The story was a perfect liberal talking point. Just days after Roe v. Wade was overturned, news media breathlessly reported that a 10-year-old rape victim in Ohio was forced to leave the state to seek an abortion.
It was catnip for MSNBC Boomers and liberal white women. The story spread like wildfire; Joe Biden referenced the case in public remarks, asking Americans to “imagine being that little girl.” I myself even overheard one large middle-aged woman loudly yelling about the case while on speakerphone here in rural Hillsdale, Michigan.
But the actual initial reports about the case were so extreme and so devoid of details that many wondered if it had even happened. U.S. Representative Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost were publicly skeptical. It fit the narrative too perfectly. The activists pumping the case up had plenty of reason to lie. It wasn’t as if journalists were going to start asking any skeptical questions.
As it turns out, the incident did happen, but it isn’t the narrative blockbuster abortion advocates wanted.
A case that was meant to show the evils of America’s white male patriarchy and its burgeoning post-Roe theocratic “Handmaid’s Tale”-style dictatorship ended up being a story about the insanity and brutality of America’s immigration policies.
The 10-year-old’s rapist wasn’t—as liberals no doubt secretly hoped—a blond-haired, blue eyed, Trump-supporting redneck but a 27-year-old Guatemalan illegal alien by the name of Gerson Fuentes. The girl’s mother is also an immigrant, who by all accounts does not speak English.
It gets worse. When Telemundo interviewed the mother, she defended Fuentes saying that the media had lied about him. When the abortion initially occurred, Fuentes was listed as a minor, in an apparent attempt to prevent prosecution for child rape.
In the overheated imaginations of America’s liberal Zoom class, the various peoples of the world are all the same. Given enough resources, everyone will become urbane, feminized, and homosexual—just like they are! Mass immigration will lead to the birth of a new, diverse, rainbow coalition country teeming with “people of color” and authentic ethnic cuisine like New York’s bodega burritos.
Reality is a tad harsher. Attitudes toward child and female sexuality in Latin America, for instance, are not nearly as enlightened as liberals would like to imagine. The organization Girls Not Brides reports that Guatemala has one of the highest rates of “Child, Early and Forced Marriage and Unions” in Latin America—with 1 in 3 girls entering into a union before the age of 18—often to partners who are significantly older.
Guatemalan health authorities reported that in 2020 more than 1,000 births in the country occurred in girls between the ages of 10 and 14. Rural communities made up of indigenous Mayan people groups report the highest rates of such young marriages or unions.
And it is precisely these groups—impoverished, uneducated, low-wage laborers—who flock to America. This is perfect for our ruling class. Big businesses need cheap serfs for servile low-skill labor, the Democratic Party needs a constituency to weaponize against the white middle class, and liberals need objects of pity. Win-win-win!
If a few million women and girls are trafficked and raped in the process, well, that’s just part and parcel of life in the 21st-century global economy. Better to import rapists than be called racist!
If our rulers really wanted to reduce the number of 10-year-olds needing abortions they’d build the wall and crackdown on immigration. If the Guatemalan pedophiles can’t get here in the first place, then they can’t rape anyone. And if they can’t rape girls then those girls won’t need abortions.
Abortion doesn’t solve rape. It doesn’t undo the crime. Killing the child created as a byproduct of violence doesn’t lessen the trauma to the mother. Oftentimes, it makes it worse.
I know a young woman who was raped by an adult authority figure when she was 13. Her mother forced the girl to get an abortion, telling her that the child in her womb was “just a clump of cells.” Years later, the victim researched the abortion procedure she had undergone. She was horrified. She became extremely angry at her own mother and was filled with longing for the child that had been taken from her. Far from easing the pain of her sexual assault, the abortion made it worse. In her case, nonconsensual sexual abuse had been succeeded by yet more nonconsensual bodily violation.
Liberals latch onto the cases of child rape in the abortion debate as a wedge to support abortion everywhere for everyone. It’s why CNN host Dana Bash pressed South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem about the Ohio case live on air. But zeroing in on such a devastating and difficult case is an absurd way to think about lawmaking. Abortion advocates press pro-lifers with difficult questions about extreme cases like these as “gotcha” logic traps.
But two can play that game. One can always come up with radical thought experiments that reveal the limits of general rules and moral prohibitions.
For instance: Would you commit adultery if it meant keeping your family out of devastating poverty? Would you eat human flesh if the only other option were starvation? Would you murder a million people to save a billion lives?
These thought experiments pose difficulties that do not easily admit principled responses. But they also don’t help us think through the decisions we face in our actual daily lives. They don’t help us live. Instead, they serve as a means to weaken our moral commitments. What good is it to sit around thinking up justifications for cannibalism, adultery, rape, and murder? How is that good for us.
Good legislators recognize this problem. They do everything in their power to craft policies that make hard cases of extreme necessity rare and unlikely. They focus their aim and thought on general cases and rules that help ordinary people live good lives.
The vast majority of women in America who got abortions under Roe v. Wade were not the victims of rape or incest. They weren’t minors. Their lives were not in real danger from pregnancy.
Moral equivocations between a 10-year-old rape victim and a 26-year-old marketing manager who forgot to make her one night stand wear a condom are absurd. The latter, in the abortion debate, is orders of magnitude more common than the former.
On the general scale, abortion introduces all kinds of problems. Legal abortion in America weakened the family, promoted sexual license, and encouraged mothers to view their children as disposable burdens. These attitudes have done enormous damage. The chaos of modern family life in America is evidence enough of the evils of the sexual revolution.
That’s how serious people think about politics—by focusing on the most common effects of a given policy. Pondering radical thought experiments is for college sophomores in dorm rooms, not adults making real decisions.
If our leaders really wanted to get serious about child rape, they would focus on stopping rapes from happening in the first place. Strong borders and effective enforcement of the laws are the first place to start.
But, for that, we need serious rulers. We don’t have them.