lawyers for the The Indiana doctor who performed an abortion on a 10-year-old out-of-state rape victim has issued an angry cease-and-desist warning against the Republican attorney general who launched an investigation against the doctor.
Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita’s derisive and baseless attacks on Dr. Caitlin Bernard are absolutely “false and defamatory” and risk inciting “harassment and violence” which could prevent Bernard from providing safe care to his patients, says the letter sent Friday. Rokita’s action “forms the basis of an actionable defamation claim,” the letter warned.
Bernard performed the drug-induced abortion on the girl last month after a colleague from Ohio, a doctor who specializes in detecting child abuse, contacted her when he discovered the girl was just over six weeks pregnant and could no longer abort. Ohio home state.
Rokita baselessly ridiculed Bernard on Fox News as an “abortion activist” this week and informed Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb in a letter Wednesday that he was launching an investigation into Bernard’s activities. He suggested, without evidence, that the doctor failed to report the sexual assault and abortion, as required by law.
In a statement Thursday, Rokita threatened Bernard’s medical leave, saying failure to report is a “crime” and that he will not “give in the search for the truth.”
He expressed no sympathy for the boy.
According to records in Indiana, Bernard filed the required report on July 2 and did not violate the victim’s privacy, according to a statement from Indiana University Health.
The records were obtained by the Indianapolis Star Tribune and other media outlets, but Rokita continued to question whether Bernard had broken the law, the cease-and-desist letter noted.
Rokita’s office told Politico that the cease-and-desist letter would be reviewed “like any correspondence,” claiming, however, that “no false or misleading statements have been made.”
The case of the 10-year-old rape victim forced to travel out of state for an abortion has sparked a lot of controversy in the wake of the Supreme Court’s ruling last month tossing out Roe v. Wade and 50 years of abortion rights.
Conservatives, including Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), called the girl’s heartbreaking situation a fabrication, until Columbus police announced the arrest of an Ohio man accused of the rape. (Jordan quickly deleted the tweet of him mocking the “lies” about the report.)
Jordan and Rokita then turned to the issue of illegal immigration because the alleged rapist is reportedly an undocumented migrant. Like Rokita, Jordan expressed no sympathy or concern for the rape victim.
A prominent anti-abortion lawyer said Thursday that the 10-year-old girl should have been forced to carry the baby to term.
Jim Bopp, general counsel for the anti-abortion group National Right to Life, which crafted model state anti-abortion laws, told Politico: “She would have had the baby, and so many women who have had babies as a result of rape, we expected that she understood the reason and, ultimately, the benefit of having the child.”