- 10-year-old Ohio rape victim had to cross state lines to get abortion.
- Thousands of children under the age of 15 are aborted each year, data shows.
- Children already faced barriers to abortion before the Supreme Court’s ruling in Roe.
After her state banned abortion, a 10-year-old Ohio rape victim had to cross state lines to get an abortion.
While the case sparked a firestorm on social media, with politicians and outlets claiming her story was false despite the evidence in such cases, the data shows she’s not alone.
In 2020, 52 children under the age of 14 received an abortion in Ohio, according to the Ohio Department of Health. In 2017, the Guttmacher Institute found that 4,460 children under the age of 15 became pregnant. 44% of pregnancies result in miscarriage.
“The situation outside of Ohio is by no means unique,” Katie McHugh, an OB-GYN in Indiana, told the New York Times. “It’s a situation that every abortion provider has seen before.”
After the overturning of Roe v. Wade, several states, such as Ohio, enacted complete bans on abortion, with some exceptions for rape or torture. Many of these states also report providing abortions for children under the age of 15.
- According to Texas Health and Human Services, in 2022 there were two abortions performed on children aged 12-13 in Texas. The Times reported that an 11-year-old molestation victim went to Colorado to have an abortion. Texas is poised to enact a total ban on abortion with no exceptions for rape or torture.
- In 2020, Alabama aborted 25 children ages 10-14. One child was 11 and the other 12, according to the Alabama Center for Heat Statistics. Alabama has enacted a complete ban on abortion, with no exceptions for rape or incest.
- In 2020, the Oklahoma State Department of Health reported 17 abortions among ages 5-14. Oklahoma prohibits abortion except in cases of rape or molestation reported to the police.
- In 2021, 27 children under the age of 15 were aborted in Louisiana, according to the Louisiana Department of Health. Louisiana has a complete ban on abortion.
- In Arkansas in 2020, 11 children under the age of 15 were aborted, according to the Arkansas Department of Health. Arkansas has a complete ban on abortion with the exception of rape or incest.
States with abortion bans also have the highest maternal and infant mortality rates in the country.
Although the circumstances surrounding these abortions are not known, data from the CDC shows that 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 13 boys in the United States are sexually abused.
Lauren Ralph, an epidemiologist at the University of California, San Francisco, told the Times that children and adolescents already face barriers to abortion, such as lack of access to transportation and the need for parental consent.
“We know that before the decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, young people already faced many more barriers to accessing abortion,” Ralph told the Times. “What will happen with this decision is that those barriers will now multiply for young people living in restricted states.”