Ohio Psyched To Test Out New Forced Birth Law On 11-Year-Old Rape Victim
As of yesterday, six states—Ohio, Mississippi, Kentucky, Iowa, North Dakota, and now Georgia—have banned abortion. We could say they've passed "Heartbeat Bills," but that's just a cutesy term for what they actually are. These bills ban abortion before most people even know they're pregnant, and therefore they are abortion bans.
And they are already claiming victims.
Last week, police in Ohio arrested 26-year-old Juan Leon-Gomez after they found the 11-year-old girl he'd raped hiding in a closet at his residence. He's being held on a bond of one million dollars and he's also being charged with "obstructing official business and contributing to the unruliness or delinquency of a child."
That may be putting things a little lightly, because the 11-year-old girl he raped is pregnant.
Under normal circumstances, this situation would be devastating to any child and any family, but now that Ohio has outlawed abortion, not only does this 11-year-old girl have to deal with the trauma of being raped, she now also has to deal with being forced to give birth to her rapist's baby whether she wants to or not.
At 11 years old, she is going to have to go through a nine month pregnancy, watch her little 11-year-old stomach grow, go through labor and give birth to the child of the man who raped her. Rather than beginning to recover now and getting the help she needs, this will be dragged out for close to year. It would be different if that is what she chose for herself, but now that this choice has been made for her, she's going to have to wake up every day and know that she has no control or ownership of her own body, and no say in what happens to it. Men can rape her, men can force her to bear their children. That is the lesson she will learn from this.
If this isn't proof that these "pro-lifers" only care about children before they're born, I really, honestly. don't know what is.
It's also not the kind of situation the people who wrote these laws simply failed to consider in their zeal to protect unborn lives/control women—it is the whole point of them. The Ohio legislation, signed by Governor Mike DeWine after John Kasich twice vetoed it, specifically does not have any exceptions for rape and incest--as these laws so often do, a sop to "reasonableness"--on purpose. In fact, the group Georgia Right to Life even rescinded its support for the Georgia abortion ban due to an exception being made for rape and incest victims. It is unfortunate the need has been highlighted so quickly, but "life happens," we guess.
The Georgia ban, signed yesterday by Governor Brian Kemp, is particularly insidious. Not only does it ban abortions after six weeks, it also criminalizes them. People can go to jail for seeking abortions, doctors can go to jail for performing them after six weeks, and it will even be illegal to go to another state to obtain an abortion or helping someone else do so. As with the bill currently being considered in Texas, those who actually have abortions will be charged with murder, which means that they could either spend the rest of their life in prison, or, because Georgia is a death penalty state, be put to death.
You know, because they're so "pro-life." They just love life so much.
The new Georgia law will also allow law enforcement to "investigate" miscarriages, and if it's determined that something the pregnant person did led to that miscarriage, they could be thrown in jail also. (This happens already.) Georgia, by the way, has the second highest maternal mortality rate in the nation, after Louisiana, so anything that might discourage pregnant people from going to see the doctor is really gonna go a long way in helping them become number one. After all, nothing exemplifies the true depth of a mother's love like dying in childbirth.
And, because it's Georgia, there's some bonus voting fuckery thrown in there as well. Fetuses will now be considered full-on citizens for the purpose of the census.
Remember the days, just a few years ago, when the forced birth crowd kept trying to claim they didn't actually want to see people thrown in jail or executed for having abortions? When they feigned shock and "Oh gosh no, that's not at all what we want!" when Trump said he wanted to put people who have abortions in jail for murder? That sure flew out the window fast as soon as they saw an opportunity.
These laws are all going to be challenged in the court system, but even if they are overturned, it won't be soon enough for that 11-year-old girl in Ohio (and a whole lot of other people).
The right to have an abortion is not hypothetical. And Ohio's just proved it in the saddest way possible.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse