lawyers for the Indiana doctor who performed a abortion in a 10-year-old out-of-state rape victim have fired an angry cease and desist warning against the Republican attorney general who launched an investigation against the doctor.
Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita’s derisive and baseless attacks on Dr. Caitlin Bernard are wholly “false and defamatory” and risk inciting “harassment and violence”, which could prevent Bernard from providing safe care to his patients, says the letter sent Friday. Rokita’s action “forms the basis of an actionable defamation claim,” the letter warned.
Bernard performed the drug-induced abortion on the girl last month after she was contacted by a colleague from ohioa doctor who specializes in detecting child abuse, when he discovered that the girl was just over six weeks pregnant and could no longer get an abortion in her home state of Ohio.
Rokita baselessly ridiculed Bernard on Fox News as an “abortion activist” this week and informed Republican Governor Eric Holcomb in a letter Wednesday that he was initiate an investigation into Bernard’s activities. He suggested, without evidence, that the doctor failed to report the sexual assault and abortion, as required by law.
In a statement Thursday, Rokita He threatened Bernard’s medical licensenoting that not informing is a “crime” and that he will not “give in the search for the truth.”
He expressed no sympathy for the boy.
According to records in Indiana, Bernard filed the required report on July 2 and did not violate the victim’s privacy, according to a statement from Indiana University Health.
the records were obtained by the Indianapolis Star Tribune and other media outlets, but Rokita continued to question whether Bernard had broken the law, the cease-and-desist letter noted.
Rokita’s office told Politico the cease and desist letter would be reviewed “like any correspondence”, alleging, however, that “there have been no false or misleading statements.”
The case of the 10-year-old rape victim forced to travel out of state for an abortion has sparked a lot of controversy in the wake of the Supreme Court’s ruling last month tossing out Roe v. Wade and 50 years of abortion rights.
Conservatives, including Rep. jim jordan (R-Ohio), called the girl heartbreaking situation a fabrication — until Columbus police announced the arrest of an Ohio man accused of rape. (Jordan promptly deleted his tweet mocking the “lies” about the report).
Jordan and Rokita then turned to the issue of illegal immigration because the alleged rapist is reportedly a undocumented migrant. Like Rokita, Jordan expressed no sympathy or concern for the rape victim.
A prominent anti-abortion lawyer said Thursday that the 10-year-old girl should have been forced to carry the baby to term.
Jim Bopp, general counsel for the anti-abortion group National Right to Life, which crafted model state anti-abortion laws, said political“She would have had the baby, and like many women who have had babies as a result of rape, we hope that she understands the reason and ultimately the benefit of having the child.”
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.