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WaPo fact-checker: Can’t verify story promoted by Biden of 10-year-old rape victim fleeing Ohio to get abortion

WaPo fact-checker: Can’t verify story promoted by Biden of 10-year-old rape victim fleeing Ohio to get abortion

WaPo: “The only source cited for the anecdote was Bernard. She’s on the record, but there is no indication that the newspaper made other attempts to confirm her account.”

Joe “I am the Democratic Party” Biden jumped on an unsubstantiated story first published by the Indianapolis Star about a 10-year-old rape victim who could not obtain an abortion in Ohio due to the recent Supreme Court Dobbs decision.  The story has been met with extreme skepticism, so when Biden trotted it out as fact, even leftie outlets like Snopes and the Wamazon Post were forced to fact-check it.

And they found the story not only unsubstantiated but unverifiable.  Obviously, this is not to say that the story is not true, but there are enough holes in it—and enough doubt surrounding the source—that no one in any position of authority, much less the ostensible president of the United States, should be repeating it as if it were verified and accurate.

Biden states, in part: “This isn’t some imagined horror. It is already happening. Just last week, it was reported that a 10-year-old girl was a rape victim — 10 years old — and she was forced to have to travel out of state to Indiana to seek to terminate the presidency (pregnancy) and maybe save her life.”

It was indeed reported, but did it happen?

The story seemed shaky from the start, but every major (and many minor) outlets ran with it because it confirmed their worst fears. Confirmation bias is rampant on the left (and not absent on the right), but this was particularly strange because the story was not verified, even apparently by the Indy Star.

The Washington Post fact check includes this little nugget (archive link):

On July 1, the Indianapolis Star, also known as the IndyStar, published an article, written by the newspaper’s medical writer, about how women seeking abortions had begun traveling from Ohio to Indiana, where less restrictive abortion laws were still in place. “Patients head to Indiana for abortion services as other states restrict care,” the article was headlined.

That was a benign headline. But it was the anecdotal beginning that caught the attention of other news organizations. The article said that three days after the June 24 court ruling, an Indianapolis obstetrician-gynecologist, Caitlan Bernard, who performs abortions, received a call from “a child abuse doctor” in Ohio who had a 10-year-old patient who was six weeks and three days pregnant. Unable to obtain an abortion in Ohio, “the girl soon was on her way to Indiana to Bernard’s care,” the Star reported.

The only source cited for the anecdote was Bernard. She’s on the record, but there is no indication that the newspaper made other attempts to confirm her account. The story’s lead reporter, Shari Rudavsky, did not respond to a query asking whether additional sourcing was obtained. A Gannett spokeswoman provided a comment from Bro Krift, the newspaper’s executive editor: “The facts and sourcing about people crossing state lines into Indiana, including the 10-year-old girl, for abortions are clear. We have no additional comment at this time.” [emphasis mine]

Shady, right? Reporting rumor and gossip as fact is not journalism. This is Kansas City Star bad.

Pretty much that.

Bernard declined to comment to WaPo.

Bernard declined to identify to the Fact Checker her colleague or the city where the child was located. “Thank you for reaching out. I’m sorry, but I don’t have any information to share,” she said in an email.

Snopes ran into the same stone wall (archive link).

Dozens of Snopes readers searched our site or contacted us wondering whether that had actually happened. To find out, we reached out to Dr. Caitlin Bernard, an obstetrician-gynecologist based in Indianapolis and who spoke to The Columbus Dispatch, about the headline-generating story. As of this writing, Bernard had not returned our request for an interview, and we had not been able to independently corroborate the abortion claim. If we receive additional information, will update this post.

Unsurprisingly, she also could not verify her story to the Daily Caller.

We all know that Biden makes up stories, tells gigantic lies, and is generally untrustworthy, but this isn’t him storming the beaches of Normandy while on a break from his gig as a long-haul trucker cum ivy league professor.

This is an unsubstantiated story angrily spat out during an already volatile time. The unhinged radical left is gunning for the Supreme Court Justices who voted to overturn Roe, and the Biden White House is not only defending their foot soldiers but is now wantonly throwing gas on the fire by citing as true something that is, at this point, highly questionable.


Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.


Ghislane Maxwell, same deal.
Only person convicted of sex trafficing to no one.


They DON’T CARE that it’s a lie.

Just like all of the lies and bullshit about voter ID being ‘racist’. They couldn’t produce a single person that couldn’t get an ID, much less a minority. It didn’t matter. They repeated the lie forever.

My first concern is for the 10 year old rape victim. Is she safe from the Rapist?
Several accounts talk about people who are mandatory rape reporters including Drs, nurses, and abortion providers.

