Doctor Tied to Ohio Girl's Abortion Gets Notice From AG

Dr. Caitlin Bernard was informed Tuesday that she is under investigation
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 27, 2022 11:08 AM CDT
Abortion Doctor Questions Authority of AG Scrutinizing Her
Dr. Caitlin Bernard, a reproductive healthcare provider, speaks during an abortion rights rally on June 25, 2022, at the Indiana Statehouse in Indianapolis.   (Jenna Watson/The Indianapolis Star via AP)

The Indiana doctor who helped a 10-year-old rape victim from Ohio abort her pregnancy has received official notice that she is under investigation by Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita. The notice arrived Tuesday, Dr. Caitlin Bernard's lawyer tells CNN and CBS News. "It's unclear to us what is the nature of the investigation and what authority he has to investigate Dr. Bernard," Kathleen DeLaney says. Rokita previously said he would investigate whether Bernard broke any law, such as in failing to report the June 30 procedure or the sexual assault that triggered the pregnancy, or in speaking publicly about the case.

However, documents show Bernard reported the abortion to the Indiana Department of Health within the required timeframe. (The Indiana Department of Child Services has not confirmed whether it also received a report, per CNN.) Columbus police have confirmed they were made aware of the case on June 22. And as CNN reports, Indiana University Health, where Bernard practices, conducted a review and found the doctor to be in compliance with privacy laws. Bernard recently indicated she would sue Rokita for defamation, accusing him of making false statements about her. He claimed she had "a history of failing to report," though the complaints WTHR received after requesting related records from the AG's office didn't name Bernard.

The official notice of investigation arrived on the same day Bernard gave her first TV interview about the case, in which she said she'd felt threatened. But "I'm not the only provider who has taken care of young children needing abortion care," she told CBS Evening News. She added people are coming to realize "the real-life implications" of restricting access to "a needed, life-saving procedure." "We're hearing stories all across the country of people who are in dire circumstances … and are needing abortion care and not able to get it," she said. "That's why we, as physicians, need to be able to provide that care unhindered." (Read more abortion stories.)

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