Dr. Caitlin Bernard was fined $3,000 by the Indiana Medical License Board on Thursday after she previously told a reporter that she had performed an abortion on a 10-year-old rape victim.
Republican state Attorney General Todd Rokita filed a complaint in December 2022 with the board after Bernard told a reporter with the Indianapolis Star about the 10-year-old’s abortion, according to The Washington Post. The board held a hearing on Thursday to discuss the complaint and determined, after 14 hours, that Bernard had broken patient privacy laws and gave her a letter of reprimand along with a fine of $3,000.
Rokita released a statement on Twitter that night in which he said he appreciated the board’s “extraordinary time and consideration.”
“Like we have said for a year, this case was about patient privacy and the trust between the doctor and patient that was broken,” he said. “What if it was your child, your parent, your sibling who was going through a sensitive medical crisis, and the doctor, who you thought was on your side, ran to the press for political reasons? It’s not right and the facts we presented today made that clear.”
Bernard and her attorneys blamed “public figures” and “political figures” for the publicity the Indianapolis Star’s story received.
“I don’t think that anybody would have been looking into this story as any different than any other interview that I’ve ever given if it was not politicized the way that it was by public figures in our state and in Ohio,” Bernard said during the hearing, according to The Washington Post.
Bernard performed an abortion on a 10-year-old female patient, who was later found to have been raped by a 27-year-old illegal immigrant in Ohio. Bernard filed a report on the abortion with the police two days after the procedure.
Rokita opened an investigation into Bernard in 2022, alleging that she failed to follow proper procedure when reporting potential rape victims to the police and had broken her obligation as a physician to protect a patient’s privacy after she talked to a reporter about the story. In response, Bernard filed a lawsuit against Rokita, arguing that he had used “facially invalid consumer complaints to justify multiple, duplicative, and overbroad investigations into law-abiding physicians,” but later rescinded the suit after a judge ruled in favor of Rokita’s investigation but reprimanded him for breaching confidentiality.
The Medical Board and Bernard’s attorney did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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