Does the President care about aborting the baby more than preventing a child from being raped again?

Who was taking the child across state lines lines for a medical procedure? The Rapist?

    1073 in reply to 1073. | July 11, 2022 at 4:03 pm

    Looks like Dr. Caitlin Bernard that has been reporting this story everywhere is a Mandatory Reporter, but hasn’t been reporting since 2017.

    Which either means she has been intentionally protecting child rapists.
    I hope in this instance she is just lying.

      Arminius in reply to 1073. | July 11, 2022 at 10:18 pm

      As is my habit I was going to scroll down to make sure somebody didn’t already link a story I found relevant. Excellent scoop. I want to highlight a couple of things about that story.

      “…Forty-eight consumer complaints have been filed against nine Indiana abortion doctors who have allegedly failed to follow the legal reporting requirements to protect young children from sex abuse. The doctors are: Jeffrey Glazer, Caitlin Bernard, Cassandra Cashman, Carol Dellinger, Mandy Gittler, Kathleen Glover, Martin Haskell, Resad Pasic and Sarah Turner. They are employed at all licensed Indiana abortion facilities: Women’s Med Center in Indianapolis, Clinic for Women in Indianapolis, and Planned Parenthood in Indianapolis, Lafayette, Bloomington and Merrillville. [emphasis mine]

      Some of the girls under 16 years old who had abortions that weren’t reported to DCS were as young as 12 and 13. The alleged 48 instances of failure to report…”

      The rationale for the entire reporting system is to investigate whether young girls have been victims of rape or other forms of sexual abuse. Caitlin Bernard has undeniably refused to cooperate with a system to protect adolescent and pre-pubescent rape victims until now? Until the Indiana legislature appears on the verge of damaging her abortion business; now she cares about pre-pubescent rape victims.

      None of these girls were under 12. Not being the expert on these things being unashamedly a man who doesn’t take inappropriate showers with Ashley Biden (or any other toddler who later wrote about it in a diary later forgotten at an obviously necessary drug rehab treatment center if you believe the female USSS agents about how traumatic it is watch crinkled exhibitionist Joe Biden’s naked @$$ swim nude) I wondered when do girls these days typically start having periods? If you’re not ovulating you can’t get get pregnant. After checking with the Mayo Clinic, the Cleveland Clinic, etc., the range is 12-16 years of age. A girl as young as 8 can begin getting her menses. But 10 year old girls getting pregnant are vanishingly rare.

      Of course, if the crowd that will lie about treating ectopic pregnancies and incomplete miscarriages as if those are abortions women can’t get anymore after the Dobbs decision, they’ll lie about anything.

      Fun fact: If a woman had an ectopic pregnancy or incomplete miscarriage in the 1950s any hospital in the nation would have surgically corrected the situation. Including Catholic hospitals. Decades before Roe v. Wade.

      I know. My mom was a Catholic RN in the 1950s. She’s now deceased but this isn’t the first time this lie has needed to be swatted down.


      But the fear mongering left has to lie to advance its agenda.

Of course this story is fabricated.

    JackinSilverSpring in reply to puhiawa. | July 10, 2022 at 10:50 pm

    If course it’s fabricated. The 10 year would have to have been impregnated as a 9 year old. Really? What is the probability of that happening in the first place, and then what is the probability of its happening nine full months earlier, just in time for the Dobbs decision? For the Leftists, truth is what they want it to be, irrespective of reality.

      A ten year old sexually molested? Maybe Biden was thinking about his own acts.

      The 10 year [old] would have to have been impregnated as a 9 year old.
      Not even remotely true. The child was (supposedly) only 6 weeks pregnant.
      The probability of it happening in the first place? Something like 70 recorded incidents. Over the last 100 years (iirc)?

      Just in time for Dobbs? Well, they had about 6 weeks from the leaking of the decision to this article….

        JackinSilverSpring in reply to GWB. | July 12, 2022 at 9:38 am

        Thanks. I didn’t know the six week time-line. My bad. I still find the story unbelievable. You cite 70 recorded incidents over the last hundred years. How many 10 year-olds over the last hundred years? That’s how believable this claim is.

      The article alleged that she was 6 weeks and 3 days pregnant – not 9 months along. Of course, that still doesn’t mean this actually happened…

If anybody knows about molesting 10 year olds it’s Creepy Joe Biden*

henrybowman | July 11, 2022 at 1:31 am

I located this kid.
She’s driving an 18-wheeler for Weyerhauser, on a 17,000 mile lumber delivery, accompanied by Xi Jinping.
End quote, repeat the line.

    Ironclaw in reply to henrybowman. | July 11, 2022 at 8:46 am

    Other notable quotes from the pedophile-in-chief …

    “My butt’s been wiped.”
    “Let’s Go Brandon, I agree.”

