Lawyers for the Indianapolis doctor who performed an abortion for a 10-year-old rape victim have taken a “first step” to file a defamation lawsuit Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita.
The lawyers of Dr. Caitlin Bernard said she was harmed by “false and misleading” statements made by Mr Rokita and other officials.
“Dr. Bernard has recently been attacked by various media and public figures the Indianapolis Star reported providing medical and reproductive care to a 10-year-old child abuse victim days after the landmark Supreme Court decision to overturn deer v calf,‘ said the letter from attorney Kathleen Delaney.
“To the extent that these statements exceed the general scope of Mr. Rokita’s authority as Indiana Attorney General, the statement constitutes the basis of an actionable defamation lawsuit against Mr. Rokita individually.”
dr Bernard took care of the young girl a week after Ohio officials banned abortions after about six weeks of pregnancy, with no exceptions for pregnancies due to rape or incest.
After raising doubts about the veracity of the case, Republican officials and right-wing media attacked Dr. Bernard’s legitimacy and baselessly accused her of failing to notify law enforcement about the case.
Mr. Rokita dismissed Dr. Bernard last week during an appearance on Fox News as “an abortion activist who doubles as a doctor.”
He went on to claim without evidence that “from everything we’ve found out so far, this Indiana abortion doctor covered this up,” and said he had opened a criminal investigation into her actions.
In conversation with NPRMs Delaney said they wanted Mr Rokita to “stop intimidating and harassing healthcare providers”.
“He’s wrongly accusing her of misconduct at work, so we want this smear campaign to stop,” she said.
Tuesday’s filing triggers a 90-day investigation period during which the state can resolve the requirement, after which a lawsuit can be filed.
On July 13th was 27-year-old Gerson Fuentes charged with raping the girl.
According to testimonies during Fuentes’ arraignment, Columbus, Ohio police were alerted to a June 22 referral from the girl’s mother from Franklin County Children Services. On June 30, the girl was aborted in Indianapolis, Indiana.