(The HIll) – Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita (R) says he will be looking into the licensure of the physician who provided abortion services to a 10-year-old Ohio rape victim who made national headlines after she travelled out-of-state to receive the procedure.
Caitlin Bernard, an Indiana obstetrician-gynecologist, publicly shared earlier this month in an interview published by The Indianapolis Star that she would be assisting the young girl, who was prohibited from getting an abortion under Ohio’s six-week ban.
The case has been the focus of intense scrutiny as it comes just weeks after the Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade, eliminating the federal right to an abortion.
According to Bernard, she was contacted by a colleague who is a child abuse doctor in Ohio.
Rokita appeared on Fox News Wednesday and referred to Bernard as an “abortion activist acting as a doctor.” He said that she had a history of failing to report abortions and that an investigation into the physician and her license is underway.
“We’re gathering the evidence as we speak, and we’re going to fight this to the end, including looking at her licensure if she failed to report. And in Indiana it’s a crime … to intentionally not report,” Rokita said.
Thursday, Rokita issued a statement saying:
“Aside from the horror caused here by illegal immigration, we are investigating this situation and are waiting for the relevant documents to prove if the abortion and/or the abuse were reported, as Dr. Caitlin Bernard had requirements to do both under Indiana law. The failure to do so constitutes a crime in Indiana, and her behavior could also affect her licensure. Additionally, if a HIPAA violation did occur, that may affect next steps as well. I will not relent in the pursuit of the truth.”Attorney General Todd Rokita
The Indiana Democratic Party released a statement immediately after saying “Attorney General Todd Rokita is looking to sue a doctor for saving a young girl’s life. The Indiana Republican Party believes rape survivors – including minors – should be forced to give birth to their rapist’s baby. Their agenda is dangerous and too extreme for Indiana.”
Bernard has yet to respond to Rokita’s remarks publicly.
On Wednesday, she had tweeted, “My heart breaks for all survivors of sexual assault and abuse. I am so sad that our country is failing them when they need us most. Doctors must be able to give people the medical care they need, when and where they need it.
The story of the 10-year-old rape victim quickly rose to national attention, with abortion activists denouncing that the child was denied an abortion in her own state after being raped, while anti-abortion figures initially expressed doubt that the story was even true.
It was later confirmed that the incident had occurred when a 27-year-old Columbus man, Gerson Fuentes, was arrested on Tuesday after confessing to raping the child on at least two occasions.
Republican Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost was among those who publicly expressed doubt that the story was factual before the arrest, claiming that there had been no evidence filed to verify the account.
“I’m not saying it could not have happened. What I’m saying to you is there is not a damn scintilla of evidence. And shame on the Indianapolis paper that ran this thing on a single source who has an obvious axe to grind,” Yost told the USA Today network earlier this week.
Following the arrest, Yost issued a one-sentence response stating, “We rejoice anytime a child rapist is taken off the streets.”