The odds against a 10 year old being impregnated are astronomical.

The odds of it happening just in time to be used in a political stunt are the same.

    kyrrat in reply to Gosport. | July 11, 2022 at 2:45 am

    Being impregnated and giving birth? Yeah it can happen, and does do some googling over the years looking in Columbia, Mexico and Brazil. You’ll find a number of cases.

    Do I think this particular case is real? No. There would be at least some coverage of the arrest of the rapist.

taurus the judge | July 11, 2022 at 7:59 am

Well, its clear this story is a well timed fabrication.

All the necessary details a legitimate account would normally have are absent.

I would offer a different strategy this time from a psyops perspective.

Instead of “disproving” the story as we routinely do, ( which will face the defenses of its “medically possible” “protecting the child” and all other cover-ups)

Sit back and say lets have the proof of this story so we can follow up and ensure all the wrongs are righted.

Let the left prove their case for once.

They cant ( and they know it)

There are NOT two brain cells to rub together in the whole of the democrat party. There is no honesty, no honor, and no credibility in the entirety of the party.

F J (‘IATDP’) B and EVERY other democrat.

    Ironclaw in reply to Sternverbs. | July 11, 2022 at 8:47 am

    If they had honesty, honor, credibility or morals then they couldn’t be democrats,

    A Punk Named Yunk in reply to Sternverbs. | July 11, 2022 at 7:13 pm

    Oh, my dear, naive Sternverbs.

    Haven’t you already learned that honesty, honor, and credibility are manifestations of white supremacy? And, of course, there are NO WHITE SUPREMACISTS the Democrat party; there have never been. What’s that you say?? That the Klan were Democrats? Is that fact? Well, we all know that facts are also manifestations of white supremacy.

THIS is what I hear from all the “chin music” from msm……..
PPPPPPFFFFFFFFFFFFTTTTTTT!!!! the stink is upon them

Don’t think for a second that the party of death didn’t pow-wow to get their unverifiable story straight. And they are proud of their deceit.
If Trump had committed the Biden verifiable incidents, he’d have been impeached 3 or 4 dozen times by now.

Remember kids – – the media lets them get away with this crap!

As long as the media is in the hip pocket of the Dems, the Dems know that they can literally say or do ANYTHING, no matter how ludicrous.

There is NO check and balance for the Democrat Party/Big Media cabal.

The Dems are like spoiled children; they will try to get away with ANYTHING. And the media are the parents who turn a blind eye to the misbehavior of their children.

Damn shame … and I see no remedy in sight.

    A Punk Named Yunk in reply to tiger66. | July 11, 2022 at 7:15 pm

    > the media lets them get away with this crap!
    No, the media *creates* this crap for the Dems to fling at political opponents (like so much chimpanzee-excrement)

    BTW How did you get boldface into your text?

Ohh…can I be next as the single source for a politically motivated story that no media tries to verify before rushing to endlessly repeat it and thereby advance my preferred narrative and inject my ideological policy preferences into the national debate before the midterms?

The current “World’s Greatest Liar” … the “Greatest Plagiarizer in History”, distinguished friend of the legendary “Corn Pop” has fact checked this story. That’s good enough for me,

A Punk Named Yunk | July 11, 2022 at 7:06 pm

When the story first broke,I fell for it but I recall one question posed at the time: Isn’t it a clear danger the the life of that young a girl to allow a pregnancy to come to term? There should have been no reason for her to need to travel to another state. Suspicious enough to rouse a touch of skepticism. But not enough skepticism.

Shame on me!

The BIG kicker question is why there seems to be no police investigation about the alleged rapist. I missed that one, assuming it was in in progress.

So now we have a very likely HOAX. Because, like the dearth of actual racist incidents forcing certain ideologues to perpetuate racism hoaxes, we seem to have a heart-wrenching rape victim story, a strongly likely hoax, in place of actual child-pregnancies, because those are SO rare an occurrence.

This story can be considered bogus for the simple fact that Ohio doesn’t have a law that bans abortions after “6 weeks of pregnancy. Ohio’s law is a Heartbeat Law, which bans abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected – and that usually occurs around 6 weeks GESTATION, or 8 weeks of pregnancy. If this poor child (if she even exists), was really “6 weeks and 3 days pregnant,” then she’s only at 4 weeks and 3 days gestation – too early to detect a heartbeat. Pregnancy is calculated based on the first day of the LMP. Gestation is calculated 2 weeks later, or mid-cycle, because that’s when most women conceive.

