11-year-old rape victim in northwestern Ohio is pregnant, according to news reports, and a highly restrictive state law on abortion signed last month says a girl in her position must carry and deliver her rapist’s baby.

In arguing the abortion issue I used to test the zealotry of my anti-choice opponents with a hypothetical question with similar facts, and was often told such a situation was too far-fetched to be probative. But now the hypothetical is real.

A barely pubescent girl has been impregnated, allegedly, by a 26-year-old man who had sex with her on multiple occasions, and the pure anti-abortion position is that the law should prevent her from terminating her pregnancy unless it’s to save her life or spare her grave bodily harm.

Ohio’s Human Rights Protection Act, signed April 11 by Republican Gov. Mike DeWine, is one of those “heartbeat” laws that ban abortion as soon as doctors can detect fetal cardiac activity, which starts at about six weeks of gestation, even before some women know they’re pregnant.

Such laws, passed recently by five other states, are among the extreme measures designed to bait the increasingly conservative U.S. Supreme Court into overturning the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that recognized a woman’s right to an abortion in most circumstances.

Ohio’s new law doesn’t grant exceptions for rape and incest — exceptions favored by more than 70 percent of the population in numerous polls. And although local news outlets haven’t reported the estimated duration of this particular rape victim’s pregnancy, inevitably girls in her position will be legally compelled to endure the physical and emotional burdens of pregnancy and childbirth.