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An investigation into an Indiana doctor’s abortion of an Ohio child at age 10 is ongoing



Indianapolis, Indiana – A board in Indiana is scheduled to hear claims on Thursday that a doctor from Indianapolis should be disciplined after she made public comments about performing an abortion on a 10-year-old rape victim from the nearby state of Ohio.

The Republican attorney general of Indiana charged Dr. Caitlin Bernard with breaking state law by failing to notify Indiana authorities about the girl’s mistreatment before the Medical Licensing Board hearing. She is also charged with violating federal patient privacy regulations by disclosing information about the girl’s care to a newspaper reporter.

The girl’s rape was already under investigation by Ohio police, according to Bernard and her attorneys, who believe that the doctor obeyed Indiana’s laws on child abuse reporting. Additionally, according to Bernard’s attorneys, she didn’t provide any personal information about the girl that would have violated privacy regulations.

In a story published on July 1 that generated a political commotion across the country in the weeks following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade last June and implement an Ohio law that forbade abortions after six weeks of pregnancy, the Indianapolis Star mentioned the girl’s case. Before a 27-year-old man was accused of rape in Columbus, Ohio, some news organizations and Republican lawmakers wrongly claimed Bernard made up the incident.

Todd Rokita, the Indiana attorney general, demanded “appropriate disciplinary action” from the licensing board in his complaint, but he didn’t specify what kind of punishment he wanted.

After hearing what is anticipated to be several hours of testimony, the Indiana board, which consists of six doctors and one attorney appointed by Republican governor Eric Holcomb, could decide whether or not to issue any fines on Thursday. According to state law, the board has broad discretion and may issue warning letters, suspend, revoke, or put a doctor’s license on probation.

Last summer, as the girl’s case gained widespread attention, Rokita, a vehement opponent of abortion, declared he would look into Bernard’s behavior and referred to her as an “abortion activist posing as a doctor.”

“This case is about two things – and two things only – patient privacy and this doctor’s failure to protect this child,” he said in a statement this week.

A lawsuit against Ohio’s law that effectively outlawed abortion was filed, and it was put on hold for roughly two months.

Last October, Bernard made an unsuccessful attempt to obstruct Rokita’s probe, but an Indianapolis court found that Rokita had violated state confidentially regulations with his public remarks about looking into the doctor before bringing a medical licensure complaint against her.

The complaint against the doctor, according to Bernard’s attorney Kathleen DeLaney, is “baseless attacks” that were funded by government dollars.

“Rokita’s actions set a dangerous precedent imperiling the provision of lawful patient care,” DeLaney has said.


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