July 12, 2024


Equality opinion

Doctor May Sue Indiana AG Over Rape Victim Abortion Claims on Fox: Lawyer

  • A doctor who provided a 10-year-old rape victim with an abortion became a focus of GOP attacks. 
  • The doctor’s attorney said she might sue Indiana attorney general Todd Rokita over a Fox interview.
  • Rokita suggested she broke rules on reporting the procedure to state officials. She did not.

The doctor who performed an abortion on a 10-year-old Ohio girl who was raped may sue Indiana’s attorney general for questioning whether broke state laws, her attorney said. 

In a Fox News interview on Thursday, Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita, a Republican, suggested that the doctor, Caitlin Bernard, may not have complied with state laws requiring doctors to report each abortion.

The case of the 10-year-old gained huge attention in the wake of the Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v. Wade.

The ruling brought into effect a ban on abortions in Ohio after six weeks, prompting her to travel to Indiana.

Under Indiana’s rules, abortion is permitted in the first 22 weeks of pregnancy. Procedures involving rape victims must be reported to state authorities within a strict three-day timeframe.

The state is moving to introduce more laws restricting access to abortion. 

After Rokita suggested Bernard may have broke the rules, The Washington Post obtained evidence that she had in fact made a correct referral.

The doctor’s attorney, Kathleen DeLaney, said in a statement to the Post said that Bernard was “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,” DeLaney said.

“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.”

In a statement to Insider, Kelly R. Stevenson, a spokesperson for the Indiana attorney general, said the office was continuing to collect evidence on the allegations. 

“As we stated, we are gathering evidence from multiple sources and agencies related to these allegations. Our legal review of it remains open,” said Stevenson. 

Bernard brought the girl’s story to attention by telling the Indianapolis Star newspaper about it, and the story was cited by President Joe Biden.

Conservative lawmakers and media outlets poured scorn on the story, claiming it was likely to be false and attacking media outlets who reported it only on Bernard’s say-so.

But on Wednesday corroboration arrived when The Columbus Dispatch reported that police had charged a man, Gerson Fuentes, with raping the child.

The new information prompted The Wall Street Journal to issue a correction to an editorial disputing the story, and Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan to delete without explanation a tweet saying the story was untrue.