Indiana doctor who performed abortion for 10-year-old rape victim may sue
Indianapolis, Indiana - The doctor at the center of a national firestorm about abortion has taken the first steps to sue the Indiana attorney general who accused her of failing to report the procedure.
Dr. Caitlin Bernard performed an abortion on a 10-year-old girl who had been raped and impregnated after helping her travel from Ohio, where the procedure was banned, to Indiana, the beginning of a contentious back-and-forth between political parties about the rights of a rape victim.
The abortion, reported by the Indianapolis Star, came just weeks after Roe v. Wade was overturned, leaving behind a powder keg of discourse. Conservatives initially accused Bernard of lying and then, after a suspect was arrested, of failing to follow protocol.
"We have this abortion activist acting as a doctor with a history of failing to report," Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita told Fox News last week.
"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 it in Indiana, it’s a crime for – to not report, to intentionally not report."
Health records show doctor reported correctly
Health records obtained by the Star confirmed that Bernard reported the abortion to both the Indiana Department of Health and the Department of Child Services within the required time frame, as well as noted that the girl had been abused.
"Mr. Rokita either knew the statements were false or acted with reckless disregard of the truth or falsity of the statements," reads the tort claim filed Tuesday. "Given the current political atmosphere in the United States, Mr. Rokita’s comments were intended to heighten public condemnation of Dr. Bernard, who legally provided legitimate medical care."
The tort claim notice, which seeks unspecified damages for security costs, legal fees, reputational harm and emotional distress, sets a 90-day clock for Rokita to either investigate or settle, after which Bernard can sue.
A spokesperson for the attorney general’s office did not immediately return a request for comment from the New York Daily News Tuesday.
Cover photo: REUTERS