Physician who handled 10-year-old rape sufferer sends Indiana AG stop and desist letter

The lawyer for a physician who offered abortion companies to a 10-year-old rape sufferer despatched Indiana Lawyer Normal Todd Rokita a cease-and-desist letter Friday demanding he cease making “false or deceptive statements” concerning the doctor.

The letter comes after a Fox Information interview Wednesday the place Rokita stated he was investigating Dr. Caitlin Bernard, who made worldwide headlines earlier this month when she instructed The Indianapolis Star that she handled a 10-year-old rape sufferer who couldn’t get an abortion in her residence state of Ohio due to a “fetal heartbeat“ regulation. The state regulation, which was enacted after the U.S. Supreme Courtroom overturned Roe v. Wade final month, outlaws abortions at across the sixth week of being pregnant. Bernard stated the woman was simply over six weeks pregnant.

Rokita stated within the interview he was “gathering the proof” in opposition to Bernard, “together with taking a look at her licensure” and whether or not “she did not report” the process in Indiana as a result of “it’s a criminal offense to not report, to deliberately not report.”

In her letter to Rokita, Bernard’s legal professional, Kathleen DeLaney, stated, “Please stop and desist from making false and deceptive statements about alleged misconduct by Dr. Bernard in her career, which represent defamation per se. Furthermore, to the extent that any assertion you make exceeds the final scope of your authority as Indiana’s Lawyer Normal, such a press release kinds the premise of an actionable defamation declare.”

Rokita repeated lots of his Fox Information remarks in a press release by means of his workplace on Thursday, when he additional questioned whether or not Bernard had violated well being privateness legal guidelines by disclosing the case’s existence to the newspaper.

In a press release earlier Friday, Bernard’s employer, Indiana College Well being, stated it had “performed an investigation with the complete cooperation of Dr. Bernard and different IU Well being workforce members” and “discovered Dr. Bernard in compliance with privateness legal guidelines.”

NBC Information obtained a Terminated Being pregnant Report from the Indiana Division of Well being displaying Bernard had reported the process throughout the required timeframe. A Washington Submit overview of state data additionally discovered no points with Bernard’s medical license.

In Friday’s letter, DeLaney stated: “Your false and defamatory statements to Fox Information on July 13, 2022, forged Dr. Bernard in a false mild and allege misconduct in her career. Even after the discharge of the TPR(Terminated Being pregnant Report) by means of public report requests, confirming that Dr. Bernard totally complied with all relevant reporting legal guidelines, your subsequent statements to native and nationwide information sources on July 14, 2022, additional forged Dr. Bernard in a false mild and mislead customers and sufferers.”

DeLaney additionally expressed concern that “given the controversial political context of the statements, such inflammatory accusations have the potential to incite harassment or violence from the general public.”

A spokesperson for AG’s workplace, Kelly Stevenson, stated of the letter, “Like every correspondence, it is going to be reviewed if and when it arrives. Regardless, no false or deceptive statements have been made.”

Sarah Fitzpatrick and Marin Scott contributed.