I-Team 8

Abortion doctor testifies in lawsuit against Indiana AG

UPDATE: The office of the Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita issued a statement Tuesday morning around 3:17 a.m.

“This is what was said in court and in our filed paperwork:

If the doctor did not choose to use her patient, a 10-year-old rape victim, to further her own political agenda, we would not be here today. 

There is no defensible reason for this doctor to shatter her 10-year-old patient’s trust by divulging her abortion procedure to a reporter so her traumatizing experience could be used in the polarizing abortion debate on the heels of Dobbs. 

The evidence strongly suggests that the doctor violated the mandatory reporting law, which required her to immediately report the child’s abuse to Indiana authorities. 

Only by reporting to Indiana authorities immediately, as called for by statute, might the little girl have been spared from potentially being sent back to her perpetrator.

This doctor demands immunity from all scrutiny, but her remedy is before the Medical Licensing Board, not an injunction from this Court.  

We believe she has failed to carry her burden of proof and that the Office of the Attorney General should be free to continue its statutory duty to hold physicians and other practitioners to the standards of the law. “

Attorney General Todd Rokita

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Dr. Caitlin Bernard took the stand Monday in Marion Superior Court.

She is suing Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita to prevent him from gaining access to the medical records of the 10-year-old that Bernard performed an abortion on earlier in 2022.

The lawsuit is also to stop Rokita’s investigation of her.

Attorneys representing Rokita claimed in court their request for the medical records is valid because they need them to determine if Bernard violated Indiana law by not reporting the abuse of the 10-year-old to law enforcement and child abuse authorities in Indiana.

Evidence was shown in court showing Bernard had notified law enforcement and child abuse authorities in Ohio about the rape and abuse of her 10-year-old patient.

Attorney’s representing Bernard put Marion County Deputy Prosecutor Katie Melnick on the stand during Monday’s hearing. Melnick testified that in scenarios where victims were abused and live outside the state of Indiana, it is proper for doctors to report those crimes to authorities in the jurisdiction where the abuse occurred.

Melnick said it would be duplicitous for doctors to report the crimes in Indiana if they had already reported them out of state.

Attorney’s representing Rokita claimed in court that Bernard violated Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act laws, which address confidential health records, by discussing the 10-year-old with a newspaper reporter. Bernard testified in court that a newspaper reporter overheard her speaking with a fellow doctor about the case before the 10-year-old was officially her patient. That conversation is what led to the original reporting that reached a national audience.

The judge in this case said she will evaluate the testimony given Friday and Monday from both sides in the case to make her final decision by next week about whether or not Rokita can continue his investigation of Bernard.