The Indiana doctor who performed an abortion for a 10-year-old girl who crossed state lines after being raped is now being investigated by the state’s attorney general, the AG’s office confirmed Wednesday.
“As the Attorney General, I’m duty-bound to investigate issues brought to my attention over which I have authority, especially when they involve children,” Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita told the Daily News in a statement through his office.
“And as I said originally, we will see this duty through to verify that all of the relevant reporting and privacy laws were followed by all relevant parties.”
Dr. Caitlin Bernard’s attorney, Kathleen DeLaney, did not immediately return a request for comment from the Daily News Wednesday but told the Washington Post that they are “in the process of reviewing this information.”
Bernard, an Indiana-based obstetrician/gynecologist, helped the girl get to an Indianapolis clinic from Ohio, which had recently banned almost all abortions after six weeks. She was six weeks and three days pregnant.
Coming amid the firestorm of the Roe v. Wade overturning, conservatives accused Bernard of lying and making up the patient to make a point. After 27-year-old Gerson Fuentes was arrested and charged with the girl’s rape, critics, including Rokita, pivoted and accused Bernard of failing to follow proper protocols for reporting the rape and abortion.
“We have this abortion activist acting as a doctor with a history of failing to report,” Rokita told Fox News. “We’re gathering the evidence as we speak, and we’re going to fight this to the end, including looking at her licensure. If she failed to report it in Indiana, it’s a crime for — to not report, to intentionally not report.”
Bernard reported the abortion to both the Indiana Department of Health and the Department of Child Services within the required time frame, and the girl had been abused, according to health records.
“Mr. Rokita either knew the statements were false or acted with reckless disregard of the truth or falsity of the statements,” Bernard’s lawyer wrote earlier this month in a tort claim, the first step to a possible defamation lawsuit.
“Given the current political atmosphere in the United States, Mr. Rokita’s comments were intended to heighten public condemnation of Dr. Bernard, who legally provided legitimate medical care.”
Despite the threat of a lawsuit, Rokita continued attacking Bernard Wednesday.
“The baseless defamation claim and other accusations are really just attempts to distract, intimidate and obstruct my office’s monumental progress to save lives. It will take a lot more than that to intimidate us. The doctor alone brought this case to the press,” he told The News in a statement.
“She used a 10-year-old girl — a child rape victim’s personal trauma — to push her political ideology. She was aided and abetted by a fake news media who conveniently misquoted my words to try to give abortionists and their readership numbers an extra boost. My heart breaks for this little girl.”
Story by Kate Feldman, New York Daily News