Professor Defends Her Decision To Provide Abortion To 10-Year-Old

Professor and obstetrician Caitlin Bernard is defending her decision to prescribe pregnancy-ending medication to a 10-year-old rape victim who traveled across state lines to receive care.

By Erika Hanson | Published

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Caitlin Bernard

Abortion has always been a contentious topic of debate for Americans, but since the supreme court overturned Roe V. Wade, the subject is more heated than ever. In recent national attention, a college professor is now the center of discussion around abortion. Dr. Caitlin Bernard, an obstetrician, and professor at Indiana University recently reported that she performed an abortion on a 10-year-old child. And as pro-life activists condemn her for her medical obligation, the doctor herself is now firing back at her critics and defending her actions.

On June 30th, Caitlin Bernard provided a medical abortion to a 10-year-old. The little girl was impregnated by an adult who had raped her numerous times. Because of state laws, the family had to travel from their home state of Ohio – which bans abortion after six weeks– to Indiana in order to abort the pregnancy. Since garnishing massive media attention, both approving of the actions and against them, the professor has decided to use this scenario to decry the decision of the supreme court and point out what she and other pro-choice activists call the cruel implications of the new federal ruling. 

CNN reports that the child’s abuser, 27-year-old Gerson Fuentes, admitted to raping the 10-year-old on multiple occasions. The abuse began when she was nine, and took place between January 1st and May 12th of this year. After it became apparent that the child was pregnant, authorities and a children’s service department were made aware of the situation by the girl’s mother. Dr. Caitlin Bernard was contacted by a child abuse doctor in Ohio.

Allegedly, the Ohio doctor referred the family to Caitlin Bernard, since Ohio went to work to ban all forms of abortion within hours of the supreme court’s decision to overturn Roe V. Wade. After traveling to Ohio, the young child was given a non-invasive, medicine-prescribed abortion. She was just a little over six weeks pregnant. 

Sexual assault on children is on the rise all across the nation, and Dr. Caitlin Bernard made note of that when discussing the matter with CBS News. Now that a growing number of states are making it impossible for rape victims to abort their pregnancy, she stated that doctors like her are already receiving more and more referrals to treat females – often children – as they need to make the long trek across state lines to receive the care.

Conservative news outlets have plastered news stories that claim that Caitlin Bernard and the Ohio doctor may be fabricating the story of the 10-year-old’s abortion. An Indiana Attorney General has vowed to investigate the professor, alleging that she may have violated laws and may have not properly reported the situation to authorities. Likewise, while Bernard has kept names completely anonymous, the AG’s investigation claims she may have violated HIPPA  privacy laws. Since the AG has asserted these claims, the state health department has released documentation proving that Bernard reported the rape correctly, but he still vows to continue his crusade against her. 

When questioned about whether or not Dr. Caitlin Bernard was devising the story to fit her agenda, she clapped back at her opposers. “Come spend a day in my clinic.” The professor’s hope is that those against abortion will understand that it can be a complex decision, that isn’t always answered by a simple “right” or “wrong” justification. For now, the Indiana professor is sure she will continue to see an uptick in out-of-state cases similar to this child’s, as more states continue to make abortions completely illegal.