Republican Jim Bopp—a conservative lawyer best known for work associated with anti-abortion model legislation—was criticized after he claimed a 10-year-old girl who was raped in Ohio and had to seek an abortion in a neighboring state would "ultimately benefit" from being forced to carry a child.
The account of a 10-year-old girl who was raped and forced to leave her home state of Ohio for an abortion first garnered national attention after Democratic President Joe Biden mentioned it during a major speech about abortion policy shortly after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, the 1973 landmark decision that once protected a person's right to choose reproductive healthcare without excessive government restriction.
In Ohio, there are no exceptions that would qualify a person for an abortion—not even in cases of rape or incest—and the draconian nature of these laws is what prompted the 10-year-old and her family to cross state lines to get the procedure.
Bopp made the remark during an interview with Politico, telling the publication he believes the girl should have been forced to give birth.
Bopp is the author of model legislation currently under consideration in Indiana that would have made the child ineligible to have an abortion in that state, too.
He said that the young girl "would have had the baby" and that like "many women who have had babies as a result of rape, we would hope that she would understand the reason and ultimately the benefit of having the child."
His remarks were widely condemned by many who accused him of condoning the rape of a child.
The case of the 10-year-old girl has sparked significant discussion, underscoring the harsh realities for Americans who can get pregnant in the weeks since Roe was overturned.
Local police arrested Columbus resident Gerson Fuentes, 27, after he confessed to raping the child on at least two occasions. Fuentes has been charged with first-degree rape, a felony in the state.
Franklin County Municipal Court Judge Cynthia Ebner ordered Fuentes be held in the Franklin County jail on $2 million bond, noting that he is a potential flight risk.