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Rokita faces disciplinary complaint in abortion doctor case

Rokita faces disciplinary complaint in abortion doctor case

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission has filed a new complaint against Attorney General Todd Rokita.

The complaint, filed Monday with the State Supreme Court, claims three counts of professional misconduct against Rokita for his handling of the case of Dr. Caitlin Bernard.

Bernard is the Indianapolis doctor who performed an abortion for a 10-year-old rape victim from Ohio last year.

The abortion occurred one week after the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, and as Indiana considered a new, stricter ban on abortions in the state.

The case drew national attention after Dr. Bernard shared the story with the Indianapolis Star.

The disciplinary complaint alleges Rokita violated professional rules of conduct by discussing the Bernard case while an investigation was underway.

Two of the counts related to a July 13 interview Rokita did with Jesse Waters of Fox News.

The commission claims Rokita violated standards of professional conduct in that interview by referring to Dr. Bernard as “an abortion activist acting as a doctor — with a history of failure to report” before the state’s investigation was complete.

The third allegation relates to public statements about Dr. Bernard and the investigation over a three-month period before the case had been referred to the Medical Licensing Board, violating “the duty of confidentiality.”

Rokita released a statement Monday morning criticizing the commission’s decision to file misconduct charges.

“Hoosiers, in the largest number on record, elected me Attorney General because they knew they were getting a passionate fighter who — like them — is beating back the culture of death, grievance and transanity being pushed by radicals in workplaces, schools, media and government,” Rokita wrote in the statement. “These same radicals have fostered an environment that ‘cancels’ non-compliant citizens through intimidation as well as tactics that can weaponize our respected institutions.”

In a court filing later in the day, Rokita admitted that “use of the phrase ‘abortion activist acting as a doctor — with a history of failure to report’ on July 13, 2022 could Page 26 of 30 reasonably be considered to have violated Indiana Rule of Professional Conduct 3.6(a); nevertheless, should a hearing be necessary, Respondent demands strict proof thereof.”

He also noted that the filing of misconduct charges may violate the separation of powers in the Indiana Constitution.

“Todd Rokita’s actions toward Dr. Caitlin Bernard over the past year brought shame and ridicule upon our state,” Mike Schmuhl, chairman of the Indiana Democratic Party, said in a release. “Rokita is using this office to further his own personal political ambitions, and he tried to silence Dr. Bernard and other doctors — something this commission took issue with in the filing.”

The complaint seeks disciplinary action against Rokita as well as an order forcing him to pay the costs of the investigation.

A hearing date on the complaint has not been set.