- The idea of kids being forced to give birth is so repugnant that when the story first broke about an Ohio 10-year-old having to travel to another state for an abortion, the GOP’s go-to move was to deny she existed, like that was an impossibility in a state where 50 abortions are performed on children under 15 years of age annually.
- The idea of kids being forced to give birth is so repugnant that when the story was confirmed, the GOP’s next tactic was to shift the focus away from the girl and her state’s condoning both the pregnancy dangers and the sexual abuse of forced pregnancy against her. Instead they switched to xenophobic posturing over the immigration status of her rapist, and threatening the doctor who performed her medication abortion with possible “criminal prosecution and licensing repercussions.” (Note to Indiana doctors – consider refusing non-emergency medical treatment to state Attorney General Todd Rokita!)
- The idea of kids being forced to give birth is so repugnant that a hard-core forced-birther testifying in front of Congress struggled to rebrand the girl’s abortion as an acceptable exception to a law with no exceptions, all without saying the word “abortion.”
Action: Center young people and call out this crime against them by religious zeolots for what it is.
Minimal script: I’m calling from [zip code] and I want Sen./Rep. [___] to create and pass legislation stating that forcing a child under the legal age of consent to give birth is a form of physical and sexual child abuse and should be prosecuted as a crime throughout the United States.
More script if you want it: If a child is not old enough to consent to sex, they are not old enough to consent to the aftermath of sex, including forced birth.
Got a little more time?: Tell your legislators and Biden that the 13th Amendment lives and still protects Black women from forced-birth here.
- Rep. Julia Brownley (CA-26): email, DC (202) 225-5811, Oxnard (805) 379-1779, T.O. (805) 379-1779
- or Rep. Salud Carbajal (CA-24): email. DC (202) 225-3601, SB (805) 730-1710 SLO (805) 546-8348
- Senator Feinstein: email, DC (202) 224-3841, LA (310) 914-7300, SF (415) 393-0707, SD (619) 231-9712, Fresno (559) 485-7430
- and Senator Padilla: email, DC (202) 224-3553, LA (310) 231-4494, SAC (916) 448-2787, Fresno (559) 497-5109, SF (415) 981-9369, SD (619) 239-3884
- Who is my representative/senator?: https://whoismyrepresentative.com
“Backlash” away, folks! The party who sees pedophiles everywhere now has a “torturing kids” problem. GOP strategist suggests they “pivot to another issue.”
(Politico) “‘Oh, God no,’ one prominent Republican strategist said, after members of his party suggested the victim should have carried the pregnancy to term. “Very bad,” said another. Or as one anti-abortion rights Indiana Republican strategist put it, “I’m not touching this story with a 10-foot-pole wrapped in a blanket wrapped in a whatever.”…
…The case has become an instant flashpoint in the nation’s abortion wars, alarming Republicans as they try to use abortion to rally base voters without alienating the majority of Americans who say abortion should remain legal in at least some circumstances.
But the case of the pregnant 10-year-old has laid bare how uncontrollable GOP messaging around abortion may be. Not only were right-wing media outlets and Republican politicians who cast doubt on the story forced to backtrack once the facts of the case were confirmed, but the hits to Republicans appear likely to keep coming.
On Thursday, Jim Bopp, the National Right to Life Committee’s general counsel, inflamed the issue when he told POLITICO that the 10-year-old girl should have carried her pregnancy to term – a statement he later said resulted in him receiving death threats.
John Thomas, a Republican strategist said the Indiana case has already come up in at least one race he is working on and that he has advised candidates that, “You try to avoid the topic. You try to pivot to another issue.”
Why forced pregnacy is particularly bad for young people’s bodies.
(LiveScience) “A 10-year-old girl in Colombia recently gave birth via caesarian section, placing her among the youngest mothers in the world. Though the girl is now recovering, her case highlights the dangers of pregnancy before maturity, doctors say.
“No 10-year-old anywhere in the world should be having a baby,” Lewis Wall, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, told LiveScience…
…”Any 10-year-old who is pregnant has already been abused significantly by somebody,” he said. “That probably should go without saying.”
Nor are 10-, 11- and 12-year-olds remotely prepared to care for a baby, Wall said. But the risks are physical, as well.
“The placenta preferentially will take nutrition from the mother, who really is a child,” said Sherry Thomas, an ob/gyn at Mission Community Hospital in Panorama City, Calif. That means that the developing fetus will leach calcium and other nutrients from a child who should still be growing herself. Likewise, pregnancy puts a major strain on the cardiovascular system, according to Wall. Pregnant women have about 50 percent more blood circulating through their bodies compared with non-pregnant women. [8 Odd Bodily Changes During Pregnancy]
The greatest danger, however, is to the pelvic floor. Girls may start ovulating and menstruating as early as age 9, though the average is around 12 to 13. (Some studies suggest that the average age of first menstruation is dropping, but the data is not conclusive.) Just because a girl can get pregnant, though, doesn’t mean she can safely deliver a baby. The pelvis does not fully widen until the late teens, meaning that young girls may not be able to push the baby through the birth canal.
The results are horrific, said Wall and Thomas, who have both worked in Africa treating women in the aftermath of such labors. Girls may labor for days; many die. Their babies often don’t survive labor either.
The women and girls who do survive often develop fistulas, which are holes between the vaginal wall and the rectum or bladder. When the baby’s head pushes down and gets stuck, it can cut portions of the mother’s soft tissue between its skull and her pelvic bones. As a result, the tissue dies, and a hole forms. Feces and urine then leak through the hole and out of the vagina. Women with fistulas are often divorced and shunned. And young girls are at higher risk.
