A pregnant 11-year-old rape victim by Roisin Ross

For my found poem, I chose an article about a new law in Ohio that wouldn’t allow abortion after the 6-week mark. Commonly labeled as a “heartbeat bill”, these types of abortion laws have been popping up all around the country recently. But the one in Ohio is especially restrictive because it doesn’t allow exceptions for victims of rape or incest.

The article talks about an 11-year old girl who was raped by a 26-year old man and became pregnant. Although the article gave no indication regarding the 11-year old’s choice about her pregnancy, it did delve into the fact that soon, other girls like her won’t have a choice.

I chose to cut out my words so I could have more flexibility with the words I could use and their placement. I made the word “choice” out of several other words in the article. I quoted “protect the most vulnerable” because it was part of a quote from the Ohio governor when he signed the bill into law. The most vulnerable he refers to are fetuses, and I counter him with the 11-year old being a vulnerable person. I sprinkle “Ohio” throughout the poem because although other states have very restrictive laws, this is all taking place in Ohio and it is especially restrictive. In lines 11 and 12, I chose to put “Ohio” in the same lines to transform them into commands, rather than just a reminder of it all being in Ohio.

I’ve done blackout poetry before, but I definitely prefer this method of cutting out the poem so I have more choice in what I say and where I say it.

3 Replies to “A pregnant 11-year-old rape victim by Roisin Ross”

  1. Hi Roisin,

    I agree if a girl is eleven and pregnant, she should have the right to get an abortion. An eleven year old is still in middle school. She is basically a child and she can’t raise herself. Honestly my cousin lives in Ohio and she got pregnant at sixteen and she wanted to keep the baby. It is common for teens in Ohio to get pregnant. It is tough because they do not graduate they do not have an education. They drop out of school and raise their child. My cousin is twenty and she never went to tenth grade it breaks my heart. I wish she could live her teenage life over again. If she got an abortion she would have the proper education and would have graduated high school. My family can relate to this.

    -Amanda Cook

  2. Hi Roisin,
    I loved your poem and thought it was very powerful. Many of the things that you mentioned in your artist’s statement had stuck out to me when I originally read the poem. I really liked how you flipped the idea of “the most vulnerable.” I also liked how you made the word choice out of letters from other words. Why did you do that? Did the article not specifically have the word choice? It was interesting and very much remind me of Zong! I also really enjoyed this method of poetry. In mine I blacked out some and other words I took out and rearranged. I think it was very interesting!

  3. Your poem was very powerful and I really enjoyed it honestly. My favorite part was the repetition of “Ohio” because it made the poem feel strong, at least in my opinion. This is a topic that I feel has been winding down in the news and popular media and it’s just disheartening. People are still trying to pass bills like this in other states all over the country. What’s even worse is that everyone could spend about like five minutes reading an article about this but the 11 year old has to live with her child the rest of her life. Overall, great poem and it really got me thinking!

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