Jesse Watters Can't Claim 10-Year-Old Wasn't Rape Victim, Will Go After (Another) Abortion Provider Instead
Rightwing media didn't miss a beat in its ongoing reaction to the story of that Ohio 10-year-old who became pregnant after being raped, and had to go to Indiana in order to get an abortion since Ohio had just instituted an abortion ban with no exceptions for rape or incest. First, there was a dogpile of rightwing media figures insisting the story had to be fake, because where was the girl anyway, and why was there no law enforcement record of her case? (You know, because things like that are always accessible to wingnuts on Twitter.) Then yesterday, a suspect in the rape was arrested and charged in Columbus, Ohio; he confessed to having raped the girl at least two times.
Big surprise: None of the rightwing figures who insisted the girl didn't exist or that the story was likely a fabrication ever slowed down long enough to apologize or even acknowledge they'd been wrong. Instead, they immediately pivoted to fearmongering over the fact that the accused rapist is an undocumented immigrant, and to attacking Dr. Caitlin Bernard, the Indiana Ob-Gyn who first told the Indianapolis Star about the case. After all, she's the monster who publicized the story so she can commit all the abortions she wants, forever.
Leading the attacks on Dr. Bernard has been Fox News host Jesse Watters, who on Monday night was suggesting the story was a "hoax":
You would think the story of a sexual abuser roaming free assaulting 10-year-olds would raise quite a few concerns in small-town Ohio, but no one seems to be doing anything about it [...] No one even knows anything about it. Local media outlets aren't even alerting the public. There's a monster on the loose and from what we can find, no local newspaper or TV station picked up the story.
Then police arrested the suspect and made clear the rape had been reported to them in late June, shortly before the girl's parents took her to Indiana to get the abortion that they couldn't get in Ohio.
You might think Watters would apologize for suggesting the story was fabricated. You would be wrong. Instead, last night he took credit for having pressured police into finally bringing in the rapist, we shit you not. Here's video of the segment, via Media Matters:
Over alternating chyrons reading "ILLEGAL CHARGED WITH RAPE OF 10-YEAR-OLD" and "WILL INDIANA ABORTION DOCTOR BE CHARGED?" Watters accused Dr. Bernard of 'covering up" the girl's rape by allegedly not reporting it to Indiana authorities. Let's be clear: the word "report" is doing a lot of work here. Watters didn't say what evidence, if any, suggested Bernard hadn't reported the abortion within three days, as required under Indiana law for abortions performed for patients under the age of 16.
Update: Indianapolis TV station WXIN has published copies of the forms, filled out by Dr. Bernard. She reported the abortion as required.
Or perhaps he meant she hadn't reported the rape that led to the pregnancy? As we say, the crime was reported to police through Franklin County Family Services in Ohio. We are not a lawyer, so we honestly don't know whether Bernard had a duty to report the alleged rape to Indiana law enforcement. The girl's case was referred to her, as she said, by an Ohio doctor who works with abused children.
Then Watters upped the ante, citing aPJ Media claimthat Bernard has a scary dark history of not reporting child abuse cases in cases involving young patients. That PJ Media story — apparently the result of a Google search on Bernard — was based on a 2018 news release from Indiana Right to Life accusing nine abortion providers of not reporting abuse, based on consumer complaints, so there's some impressive sourcing. The press release didn't make any specific allegations about Bernard, and after a cursory search of my own, I haven't seen whether any follow-up on the alleged 2018 complaints ever occurred.
Update: Thank you, Ohio Capital Journal, for what should settle that matter:
Indiana Right to Life in 2018 accused eight abortion doctors of not filing the appropriate documents for young girls receiving abortions – including Bernard. Indiana’s online license search shows no discipline for Bernard.
Watters also said that unnamed sources "are telling Fox that Dr. Bernard's employer, Indiana University Health, has already filed a HIPAA violation against her," presumably for talking to the Star about an unnamed patient. The segment helpfully featured a photo of Dr. Bernard so people will be able to recognize her, because that's never led to bad things with abortion doctors before.
Let's Take A Ride In A Time Machine With Jesse Watters, Like We Are The Ghost Of Christmas Past!
This is where we'd like to remind you that Jesse Watters got his start at Fox News doing ambush segments for Bill O'Reilly, including a 2008 segment in which Watters demanded then-Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius comment on Dr. George Tiller, by all accounts one of the most compassionate doctors ever to live, who provided abortions in the most heartbreaking cases you wouldn't wish on your worst enemy, and who was assassinated in 2009 in his church by an anti-abortion terrorist. Although a grand jury had cleared Tiller of charges, Watters insisted in the segment that "there was a lot of evidence there that [Tiller] was performing illegal late-term abortions and covering up instances of child rape." Watters had earlier harassed Tiller's attorney, ambushing him in 2006 with the question "Do you believe that late-term babies should be terminated in the womb for 'depression'?"
O'Reilly constantly called the doctor "Tiller the baby killer" and compared him to Josef Mengele, but insisted his campaign couldn't possibly have resulted in Tiller's assassination in May 2009.
Just some context we wanted you to remember.
Back To The Future, Or At Least To Jesse Watters's Show Last Night
Watters's guest for the segment, Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita, a Republican, vowed he would get Dr. Bernard good, and Joe Biden, too, because chaos at the border. As for Dr. Bernard, why, she's nothing more than an "abortion activist acting as a doctor" and she has that terrible "history of failing to report" (according to a 2018 press release). Ergo, said Rokita, her medical license is probably at risk:
We're gathering the information. We're gathering the evidence as we speak, and we're going to fight this to the end, including looking at her licensure. If she failed to report it in Indiana, it's a crime for – to not report, to intentionally not report.
Rokita went on, in a stunningly weird word salad, condemning all those whores having abortions legally in Indiana (for now) and the Marxists, and the fake Indianapolis Star story that was true but it's still fake news, and well, EVERYTHING:
Well, of course, because this is a child and there's a strong public interest in understanding, you know, if someone under the age of 16 or under the age of 18 or really any woman is having an abortion in our state. And then if a child is being sexually abused, of course, parents need to know. Authorities need to know. Public policy experts need to know. We all need to know as citizens in a free republic so we can stop this.
This is a horrible, horrible scene caused – caused by Marxists and socialists and those in the White House who want lawlessness at the border.
And then this girl was politicized, politicized for the gain of killing more babies, alright? That was the goal. And this abortion activist is out there front and center. The lamestream media, the fake news is right behind it. Unfortunately, in Indiana, the paper of record is fake news. And they were right there jumping in on all of this, thinking that it was going to be great for their abortionist movement when this girl has been so brutalized.
In conclusion, it's tragic what happened to this poor girl — being mentioned in the news, and maybe the rape, too — and by god that abortion doctor is going to suffer for helping her. (For God's sake, read Rokita's most recent statement.)
We are sorry this is not a chipper open thread, but it's not that kind of news day.
Here's a kitten dressed up as witch, though:
Halloween Kitten GIFGiphy
And yes, it is your OPEN THREAD.
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Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.