“The younger you are, the more trauma will occur, because the pelvic floor isn’t developed enough,” Thomas said…
…As growth tends to slow in girls once menstruation starts, a 10-year-old capable of getting pregnant is likely to be especially small, with a small pelvis, Wall said. And even if puberty onset is happening earlier (Wall isn’t entirely convinced by the current data), pelvises are certainly not maturing any faster, he said. If puberty does occur earlier, that would put young girls at risk for dangerous pregnancies for a longer period of time.
“It’s heart-wrenching,” Thomas said. “It’s just overwhelming to see these young women pregnant and delivering.”
No, 10-year-olds can’t just “shut that down” either…
(USAToday) “There’s little information on how often rape-related pregnancies occur in those under 15. A 2018 study by CDC researchers estimated about 2.9 million women in the U.S. experienced a rape-related pregnancy during their lifetime, but the authors did not break down the data by age.
“We have no idea how common or uncommon this is, thankfully, because people have been able to get the medical care they needed,” said Dr. Erika Werner, chair of the department of obstetrics and gynecology at Tufts Medical Center.. “But now, we’re going to find out how common it is.”…
…Abortion surveillance from 47 states shows 1,410 abortions were reported in girls under 15 in 2019, according to a study published last year by the CDC.Ohio reported 63 abortions in that age group, and Indiana reported 18.”
Carrying a baby to full term carries higher pregnancy-related risks for a teenager or child than it would for an adult, Werner said, and that risk increases the younger a girl is.
Pregnant people ages 10 to 19 face higher risks of eclampsia, puerperal endometritis and systemic infections compared with women ages 20 to 24, according to the World Health Organization.
Eclampsia, which is brought on by a spike in the mother’s blood pressure, can lead to seizures.
“If it is severe, it sometimes requires early delivery,” said Dr. Sarah Milton, an OB-GYN with a practice emphasis in pediatrics and associate professor at Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine. “The combination of seizures and potential early delivery makes it quite a dangerous diagnosis in pregnancy.”
As we ratchet down to 3rd world conditions, we can see our future from here.
Early pregnancy causes high rates of delaying and dropping out of school, which negatively affects girls’ life trajectories. It also brings risks to the health of girls and adolescents. Girls under 15 years of age are four times more at risk of death in pregnancy and at a higher risk of preterm delivery (before 27 weeks of gestation), perinatal mortality, eclampsia (convulsions), postpartum hemorrhage, and increased risk of endometrial infection. Doctors and health professionals know this.
The situation is so serious that in 2017, the national Government launched the National Plan for the Prevention and Reduction of Unintentional Pregnancy in Adolescents to address the problem of unintentional pregnancy in adolescence in an inter-sectoral manner. It aims to “strengthen the policies for the prevention of the abuse, the sexual violence and the access to the legal interruption of the pregnancy.”
So far this year, cases of forced child pregnancies in the provinces of Chaco, Jujuy, Tucumán, and Misiones have gone public. The systematic inaction of the national state reveals a disregard of women’s bodies and intention to discipline them. It also shows the lack of effective public policies that guarantee girls’ and adolescents’ rights to health, in breach of international human rights obligations. They also ignore the observations of the U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child that in May 2018 urged Argentina to ensure that access to safe abortion and post-abortion services for girls and adolescents is guaranteed.
What did James Bop actually say?
James Bopp said the abortion wouldn’t have been allowed under his model law, which contains an exception allowing abortions only to prevent death of a pregnant person.
“Unless her life was at danger, there is no exception for rape,” Bopp told Politico. “The bill does propose exceptions for rape and incest, in my model, because that is a pro-life position, but it’s not our ideal position. We don’t think, as heartwrenching as those circumstances are, we don’t think we should devalue the life of the baby because of the sins of the father.”
Bopp is general counsel for the National Right to Life.
Ohio’s Attorney General David Yost is backpedaling as fast as he can.
(Washington Post) “But as attention now turns to the reality of the case and what it means, something else Yost claimed Monday on Fox News looms large: that the girl didn’t actually have to leave Ohio to seek the abortion in Indiana, as she reportedly did.
“Speaking of hoaxes, though, can I correct something that everybody’s reporting wrong nationally?” Yost asked the host.
He continued: “Ohio’s heartbeat law has a medical emergency exception broader than just the life of the mother. This young girl, if she exists, and if this horrible thing actually happened to her — breaks my heart to think about it — she did not have to leave Ohio to find treatment.”
Yost’s appeared to be arguing that Ohio’s law — which bans almost all abortions after a heartbeat can be detected, usually around six weeks — isn’t actually so stringent that it would actually force a 10-year-old rape victim to carry a child to term. That aspect of all this is important in light of the GOP’s controversial post-Roe plans, which often include not providing abortion exceptions for rape and incest. It’s why the case became big news in the first place.
Yost’s meaning wasn’t entirely clear. Some took his comment as claiming Ohio has a rape exception in its abortion ban; it clearly and unambiguously does not. The applicable law allows abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected: – “to prevent the death of the pregnant woman” or – “to prevent a serious risk of the substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function of the pregnant woman”
Yost didn’t say there was a rape exception. He was apparently arguing that a 10-year old would qualify under one of the actual exceptions — probably the latter, given that it’s the one that’s “broader than just the life of the mother.”
[However]…the nonpartisan Ohio Legislative Service Commission has reportedly determined that such circumstances don’t automatically qualify for an exception. Chris Geidner shared a letter that Yost’s 2022 Democratic opponent received from an analyst from the commission, Amy Archer. Archer in the letter addresses whether “minor victims of sexual assault are able to receive abortions within Ohio after six weeks gestation.”
“No,” she reportedly said, “Ohio’s abortion prohibition applies regardless of the circumstances of conception or the age of the mother.”