THOMAS: Extreme Cases & Bad Law


By Cal Thomas

Ever since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last month, pro-choice activists and their media allies have been on a campaign to influence public opinion that the decision was a mistake.

They apparently believed they had discovered an ideal case when the Indianapolis Star reported that a 10-year-old rape victim who lives in Ohio had gone to Indiana for an abortion because Ohio's new abortion restrictions wouldn't allow her to have one there. Like many other rush-to-judgment stories, this was untrue as there is a medical emergency exception in Ohio, though the state law is unclear, and it's uncertain how it would even have been applied in this case.

No one could initially confirm the accuracy of the rape story. There was no police report and Ohio's attorney general said he had heard nothing. Though Columbus police did receive a report on the rape from a local children's services department in late June, no Ohio hospital reported treating the girl.  Even Washington Post fact-checker Glenn Kessler said he was skeptical about the case.

When details emerged proving the story true, there seemed to be less enthusiasm as to its usefulness to the pro-choice side. That's because, according to ICE, the alleged rapist, 27-year-old Gerson Fuentes of Guatemala, entered the country illegally.

There are many questions about this case reporters should be asking.

First among them is how did Fuentes get to Ohio? Was he brought to the state on one of the Biden administration's late-night flights that are distributing immigrants across the country?

Second, did Fuentes have a criminal record and was he a known sex offender?

Third, where did the alleged assaults occur? Police say Fuentes has admitted to raping the victim twice. If the rapes occurred in the girl's home, where was her mother? Did she fail to exercise parental oversight? Did the assaults occur on different days?

Fourth, did the girl tell her mother about either incident? If she did, why didn't her mother call the police and have Fuentes arrested? Police say she eventually called them. After the first assault, or the second? In a bizarre twist, the girl's mother has denied the charges against Fuentes, even though police say he confessed.

Fifth, was Fuentes living with the girl's mother as her boyfriend? If not, how did they meet? Where was the girl's father?

There is a legal maxim that says hard cases make for bad law. It means an extreme case, such as this one, is a "poor basis for a general law that would cover a wider range of less extreme cases. In other words, a general law is better drafted for the average circumstance."

The pro-choicers may be overreaching. Churches have been vandalized and burned. So have pregnancy help centers, which offer their services for free, unlike most abortion providers who charge a fee. A not-so-subtle anti-Catholicism has also been directed at Supreme Court justices who are Roman Catholic. Pro-lifers have countered by targeting abortion clinics and threatening the lives of abortion providers. Where will it end?

In their protests, pro-choicers don't address the reasoning behind the majority opinion. They simply claim the ruling was "unconstitutional," when the court ruled it was the original Roe decision that was unconstitutional.

No young girl - or grown woman - should be sexually assaulted. Those who are convicted of such a crime should suffer the strongest penalties, registered as sex offenders, or surgically altered so they are incapable of ever committing this crime again.

The 10-year-old girl deserves compassion, counseling and help in overcoming this double trauma. The authorities must answer the questions raised above and many other questions as more information about the case comes to light.  The results of their investigation should be released to the public. which now has what appears to be incomplete information behind this tragedy.
 
Columnist Cal Thomas by N/A is licensed under N/A
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