After news reports of a 10-year-old girl in Ohio being raped and having to travel to Indiana to obtain an abortion went viral, anti-abortion conservatives tried to throw cold water on the story expressing skepticism that the story was true.
When officials in Ohio announced they’d arrested and charged the suspect, the Attorney General of Indiana, Todd Rokita (R), decided to smear the physician who treated the child declaring she hadn’t properly reported the case to officials in Indiana within the required three-day window after the procedure.
Now, of course, the required report byDr. Caitlin Bernard, has surfaced.
Dr. Caitlin Bernard, an Indianapolis-based Ob-Gyn, told CNN earlier this month that she helped the girl after Ohio banned abortion as early as six weeks of gestation following the US Supreme Court’s ruling that overturned Roe v. Wade. https://t.co/DzNUU6i90g
— CNN (@CNN) July 15, 2022
An Indiana doctor who said she recently helped a 10-year-old rape victim from Ohio get an abortion in her state reported the procedure to Indiana health officials within a required timeframe, documents show, as the state’s Republican attorney general has said authorities are investigating the Ob-Gyn for potential failure to report the abortion and child abuse.
Dr. Caitlin Bernard, of Indianapolis, reported the abortion procedure to the Indiana Department of Health on July 2 — two days after it was performed — as required by the department, documents CNN obtained from the agency show.
It’s almost as if conservative officials were mad they couldn’t stop the legal abortion for the 10-year-old, so they decided to exact some kind of revenge on Dr. Bernard.
The thing is – Bernard is an experienced, veteran physician who knows the legal reporting requirements. It makes no sense that she would have gone public with such a case without going through proper reporting, does it?
UPDATE: The Indiana abortion doctor’s lawyer sent me a statement saying she didn’t break any laws in treating the 10-yr-old rape victim and that they may sue the AG for “smearing” her publicly. https://t.co/6yjoTQoAcc
— Alice Miranda Ollstein (@AliceOllstein) July 14, 2022
More from Politico:
Other medical workers in the state and progressive legal advocates told POLITICO they don’t believe Bernard broke any laws and say Rokita’s actions are designed to scare providers and deter them from offering abortions even in circumstances where it’s legal to do so.
“Certainly, it’s an intimidation tactic,” said Fabiola Carrión, the director of reproductive and sexual health at the National Health Law Program. “It’s currently legal in Indiana to offer abortions up to 22 weeks of pregnancy. And even if it wasn’t, this is a life-endangerment situation. A 10-year-old with a still-developing body isn’t capable of delivering a baby.”
This is all high profile stuff after the U.S. Supreme court reversed its long-standing Roe v. Wade ruling on abortion rights last month.
The abortion the doctor performed was legal. There’s no evidence she didn’t report it. And the crime (which was committed not in Indiana, but in Ohio, against an Ohio resident) had been reported to the authorities. Rokita has nothing. He’s just trying to intimidate and distract. https://t.co/23OWN8BcNr
— James Surowiecki (@JamesSurowiecki) July 14, 2022
Rokita’s story never made any sense. Caitlin Bernard is a veteran OB-GYN. She knows the reporting rules, and would not have flouted them, especially not in a case where she went public. Rokita was just showboating for right-wing media and pandering to the base.
— James Surowiecki (@JamesSurowiecki) July 15, 2022