When The Story Begs Serious Questions

Recently, the story of a 10-year-old rape victim having to travel to Indiana to get an abortion because of Ohio law swept unquestioningly across the media landscape, and into the mouths of politicians like the demented meat puppet at 1600 Penn. The problem with that was, there were and are a lot of holes in that story. Massive holes that beg both ethical and legal questions.

The first reporter to raise questions was Megan Fox at PJ Media. Her first column on the story raised a number of important red flags, and a host of questions which have yet to be answered by the Indianapolis Star, the doctor quoted in their story, or a number of other people and/or organizations.

Sadly, far from being a hoax, an illegal alien has been arrested and charged with the rape of the girl. I really do wish it had been a hoax, rather than being true and a child having their childhood destroyed. I pray for her and I hope that she gets some great counseling so as to avoid the many problems that come from childhood rape.

Yet, those troublesome questions remain unanswered. Indeed, they stand in sharper focus as we start to learn more. Let’s run down a few of them.

First, why did a report filed on 22 June with child services not make it to the police, and an arrest made, until 12 or 13 JULY? Why did the attorney general of Ohio and his office not know about it until then? Why did the Columbus police deny any investigation until yesterday?

Second, why was no apparent effort made to obtain an abortion in Ohio? Per the attorney general, the girl qualified if for no other reason than a 10-year-old’s body is not yet ready to give birth even if she had entered puberty. As with the question on why the report was not shared in a timely manner, what efforts if any were made to obtain medical care for the rape victim in Ohio? If they were denied, who denied them and when? Were any reports required of mandatory reporters filed at all by anyone? Who was the alleged “child abuse doctor” and did they file the mandatory paperwork? More importantly, did they make any effort to obtain care in Ohio and if not, why did they instead enlist the aid of a noted abortion activist physician here in Indiana?

Third, given that the procedure was done here in Indiana by the abortion activist doctor, did she at any point file the required reports? Did she have permission to discuss the case with the media or did she violate HIPPA and risk additional trauma to a young rape victim simply for political points? Did she discuss the story or her part in it with her employer or anyone else before going public with the patient’s information? At least, according to the court testimony yesterday, she did keep tissue from the abortion for DNA and/or other analysis.

Fourth, there are a series of questions for the IndyStar. First, in a story relying on a single source, how did they vet what they were being told? What steps, if any, did they take to verify the material, and to verify that the legal rights of the minor rape victim were being protected? Did they at any time seek a legal opinion on the article, and if not, why not? On a story like this, it’s not unusual to seek such an opinion given that it can open the newspaper up to lawsuits and/or prosecution. Was anyone at the IndyStar aware that the source was violating HIPPA and other regulations? Did anyone at the IndyStar question why the rape victim was not treated in Ohio and question the so-called “child abuse doctor” about that? Did anyone on staff do any due diligence to ensure that they, and the child victim, were not being used to further a particular pro-abortion political position?

The latter truly is crucial. If this entire chain of events happened, across state lines, to create and/or push a political outcome, that moves into the realm of criminal activity. It would mean the first “doctor” who remains unknown to the public conspired with the doctor here to use the victim for their own political purposes. It is not only unethical, but would also appear to be in violation of a variety of federal and state laws, not to mention simply being utterly and completely despicable.

If the IndyStar had any idea that it was being used as part of such an effort, and failed to perform due diligence and/or willingly participated, there is no First Amendment shield. It’s been a while since my last media law class, but the courts have held that journalistic operations have some “slack” in terms of violating laws in pursuit of the common good. This mostly applies to classified information and attempts by governments at various levels to prevent damaging information from being reported. Where news organizations have violated laws for gain or to push particular agendas, the courts have not been kind. They will have little to no shield from civil or criminal complaints.

For now, all we have are questions and a situation that stinks to high heaven. Until the IndyStar answers questions about basic journalistic fundamentals, much less the more serious questions, it remains highly suspect in the public eye. They need to come clean and operate transparently if they are to maintain any good public perception.

At best, it would appear that the privacy and other rights of a minor rape victim were knowingly and willfully violated by a number of people and/or institutions. At worst, there was a deliberate effort to use and abuse that victim to create a false political narrative for gain. If the latter is true, then all involved should face the maximum legal and social repercussions. If the former, those involved deserve the same. There is no excuse to violate a child like this for personal or political gain, and it is my opinion that is exactly what has happened. Meantime, I can only hope that she is finally getting real care and treatment and that real, honest investigations are made into everyone involved in this story.


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