Physician reprimanded for talking publicly about 10-year-old’s abortion

Washington — Indiana’s medical licensing board on Thursday issued a letter of reprimand and levied a positive towards the obstetrician-gynecologist who supplied an abortion to a 10-year-old rape sufferer from Ohio. The board concluded that Dr. Caitlin Bernard violated affected person privateness legal guidelines when she mentioned the process with a reporter.

The choice adopted a prolonged assembly of the Indiana Medical Licensing Board, which finally discovered Bernard violated state privateness legal guidelines when she mentioned the 10-year-old’s case with a reporter for the Indianapolis Star. The board declined to droop Bernard’s license, however issued a $3,000 positive — $1,000 for every of the three counts she was discovered answerable for — and the letter of reprimand.

The assembly, which stemmed from a criticism Legal professional Basic Todd Rokita filed towards the physician in November, featured testimony from a number of witnesses, together with Bernard herself.

Bernard advised the board that she was not pushing a story about abortion when she spoke publicly, however as an alternative believed it was necessary for Indiana residents to know that abortion might be banned within the state with no exceptions after the Supreme Court docket overturned Roe v. Wade, forcing sufferers searching for abortion care to journey out of state.

“Abortion shouldn’t be a political concern,” she stated. “Abortion is a part of complete well being care and desires to remain squarely within the realm of public well being.”

Bernard stated she didn’t imagine she could be going through the licensing board if the lawyer normal “had not chosen to make this his political stunt.”

In response to the board’s resolution, Rokita thanked the members for his or her “extraordinary time and consideration,” and stated the case involved privateness and belief.

“Like we have now stated for a 12 months, this case was about affected person privateness and the belief between the physician and affected person that was damaged,” he stated in an announcement. “What if it was your youngster or your affected person or your sibling who was going via a delicate medical disaster, and the physician, who you thought was in your facet, ran to the press for political causes? It is not proper, and the details we introduced immediately made that clear.”

Bernard made headlines final 12 months after she advised the Indianapolis Star that she was contacted by a baby abuse physician in Ohio a couple of pregnant 10-year-old who was searching for an abortion outdoors of Ohio as a result of state’s abortion legislation, which bans the process as soon as embryonic cardiac exercise is detected, sometimes round six weeks of being pregnant.

Bernard stated in an interview with “CBS Evening News” that she could not verify she supplied the abortion, however state data confirmed she supplied a medication-induced abortion to the 10-year-old on June 30, simply days after the Supreme Court docket overturned Roe v. Wade.

Following the revelation, Rokita sought to punish Bernard, alleging she violated reporting and affected person privateness legal guidelines.

Individually, Bernard filed a lawsuit towards Rokita final 12 months, alleging he has relied on “baseless” client complaints to launch “overbroad” investigations into physicians who present abortion care, and issued subpoenas searching for the confidential medical data of their sufferers.

The swimsuit claims Rokita opened investigations into seven client complaints filed towards Bernard after she got here below scrutiny for performing the abortion and issued subpoenas, which the physician’s attorneys says served no official investigative objective.”


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