Ohio attorney general revisits comments on girl’s abortion

Dec 18, 2022, 10:25 PM | Updated: Dec 19, 2022, 1:35 pm
FILE - Republican Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost speaks during an election night watch party on No...

FILE - Republican Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost speaks during an election night watch party on Nov. 8, 2022, in Columbus, Ohio. In an interview with the Associated Press Wednesday, Dec. 14, Yost says he laments suffering he caused by suggesting in a nationally-televised interview that a 10-year-old rape victim from Ohio who had sought an abortion in Indiana might have been a fabrication. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete, File)

(AP Photo/Jay LaPrete, File)

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 Friday, at the signing of an executive order aimed at protecting access to abortion as restrictive state laws began to kick in.

Reelected last month to a second four-year term, Yost is set to become president of the National Attorneys General Association in January. He said he doesn’t see the era’s hyperpartisanship as a deterrent to Republican and Democratic attorneys general working together on important issues — as they have a history of doing on national opioid litigation, data privacy breaches and medical devices.

Yost also said that he doesn’t see it as alarming when attorneys general — who often are seen as less partisan than other offices, even if elected — from the same political party band together to use their offices to act on particular issues.

“Most of them are elected, and I think you typically see elected officers that reflect their constituencies,” he said. “It’s not surprising to me that, as we see increasing division and disagreements nationally with the citizens, that those arguments spill over into law and into attorneys general’s offices.”

Yost said he does not anticipate the national association wading into the debate over whether one state should sue another over its election results, or over other election-related issues sparking legal challenges across the nation.

“Remember, the Constitution provides original jurisdiction for one state to sue another, so the founders clearly thought that there would be times when states had conflicts with each other that had to be resolved by a national authority,” he said. “Now, that being said, it’s hard for me to imagine a realistic set of facts that would justify that kind of intervention in another state’s election results.”

Yost’s presidential initiative as head of the national attorneys general group will involve mustering attorney general resources and ideas across all 50 states to help military veterans, including with pro bono legal services. He said developing “new rules of the road” for Big Tech companies also appears to be a shared priority among the offices for the coming year.

____

Associated Press video journalist Patrick Orsagos contributed to this report.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

substation...
Associated Press

Puyallup man accused in substation vandalism is released from custody

A federal judge issued the order for Matthew Greenwood, 32, after renewed efforts by his attorney to get Greenwood into a drug-treatment facility.
19 hours ago
FILE - The sun dial near the Legislative Building is shown under cloudy skies, March 10, 2022, at t...
Associated Press

Democrats in Washington state choose Conrad as new leader

The Washington State Democratic Party has chosen Shasti Conrad, the former leader of King County Democrats, as its new chair.
19 hours ago
Hinman Glacier...
Associated Press

Washington’s Hinman Glacier gone after thousands of years

The largest glacier between the high peaks of Mount Rainier and Glacier Peak has melted away after a long battle with global warming.
19 hours ago
Pierce County substation...
Associated Press

Man accused in holiday substation vandalism released from custody

A man charged with vandalizing electrical substations over the holidays to cover a burglary was released from federal custody.
19 hours ago
This photo provided by Peter Phung shows Phung, left, and Ming Wei Ma at the American Chinese Sprin...
Associated Press

Ballroom shooting victims planned for night of fun, dancing

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Those killed by a gunman who opened fire at a Los Angeles-area dance hall are being remembered by friends and family for the zest for life that brought them out that night to celebrate the Lunar New Year. Eleven people were killed when a gunman opened fire on Saturday night at […]
19 hours ago
This photo provided by the Dallas Zoo shows an emperor tamarins that lives at the zoo. Two monkeys ...
Associated Press

2 monkeys taken from Dallas Zoo in latest suspicious event

DALLAS (AP) — Two monkeys were taken from the Dallas Zoo on Monday, police said, the latest in a string of odd incidents at the attraction being investigated — including fences being cut and the suspicious death of an endangered vulture in the past few weeks. No arrests have been made in any of the […]
19 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.
SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Ohio attorney general revisits comments on girl’s abortion