The mother of a 10-year-old Ohio girl was crossed state lines to obtain an abortion is now defending her daughter's alleged 27-year-old rapist, the New York Post reports.
The mother spoke to Telemundo behind the slightly opened door of her apartment, where the alleged rapist Gerson Fuentes also lives. He is an immigrant from Guatemala who is living in the country illegally.
“She’s my daughter,” said the mom, who refused to give her name. “She’s fine. Everything that they’re saying against [Fuentes] is a lie." The mother went on to insist that she was not the one to file charges against Fuentes.
\u201cWATCH: The mother of the Ohio 10/y rape victim tells Telemundo's @MariaVargasPion that the child "is fine", and "everything they say about (Gerson Flores) is a lie."\u201d— Jorge Bonilla (@Jorge Bonilla) 1657821883
The girl's ordeal of travelling to neighboring Indiana for the medical procedure was highlighted by President Joe Biden recently as he signed legislation aimed at helping women seeking abortions.
A trigger law banning all abortions after six weeks, with no exceptions for rape or incest, came into force in Ohio last month after the nation's high court ended decades of constitutional protection for the right to end a pregnancy.
The shocking case was questioned by conservative-leaning media outlets and Ohio's attorney general, who cast doubt on the story's veracity.
But Columbus, Ohio police detective Jeffrey Huhn testified in court early Wednesday that the unidentified girl underwent an abortion in Indianapolis on June 30, the Columbus Dispatch reported.
In her official filing to the Indiana Department of Health, the doctor who performed the girl's abortion, Dr. Caitlin Bernard, listed the alleged rapist's age as 17. It's not known if Fuentes was identified by name in the filing. Bernard first mentioned the case in an interview with Indy Star on July 1.
The doctor’s attorney, Kathleen DeLaney, insisted that Bernard “took every appropriate and proper action in accordance with the law and both her medical and ethical training as a physician.”
“She followed all relevant policies, procedures and regulations in this case, just as she does every day to provide the best possible care for her patients,” she told Fox News.
Fuentes is being held on $2 million bond after being charged with felony rape of a minor under 13 years old.
Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost, a Republican, strongly suggested to Fox News late Monday that the case was a fabrication, and there was "not a whisper" of evidence to back up the claims that a 10-year-old rape victim had left Ohio to have an abortion.
On Wednesday he reversed course, saying in a statement after the arrest that he praised the Columbus Police Department for "securing a confession and getting a rapist off the street."
Thirteen states have already passed trigger laws to ban abortion, in some states even in the case of rape or incest.
Biden, a Democrat and staunch Catholic turned abortion rights proponent, has not contained his anger, calling the abortion bans in the case of rape or incest "extreme."
A majority of Americans -- 56 percent, according to an NPR/Marist poll -- oppose the overturning of Roe v Wade.
With additional reporting by AFP