Dr. Caitlin Bernard, the obstetrician-gynecologist who provided a legal abortion to a 10-year-old rape victim in Indiana last month, is preparing to sue the state’s attorney general for defamation.
Bernard’s attorneys filed a claim notice Tuesday, saying Attorney General Todd Rokita owes her damages for security costs, legal fees, reputational harm and emotional distress after saying last week he plans to research her actions and falsely suggesting she did not report the abortion to state authorities.
“Mr. Rokita’s false and misleading statements about alleged misconduct by Dr. Bernard in her career constitute defamation per se. The statements have been and proceed to be published by or on behalf of Mr. Rokita and the Office of the Attorney General,” Bernard’s attorney Kathleen DeLaney said within the notice of claim.
The attorney general’s office didn’t immediately return a request for comment on the approaching legal motion.
Rokita first commented publicly on Bernard last week when he appeared on Fox News calling her an “abortion activist acting as a health care provider with a history of failing to report,” referencing an Indiana law that requires physicians to notify the state inside three days of performing an abortion on a patient under 16.
Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita’s comments “were intended to heighten public condemnation of Dr. Bernard, who legally provided legitimate medical care,” her lawyer said.
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“We’re gathering the evidence as we speak, and we’re going to fight this to the tip, including her licensure,” Rokita said.
Those comments got here around two weeks after the Indianapolis Star first reported on Bernard providing the abortion to the 10-year-old from Ohio, mentioning her experience in a story about patients traveling to Indiana for abortions from states that outlawed the procedure after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade last month.
Bernard took on the patient after a baby abuse doctor in Ohio, where abortion had been banned, contacted her in Indiana asking if she could provide the procedure there. She did, and contrary to Rokita’s, she filed the right notification with the state, media investigations confirmed. There may be also no disciplinary history on Bernard’s record, her lawyer stated.
“Given the present political atmosphere in america, Mr. Rokita’s comments were intended to heighten public condemnation of Dr. Bernard, who legally provided legitimate medical care,” Tuesday’s claim notice stated.
One in all Bernard’s colleagues spoke out in a Latest York Times column last week in regards to the danger she’s been put in, saying local police have been informed about concerns for her physical safety.
The lawsuit targets Rokita as a person, Bernard’s lawyer explained, since the statements he made about Bernard “exceed the final scope of Mr. Rokita’s authority as Indiana’s Attorney General.”
Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost also appeared on Fox News a couple of days before Rokita saying there was “not a whisper anywhere” of a 10-year-old being raped in Ohio. But two days later, several media reports confirmed a 27-year-old man was arrested and charged after police say he confessed to raping the kid on at the least two occasions.