HomeUSA newsIndianapolis doctor who gave 10-year-old rape victim abortion drugs defends his actions...

Indianapolis doctor who gave 10-year-old rape victim abortion drugs defends his actions before a judge

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An Indianapolis doctor who provided abortifacient drugs to a 10-year-old Ohio rape victim defended her actions before a judge Monday in an episode that drew national attention in the weeks after the US Supreme Court struck down Roe. v. Wade.

Dr. Caitlin Bernard testified during the second day of a court hearing on an attempt to block Indiana’s Republican attorney general from searching patients’ medical records. The attorney general’s office says it is investigating whether Bernard correctly reported child abuse and possibly she violated patient privacy laws by telling a reporter about the girl’s case.

The Marion County judge said she expected to issue a decision next week on whether to issue a preliminary injunction against the attorney general’s office.

Bernard treated the girl in Indianapolis in late June, as the girl could not get an abortion in neighboring Ohio. That’s because Ohio’s “fetal heartbeat” law went into effect with the Supreme Court’s decision. Such laws prohibit abortions from the time heart activity can be detected in an embryo, which is usually around the sixth week of pregnancy.

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Bernard and his attorneys maintain that the girl’s abuse had already been reported to Ohio police and child protective services officials before the doctor saw the girl. Bernard said during his nearly 90 minutes of testimony that his lawsuit was aimed at protecting the girl’s privacy.

“There is no evidence that any crime was committed … so there should be no investigation necessary,” Bernard said.

An Indiana doctor who gave abortion drugs to a 10-year-old girl who had been raped defended his actions against a judge during nearly 90-minute testimony.
(FoxNews)

Assistant Attorney General Caryn Nieman-Szyper argued that state law still requires Indiana police and child welfare officials to be immediately notified of the abuse so they can assess the child’s safety, even if it has already started. an investigation in Ohio.

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After Bernard told The Indianapolis Star that the girl was seeking an abortion, some Republican media outlets and politicians suggested that his account was false. President Joe Biden expressed empathy for the child by signing an executive order protecting access to abortion.

Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita told Fox News in July that he would investigate whether Bernard violated child abuse reporting or abortion reporting laws. Rokita has kept up the investigation even after a 27-year-old man was charged in Columbus, Ohio with raping the girl, and public records show Bernard complied with Indiana’s required three-day notice period for an abortion performed. in a girl under 16 years of age. .

Nieman-Szyper said Bernard would not be under investigation if she had not disclosed the girl’s rape to a reporter to further her own abortion rights advocacy. Nieman-Szyper said Bernard had failed to show that she had permission from the girl’s family to discuss her care in public, exposing the girl to national attention.

Bernard said he had not yet seen the girl when he told the reporter that she exemplified the impact of stricter abortion laws taking effect across the country, but he did not disclose identifying information.

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“I said that the patient had been raped,” Bernard said. “This is how a 10-year-old girl gets pregnant.”

Bernard said he told an Indiana University Health social worker that the girl would receive abortion treatment. She said those staff members are the ones making sure reports about the children are made to the proper authorities.

Marion County Judge Heather Welch gave the attorneys a Wednesday deadline for additional court filings.

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