Ohio attorney general revisits comments on girl’s abortion

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio’s attorney general says he laments the pain that ensued after he suggested in a nationally televised interview that an account of a 10-year-old rape victim who sought an abortion in Indiana might have been a fabrication.

In a year-end interview last week with The Associated Press, Republican Attorney General Dave Yost maintained that his comments pertained to “ a one-source newspaper story ” and not “a crime report or crime victim, because that didn’t exist to the best of anyone’s knowledge at the time that I spoke.”

“But as I’m looking back here with some distance, I realize that what I said was not what people heard, and what people heard created a lot of pain — and I regret that deeply,” Yost said Wednesday. “Now, I’m delighted that that guy is in the dock and her rapist looks like he’s headed for a well-deserved life sentence in prison, where he belongs. But I’ve got nothing in my heart but compassion and grief for what that little girl went through.”

What Yost said in a July 11 Fox News interview was that he hadn’t heard a “whisper” about such a case from the law enforcement agencies he oversees as Ohio’s top cop. He went on to say, “This young girl, if she exists and if this horrible thing happened to her — it breaks my heart to think about it — she did not have to leave Ohio to find treatment.”

Police arrested a man two days later on charges of raping the girl.

Yost and other Ohio Republicans were at the time defending upheaval surrounding reinstatement of Ohio’s restrictive 2019 near-ban on abortions after the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. President Joe Biden had highlighted the 10-year-old’s case that

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