Doctor who provided abortion for 10-year-old rape victim moves to sue Indiana attorney general for defamation

The attorney for a health practitioner who supplied abortion expert services to a 10-calendar year-old rape victim moved to file a defamation lawsuit in opposition to Indiana Legal professional General Todd Rokita.

An attorney for Dr. Caitlin Bernard on Tuesday submitted a tort claim, a precursor to a lawsuit, soon after Rokita informed area and national media outlets that he was investigating the medical professional following she carried out the process on a affected individual who could not get an abortion in her house point out of Ohio.

Rokita’s workplace did not right away answer to a request for remark.

Ohio enacted a “fetal heartbeat” law, banning abortions at all over the 6-7 days mark of pregnancy, soon after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe. v Wade last thirty day period. The lady was just over six months expecting, Bernard informed The Indianapolis Star.

Indiana legislators are preparing for a distinctive session to discussion banning abortion later in July, but the procedure is at this time still lawful in the point out.

Last 7 days, Rokita appeared on Fox Information and claimed he was investigating Bernard following she instructed The Indianapolis Star about managing the girl. He reported he was “gathering the evidence” versus Bernard, “including hunting at her licensure” and irrespective of whether “she failed to report” the treatment in Indiana since “it’s a criminal offense to not report, to deliberately not report.”

The lawyer common also stated in the phase that Bernard was an “abortion activist performing as a doctor” with a “history of failing to report.”

Rokita recurring numerous of his Fox Information remarks in a assertion through his office, prompting Bernard’s attorney on Friday to send out the lawyer common a cease-and-desist letter. In his statement, Rokita even more questioned irrespective of whether Bernard violated wellness privateness regulations by discussing the girl’s situation with The Indianapolis Star.

“Mr. Rokita’s bogus and misleading statements about alleged misconduct by Dr. Bernard in her occupation constitute defamation per se,” Tuesday’s tort claim reads.

“The statements have been and carry on to be printed by or on behalf of Mr. Rokita and the Business of the Attorney Common. To the extent that these statements exceed the typical scope of Mr. Rokita’s authority as Indiana’s Lawyer Basic, the assertion kinds the basis of an actionable defamation claim in opposition to Mr. Rokita independently.”

The tort declare claims Rokita both understood his responses were false or he “acted with reckless disregard of the real truth or falsity of the statements.”

In regard to his Fox Information remarks that Bernard was an “abortion activist” that experienced a “historical past of failing to report,” her attorneys reported in the declare that a check of Indiana’s health-related license databases would have demonstrated that the physician had “no disciplinary history.”

Bernard’s employer, Indiana College Health and fitness, earlier explained that an investigation uncovered that the medical doctor was “in compliance with privateness legal guidelines.”

NBC Information also attained a Terminated Being pregnant Report from the Indiana Department of Health displaying Bernard experienced documented the process in the demanded timeframe.

Dareh Gregorian contributed.