The doctor who performed an abortion on a 10-year-old rape victim has seen more than $260,000 in donations on a fundraiser.
On Friday, abortion doctors from around the country spearheaded a GoFundMe campaign for Dr Caitlin Bernard, who has been attacked by the right for helping a child from Ohio receive an abortion last month. That 10-year-old was a victim of rape.
The 10-year-old’s alleged attacker, 27-year-old Gerson Fuentes, was arrested on Tuesday last week and was arraigned on charges of rape and impregnating a minor.
The charges confirmed earlier reports about the case, which had been dismissed by Republicans.
Since the Indiana University obstetrician-gynecologist made headlines for the case, she’s received an onslaught of backlash.
So-called “trigger laws” on abortion became law in Ohio after the conservative-supermajority Supreme Court shot down the constitutional right to abortion by overturning Roe v Wade in June.
The law, which bans abortions beyond the six week mark without expectations for cases of rape and incest, even with cases involving minors, meant the girl’s mother sought help from doctors in neighbouring Indiana.
Among those to attack Dr Bernard have included Indiana Republican Attorney General Todd Rokita, who told Fox News last week that she could be investigated for violating child abuse notification or abortion reporting laws.
According to the Associated Press, records show that Dr Bernard complied with a three-day deadline for reporting an abortion performed on someone younger than 16.
“Many of us have experienced this in our line of work, and the ability to rise to the call despite tragedy like this is truly commendable,” wrote the 19 obstetrics and gynaecology doctors on the GoFundMe titled “Abortion Providers Supporting Dr. Caitlin Bernard.”
“As a result of her doing her job, she (Dr Bernard) has come under intense scrutiny and needs urgent assistance, as well as security for her family. We are starting this GoFundMe to help her pay for these expenses and ask for your help in supporting her.”
As USA Today reported, healthcare provider Planned Parenthood for Great Northwest, Hawaii, Alaska, Indiana, Kentucky announced on Friday that it would also help Dr Bernard with funding for legal fees and security.
“We stand in solidarity with Dr Bernard and all providers who continue to deliver compassionate, essential care to patients, even in the face of attacks from anti-abortion extremists,” CEO Rebecca Gibron wrote in a statement.
Dr Bernard has since tweeted a note of thanks to those who have shown support in response: “Thank you for the outpouring of courageous support. It has been a difficult week, but my colleagues and I will continue to provide healthcare ethically, lovingly, and bravely each and every day”.