Republican Rep. Jim Jordan deleted a tweet on Wednesday in which he called the story of a 10-year-old Ohio girl receiving an abortion after being raped “another lie” following the arrest of a man in connection with the case.
“Another lie. Anyone surprised?” Jordan, an Ohio Republican, wrote on Twitter in a message on his official account that quoted a story about Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost’s office initially saying it had not found any evidence to support the rape charge.
The case received national attention and President Joe Biden mentioned it during a major speech about abortion policy in the wake of the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade.
While some news outlets initially had difficulty confirming the story, Yost, Jordan, and a host of conservative commentators questioned the account — some even claimed that it was simply made up.
On Wednesday, authorities charged Gershon Fuentes, 27, with rape, news that was first reported by The Columbus Post Dispatch. Law enforcement said that Fuentes admitted to raping the child on two occasions. DNA from the aborted fetus is also being tested to confirm if Fuentes forcibly impregnated the girl. The girl reportedly traveled to Indiana to receive the abortion at six weeks of pregnancy because of Ohio’s new abortion laws.
A spokesperson for Jordan declined to comment, but pointed to a new tweet in which the lawmaker called for Fuentes to “be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. The deletion of the tweet was confirmed by ProPublica’s Politwoops, which archives politicians’ deleted tweets.
Yost celebrated the news of the arrest after previously going on Fox News to question the Indianapolis Star’s early reporting on the case.
“We rejoice anytime a child rapist is taken off the streets,” Yost told the Post Dispatch. He previously told Fox that there had not been a “whisper” about such a rape occurring.
The case received significant attention following Roe’s reversal and Ohio’s ban on nearly all abortions after roughly six weeks of pregnancy went into effect. The Star was reporting on the growing number of Ohioians who were venturing across state lines to obtain abortions.
An eight-term congressman, Jordan is the top Republican on the powerful House Judiciary Committee. If Republicans retake the chamber in November, he is in line to chair a powerful panel.