Doctor who performed abortion on 10-year-old girl drops lawsuit against Indiana AG

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — An Indiana doctor has dropped a lawsuit seeking to block the state attorney general from investigating her after she aborted a 10-year-old Ohio child who was violated.

Indianapolis attorneys for Dr. Caitlin Bernard voluntarily dismissed a lawsuit filed last month against Republican Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita, according to documents filed Thursday. The lawsuit argued that Rokita’s office improperly justified the investigation with “frivolous” consumer complaints submitted by people with no personal knowledge of the girl’s treatment.

Marion County Judge Heather Welch ruled Rokita can continue to investigate Bernard, a decision that came two days after the attorney general asked the state medical licensing board to discipline the doctor. Rokita alleged that Bernard violated state law by not reporting the girl’s abuse to Indiana authorities and violated patient privacy laws by telling an Indianapolis Star reporter about the girl’s treatment. young lady.

But Welch also ruled Dec. 2 that Rokita wrongly made public comments about the Bernard investigation before filing the complaint with the medical board. The judge wrote that Rokita’s statements “are clearly unlawful violations of the Licensing Investigations Act’s requirement that employees of the Attorney General’s Office maintain confidentiality about ongoing investigations until ‘they be referred to prosecution’.

After the newspaper cited the case in a July 1 story about patients traveling to Indiana for abortions due to more restrictive laws elsewhere, Rokita told Fox News he would investigate Bernard’s actions, calling her an “abortion activist acting as a doctor”.

Bernard’s attorney, Kathleen DeLaney, argued the girl’s abuse was reported to Ohio police and child protective services officials before the doctor saw the child. A 27-year-old man has been charged in Columbus, Ohio with raping the girl. Public records obtained by The Associated Press also show that Bernard met the three-day reporting period required by Indiana for an abortion performed on a patient under the age of 16.

DeLaney also said in a statement Thursday that their focus has shifted to the licensing board complaint and that they will continue to “defend Dr. Bernard and his medical license against Rokita’s baseless attacks.”

“Rokita’s actions have set a dangerous precedent jeopardizing the provision of lawful patient care and jeopardizing the confidentiality of patient medical records,” DeLaney said. “And Rokita continues to take these actions at taxpayer expense.”

Rokita’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Thursday.

Arleigh Rodgers is a member of the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places reporters in local newsrooms to report on underreported issues. Follow Arleigh Rodgers on Twitter at https://twitter.com/arleighrodgers




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