The Indiana Doctor who performed an abortion last month on a 10-year-old Ohio rape victim who couldn’t legally obtain one in her home state was once the subject of a vicious kidnapping threat against her daughter, The Guardian reported on Friday.
Dr. Caitlin Bernard was also listed, and continues to appear, on the ominous website list of a militant anti-abortion group in South Bend, Indiana, called Right To Life Michiana, which has ties to Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett.
Bernard testified in a court case last year that she was forced to stop performing abortions at a clinic in South Bend after the FBI alerted the local Planned Parenthood office that a kidnapping threat had been made against Bernard’s daughter. Bernard, according to The Guardian.
At the time, her name was listed among the abortion doctors targeted by the Michiana group, along with information about her place of employment. All the information is still on the site.
In 2006, Amy Coney Barrett signed a statement published in an advertisement for a group that would later merge with Michiana, saying that all signatories “uphold the right to life from fertilization to natural death,” according to The Guardian. She also called Roe v. Wade, who protected women’s right to abortion for 50 years, as “barbaric.”
Barrett would later become a US Supreme Court justice and join the conservative majority in throwing out last month’s landmark decision.
Bernard is now being harangued by Republican Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita, who has falsely claimed that he did not report the sexual assault and rape of the 10-year-old girl, which he did. Rokita was apparently unable to locate the report in his own state records, despite several media outlets doing so, before launching an investigation.
Bernard’s lawyers sent a cease and desist letter to Rokita, telling him to stop spreading lies about her or he will be sued for defamation.
Bernard’s spokeswoman, Kendra Barkoff Lamy, called the “personal and dangerous” threats against the doctor “devastating.”
“Sadly, Dr. Bernard is not alone, and this happens to doctors like her who perform abortions across the country,” she told The Guardian.
Bernard’s cease and desist letter to Rokita warned that his lying attacks also threatened to incite “harassment and violence” against her.
As of Saturday night, Rokita still hadn’t responded to Bernard’s letter. His office is reportedly “reviewing” it.
Both Rokita and Ohio Republican Rep. Jim Jordan initially derided the report of the girl’s rape and the fact that she was forced across state lines to get an abortion as lies, until a suspect was arrested this week. Jordan quickly deleted a dismissive tweet about the shocking case.
Neither has expressed sympathy for the rape victim.