COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – The case involving a 10-year-old rape victim who had to be taken out of Ohio to receive an abortion has sparked more conversations about Roe v. Wade and abortion access in the state.
Both sides on the issue agree that what this girl has gone through is something no one, especially a child, should ever have to endure. The disagreement comes in when talking about what abortion access should be.
At times, thinking about what has happened to the child leaves Tayler Ucker-Lauderman nearly speechless.
“I’m so sorry this has happened to her,” Ucker-Lauderman said. She is the chief officer of communications and engagement for the Ohio Alliance to End Sexual Violence. “I’m so sorry she has had to endure so many instances of not being able to make her own decisions.
“We know at OAESV, cases like this happen all the time, unfortunately,” Ucker-Lauderman continued. “We are working toward a better Ohio, but we’re not there yet, but hearing that this child had to endure even more trauma and even more robbing of their bodily autonomy has been really frustrating.”
The additional trauma she is referring to is the girl going to Indiana for an abortion.
“Every person should be able to access abortion care in their own community,” said Pro-Choice Ohio Communications Director Gabriel Mann. “No one should have to go out of state. This never would have become a headline had this family been able to access care in their own community.”
Those who are for abortion rights and those anti-abortion agree — what’s happened to this girl has been horrific. They’re also on the same page when it comes to being glad the suspect, Gerhson Fuentes, has been arrested. But that’s where the agreement ends.
“For the same exact reason why we’re so adamantly against what happened to this young girl, the rape of this young girl, is the same reason why we’re so adamantly against abortion,” said Ohio Right To Life Director of Communications Elizabeth Whitmarsh. “It is the violent trespass of an innocent human being who can’t defend themselves and it’s for that same reason we stand against rape and we also stand against abortion.”