INDIANAPOLIS — Kathleen DeLaney, the attorney for Dr. Caitlin Bernard, has sent a cease and desist to Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita stating he had made “false and misleading statements” about Dr. Bernard on Fox News along with in statements to local media that cast Bernard “in a false light and allege misconduct in her profession.”
The cease and desist comes on the heels of Rokita vowing to investigate Bernard for performing an abortion on a 10-year-old rape victim who traveled from Ohio to Indiana to seek an abortion after the Buckeye state banned abortions after six weeks following the U.S. Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade.
Rokita had threatened Bernard’s license and called Bernard an “abortion activist acting as a doctor” while appearing on Fox News. He claimed she had a history of failing to report abortions as well and vowing to look into the legality of her reporting on the 10-year-old girl’s abortion.
FOX59 obtained the terminated pregnancy report that proved Bernard reported the abortion within the required timeframe, however. On Friday, Indiana University Health also issued a statement saying they conducted an investigation into Dr. Bernard to see if she complied with privacy laws.
“IU Health’s investigation found Dr. Bernard in compliance with privacy laws,” they concluded.
So far, Rokita’s office has only responded by stating he is still investigating the allegations against Bernard and is “gathering evidence from multiple sources and agencies.”
In the cease and desist, DeLaney stated that even after the release of the terminated pregnancy report, which confirmed Bernard complied with reporting laws, Rokita’s statements to local and national news on Thursday “further cast Dr. Bernard in a false light and mislead consumers and patients.”
“We are especially concerned that, given the controversial political context of the statements, such inflammatory accusations have the potential to incite harassment or violence from the public which could prevent Dr. Bernard, an Indiana license physician, from providing care to her patients safely,” DeLaney wrote.
The cease and desist went on to state Rokita’s false and misleading statements about alleged misconduct by Bernard “constitute defamation.”
“Moreover, to the extent that any statement you make exceeds the general scope of your authority as Indiana’s Attorney General, such a statement forms the basis of an actionable defamation claim,” DeLaney wrote.
The cease and desist is the latest development in a story that has captured national attention after many politicians and news outlets cast doubt on the story of the 10-year-old rape victim. A 27-year-old man who had been living in Ohio for at least seven years was arrested and confessed to the rape earlier this week.
FOX59 has reached out to Rokita’s office for a response to the cease and desist.