Hours after a man was charged with raping a 10-year-old Ohio girl, Republican Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita falsely and recklessly suggested that the Indianapolis doctor who performed an abortion for the child did not make a report required by law.
Now, Rokita may have to answer for his lies about Dr. Caitlin Bernard, an obstetrician-gynecologist in Indianapolis,
The terminated pregnancy report shows that Bernard reported the abortion on July 2, two days after the abortion was performed and within the three days required for terminations to be reported to the Department of Child Service and the Indiana Department of Health.
In the report, Bernard indicated that the child suffered abuse.
Police were alerted to the rape through a referral from Franklin County Children Services made by the girl’s mother on June 22, two days before Ohio’s law prohibiting abortion went into effect, and Dr. Caitlin Bernard, an obstetrician-gynecologist in Indianapolis, terminated the child’s pregnancy in Indiana on June 30.
“We’re gathering the evidence as we speak, and we’re going to fight this to the end — including looking at her licensure, if she failed to report,” Rokita told Fox News’s Jesse Watters, who suggested the doctor could face “a criminal charge”
Rokita sent a letter almost two weeks after the report was filed telling Republican Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb that his office had requested, but not received, documentation from state agencies that the girl’s abortion had been properly reported by the obstetrician-gynecologist.
Citing records that show Bernard did report the minor’s abortion to the relevant state agencies before the legally mandated deadline, the doctor’s attorney, Kathleen DeLaney, said she is “considering legal action against those who have smeared [her], including Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita.”
“My client, Dr. Caitlin Bernard, took every appropriate and proper action in accordance with the law and both her medical and ethical training as a physician,” said DeLaney. “She followed all relevant policies, procedures, and regulations in this case, just as she does every day to provide the best possible care for her patients.”
Bernard publically shared the story of the 10-year-old rape victim’s abortion in an interview with the Indianapolis Star earlier this month. The 10-year-old girl had been impregnated when she was raped by a 27-year-old in Ohio and traveled to Indiana to get an abortion due to Ohio banning abortions after six weeks following the U.S. Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade.
The story of the 10-year-old gained national attention with some news outlets and politicians even expressing doubt that the story was true. Republican Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost was among those who questioned the validity of the story on Fox News. Rep. Jim Jordan, a Republican of Ohio, called the story a “lie” in a now-deleted Tweet.
On Wednesday, the story was confirmed when a 27-year-old was arrested for the rape and confessed to the crime.
Indiana law requires that all terminated pregnancies in the state be reported to the Indiana Department of Health’s(IDOH) Division of Vital Records within 30 days of the abortion.
Indiana University Health conducted an investigation that determined Dr. Bernard complied with privacy laws.
“As part of IU Health’s commitment to patient privacy and compliance with privacy laws, IU Health routinely initiates reviews, including the matters in the news concerning Dr. Caitlin Bernard,” said a statement issued by Indiana University Health. “Pursuant to its policy, IU Health conducted an investigation with the full cooperation of Dr. Bernard and other IU Health team members. IU Health’s investigation found Dr. Bernard in compliance with privacy laws.”
“Attorney General Todd Rokita is looking to sue a doctor for saving a young girl’s life,” said Indiana Democratic Party. “The Indiana Republican Party believes rape survivors – including minors – should be forced to give birth to their rapist’s baby. Their agenda is dangerous and too extreme for Indiana.”
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