Indiana's attorney general wants a state board to discipline a doctor who provided abortion services to a 10-year-old. Her attorney says it's to 'intimidate' providers
By Kiely Westhoff, CNNUpdated: Thu, 01 Dec 2022 15:35:09 GMTSource: CNNIndiana's attorney general is asking the state medical licensing board to discipline an Indianapolis doctor who provided aboBy Kiely Westhoff, CNN
Updated: Thu, 01 Dec 2022 15:35:09 GMT
Indiana's attorney general is asking the state medical licensing board to discipline an Indianapolis doctor who provided abortion services to a 10-year-old girl -- a move the physician's attorney has called an effort to "intimidate" abortion providers.
Attorney General Todd Rokita in a complaint filed Wednesday alleges that Dr. Caitlin Bernard violated federal and Indiana law related to patient privacy and the reporting of child abuse, according to the complaint.
"Dr. Bernard violated the law, her patient's trust, and the standards for the medical profession when she disclosed her patient's abuse, medical issues, and medical treatment to a reporter at an abortion rights rally to further her political agenda," Rokita said in a statement.
The complaint also claimed that Bernard became "unfit" to practice by not staying "abreast of current professional theory or practice."
The complaint asked the licensing board to impose "appropriate disciplinary action," but did not request a specific penalty.
Bernard's attorney, Kathleen Delancey, in a statement Wednesday called Rokita's filing a "last-ditch effort to intimidate" her and other abortion providers.
"Though I am disappointed he has put my client in this position, we are not surprised given Mr. Rokita's consistent efforts to use his office to seek to punish those with whom he disagrees at the expense of Indiana taxpayers," Delancey added.
Bernard, an obstetrician-gynecologist, provided abortion services in Indiana to a 10-year-old Ohio rape victim in late June, Bernard previously told CNN.
Ohio banned abortion as early as six weeks of gestation following the Supreme Court ruling, and the girl was six weeks and three days into the pregnancy, Bernard said.
In July, the attorney general announced an investigation into Bernard's potential failure to report the abortion and child abuse.
Bernard sued the official several months later, alleging his office used illegitimate consumer complaints to seek patient records and pursue the probe, CNN previously reported.
"These improper investigations unfairly burden plaintiffs in numerous ways, threatening not only their livelihoods but also the availability of the essential services they provide to their patients," the lawsuit reads.
Indiana Department of Health documents obtained by CNN show that Bernard reported the procedure two days after it was completed.
Bernard's employer, Indiana University Health, concluded she was "in compliance with privacy laws.