It was sad to see the glee with which pro-choice advocates welcomed the news that the ten-year-old Ohio rape victim was real. Surprisingly she lacks a nom de guerre yet, something like Victim Zero, Baby Doe or Child Jane. She went from victim to martyr to symbol within a news cycle or two. The story just received new life as Indiana, where the abortion was performed, has since voted to ban most abortions.

We know now an illegal alien who should never have been in the United States (his status is never to be talked about...

It was sad to see the glee with which pro-choice advocates welcomed the news that the ten-year-old Ohio rape victim was real. Surprisingly she lacks a nom de guerre yet, something like Victim Zero, Baby Doe or Child Jane. She went from victim to martyr to symbol within a news cycle or two. The story just received new life as Indiana, where the abortion was performed, has since voted to ban most abortions.

We know now an illegal alien who should never have been in the United States (his status is never to be talked about again of course as it’s outside the narrative) twice raped the ten-year-old. He had been cohabitating with the child’s mother, pregnant with his child, who defended him (never to be talked about again of course as it’s outside the narrative) as innocent even after an alleged confession. The child ended up at a local Columbus physician right around the time the Supreme Court overthrew Roe. That’s when the exploitation of the child really began.

The local doctor never challenged Ohio’s “health of the mother” abortion exception, choosing instead to pass the case to an Indiana colleague whose first duty was not do no harm, but report to the media. It is clear alerting the media that the Perfect Case had arrived by stork on her doorstep was a priority. Never mind privacy (the core of Roe v. Wade, ironically). Never mind outing the victim would eventually lead to exposing her identity as the press went about their ghoulish work. What was important was to call attention to Ohio’s strict six-week heartbeat limit on abortions (the initial physician near-magically predicted the victim was six week and three days pregnant), just as Ohio codified its post-Roe laws, and draw attention to the issues of cross-state border procedures.

The victim became a political football kicked back and forth. No coincidence this case broke into the public eye just as Indiana lawmakers were poised to further restrict or ban abortion. The Indiana General Assembly convened in a special session to discuss restrictions, voting to ban most abortions.

Alongside the obvious question of why no one challenged Ohio’s “health of the mother” exception — a ten-year-old body would never be able to carry a baby to term safely — was the way the victim was used as an almost literary device to conjure up other post-Roe horrors. After Joe Biden mentioned the then-unconfirmed case in a speech, calls rang out for him to declare a public health emergency over abortion, a formal federal designation like a state of disaster that frees up additional funding as well as — more importantly — making headlines.

Even after Ohio’s Republican attorney general said the child victim would have been eligible for an abortion to save her health, the Washington Post argued maybe she would not have been, unwilling to let a good horror story pass and allow Ohio to appear properly concerned about just the type of case its law was written for. Baby Jane would be an example, the progressives said, but not that kind of example. A bad one, you know, one showing evil not compassion.

Confirming the theory, the New York Times stated the case was a “predictable result of an abortion ban” and devoted a full article to a victory lap scolding conservative media who initially doubted the veracity of Baby Jane’s case, concluding crudely “surely right-wingers, who love to accuse their enemies of pedophilia, understand that children are raped in America.”

Not discussed: just one percent of abortions are the result of rape, and less than half a percent of incest. Another survey suggests the actual numbers were 0.3 percent in cases of rape, and 0.03 percent in cases of incest. Even with underreporting, exceptions truly are just that, though you would not know it given the media surrounding the current case. The proof is the 99:1 ratio of stories about the abortion, not the rape, in Baby Jane’s case. And ectopic pregnancies, which account for between one and two percent of pregnancies and are never viable, are legally abortable in all states. Meanwhile, despite the noise about extending abortion limits, nearly half of abortions happen in the first six weeks of pregnancy, and nearly all in the first trimester. How much, really, changes post-Roe?

But as is required these days, tragedy must morph into absurdity, and the most progressive commentators see the ten-year-old as a perfect excuse to warn that soon crossing a state border for abortion services was likely to become illegal — apart from the Constitution’s clear and unambiguous support for interstate commerce and movement, the House recently passing legislation affirming interstate travel for abortion, and no state has any such law on its books.

Of course no one from Ohio is arrested for gambling coming home from Vegas, either. Criminalizing activities done out of state, or preventing interstate travel, is basically prevented by the Constitution’s Privileges and Immunities Clause, which holds a citizen of one state is entitled to the privileges in another state, from which a right to travel to that other state is inferred.

There’s also Bigelow v. Virginia, which dealt directly with the issue of out-of-state abortion pre-Roe. The Supreme Court concluded, “a state does not acquire power or supervision over the affairs of another state merely because the welfare and health of its own citizens may be affected when they travel to that state… It may not, under the guise of exercising internal police powers, bar a citizen of another state from disseminating information about an activity that is legal in that state.” Nonetheless, the fear-mongering persists.

One NeverTrump commentator wrote, “this whole notion of preventing interstate travel for abortions idea is complete lunacy. How about Amtrak? Or airports? Before the train or plane leaves a red state…what? A bunch of state troopers get on board and yell ‘PAPERS, PLEASE,’ and then look for baby bumps?” A blue-check on Twitter added, “Or they could just say women can’t travel at all…” Others chimed in, “I drove from Ohio to Illinois alone yesterday. A trip I’ve made 100s of times. But yesterday I thought, ‘I’m afraid I wont always be able to do this. What if the police stop me thinking I’m looking for an abortion since they’re illegal in my state?’” and, “Belly fat might get you questioned? Detained? Tested? Sniffed?”

Why stop there when it is possible to build whole arguments out of quotes from a work of fiction (or is it..?): The Handmaid’s Tale. A near-decade after Snowden, someone is shocked to just realize, “Retailers are already able to identify pregnant women by what they look at online. Once a woman is flagged as pregnant, her whereabouts can be tracked by Google. If she starts heading for the state line the highway patrol can be notified.” But Team Progressive can fight back. One Hero of the Resistance writes, “As a post menopausal woman, I can search for pregnancy related stuff every day and muddy up their data. Men can do it too.”

Don’t laugh. The Guardian reports, “Many American women in recent days have deleted period tracking apps from their cellphones, amid fears the data collected by the apps could be used against them in future criminal cases in states where abortion has become illegal.” Planned Parenthood created a period tracker which only stores data locally, on the phone, where it is easily deleted, as an impediment to law enforcement seeking out persons of the future who can get pregnant.

The pattern is clear, that fear and paranoia will drive the discussion, not rational thinking. This could not come at a worse time for pro-choice advocates, just as many states are beginning the debate over their post-Roe abortion laws.

Rather than base changes on carefully thought-out arguments, the arguments will be crazy all-or-nothing screeds, science fiction fears, and exploitative cases dressed up as the new norm for others to grimace sadly at and dismiss. Fears about period trackers and state lines have no more credibility than demonstrators massing around Supreme Court justices’ homes in hopes of harassing them into compliance with the mob, or AOC on TV screaming people are going to die, or those collecting a million signatures thinking it will cause Justice Thomas to be impeached.