The pro-abortion Media has been consistently misrepresenting Ohio’s Heartbeat Law (and I’ve read hundreds of so-called “reports”) by claiming the law “bans abortion after 6 weeks of pregnancy, before many women even know they’re pregnant.” But that’s bunk. The law only bans abortion after detection of a fetal heartbeat, and most women know they are pregnant by the second missed period, or 8 weeks.

Unlimited abortion on demand, throughout all 9 months of pregnancy, is the goal here. The pro-abortion Media have been exploiting “hard cases” in mostly Catholic countries for decades – even if they have to make up their own “facts” – in order to cause international outrage that will pressure those countries (like they did to Ireland in 2012) to expand their abortion laws to satisfy the abortion industry. Now that SCOTUS has returned abortion legislation to individual states, look for the pro-abortion Media to try to induce outrage against States like Ohio, in an effort to pressure those states to change their laws.

Because the fact is, this bogus story was designed for one purpose, and one purpose only – to incite international outrage – not against a rapist who stole a child’s innocence – but against Ohio, for daring to try to limit the carnage that abortion-on-demand has wrought, and against Indiana, so that state won’t dare to cross the abortion industry.

RandomCrank | July 12, 2022 at 9:09 pm

I have a deep background in old-school journalism. I was the editor of my high school paper, and while in high school attended Northwestern University’s “National High School Journalism Program.”

I double-majored in history and journalism (“yesterday and today,” I called it at the time) at the University of Wisconsin. The history department was ranked #4 in the U.S., and the j-school was one of the top three undergrad programs in the country. I went on to an 11-year career as a professional journalist (before switching to a 12-year career in finance) with the mistakes and corrections (most were self-initiated) that go with it. Which is to say that I am writing from inclination, education, training, and experience.

In some ways, that high school program at Northwestern sticks out at the moment, for a maxim: “If your mother tells you she loves you, check it out.”

Let me list the red flags:

1. A very unusual case to begin with. If I were still a reporter, I’d have demanded to see the records.

2. The source was an activist with an ax to grind. By itself, that doesn’t invalidate anything. Activists can be correct, but their claims must be closely scrutinized and verified. I would add that, unlike when I was a reporter, it’s now much easier to check a source’s background.

3. Ohio law requires that the circumstances of the alleged pregnancy be reported. If I were reporting that story, I’d have followed up to see if a report was made. If not, why not?

4. I’d have demanded to speak with the clinic where the abortion was allegedly conducted.

5. I’d have checked the specifics of the Ohio law that allegedly sent the girl to Indiana. If she was 6-weeks pregnant, it looks like Ohio law did not apply. I’d have nailed it down tight.

6. Back to the activist. I’d have checked to see if she had been the target of any complaints and/or discipline.

7. The executive editor stonewalled the Washington Post. That’s a huge red flag.

All of this is obvious, or should be. I did the long form here to detail the extent to which standard journalistic practice, or at least what once was standard, was ignored. Add it up, and I strongly suspect that the story was fabricated, and that the writer knew or should have known that it was.

Some who read this far might castigate me for not reaching an iron-clad conclusion that it was a pre-meditated lie. Trust me, it’s likely, but there’s another maxim from that high school program that applies: “Never assume anything.” A journalist with integrity nails it down tight before making an accusation.

The Indianapolis Star should re-investigate the story, at the very least, and write a follow-up that answers all those questions. I won’t hold my breath waiting for that to happen. Still: What I just laid out is how it was done. I know, because that’s how we did things.

Today, the U.S. media has the lowest credibility ratings in the industrialized world. Stories like that one are sadly the new normal. And the media wonder why they are so thoroughly distrusted? I sure don’t.

Daniel Yaacov | July 13, 2022 at 2:57 pm

1 week later, part of the story at least seem to be true

“A man suspected of being in the country illegally has been arrested for the rape of a 10-year-old girl in Ohio.

Gershon Fuentes, 27, was arrested on July 12 for rape, according to jail records.

The Columbus Police Department said in Franklin County court on Wednesday that Fuentes confessed and that the girl he raped, who may have been 9 at the time, received an abortion in Indianapolis on June 30, the Columbus Dispatch reported.

Det. Jeffrey Huhn said that the girl identified Fuentes as the father of the child and that Fuentes, through an interpreter, admitted having sexual contact with the girl, the paper reported.

A probable cause statement said that detectives collected a saliva sample from Fuentes and Huhn said testing is pending.

A bond of $2 million was set.

Gershon is currently being held in the Franklin County Jail, according to jail records.”

    Milhouse in reply to Daniel Yaacov. | July 13, 2022 at 5:40 pm

    Yeah, maybe. I can’t think of a reasonable explanation, but it stinks to high heaven. Still, the weirdest things do happen.