Indiana abortion doctor’s attorney warns against legal action against those who ‘smeared’ a client

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A lawyer for Dr Caitlin Bernard has threatened legal action against those who ‘smeared’ his client, insisting the Indianapolis doctor complied with the law by treating a 10-year-old girl from Ohio who s traveled to Indiana for an abortion.

Attorney Kathleen DeLaney said her client “took all proper and appropriate steps consistent with the law and both his medical and ethical training as a physician.”

“She followed all relevant policies, procedures and regulations in this matter, as she does every day to provide the best possible care to her patients,” Ms. DeLaney said in a statement Thursday. “She has not broken any laws, including patient confidentiality laws, and she has not been disciplined by her employer. We are considering legal action against those who smeared my client, including the Attorney General of Indiana, Todd Rokita, and know that the facts will all come to light in due course.

Mr Rokita launched an investigation on Wednesday into whether Dr Bernard had complied with child abuse reporting laws after he told the Indianapolis Star in a July 1 article that she treated a pregnant girl 10 years old. The case has become a flashpoint on abortion access since the fall of Roe v. Wade in a Supreme Court ruling last month.

The latest information emerging on the case supports Ms. DeLaney’s insistence that Dr. Bernard complied with the reporting and confidentiality law.

Dr Bernard filed an ‘aborted pregnancy form’ on July 2 after performing the abortion on June 30 and said the girl requested the abortion due to abuse, according to IndyStar and WXIN-TV, citing Indiana Department of Health records. and the Department of Children’s Services.

The dates indicate that the forms were filed on time, since state law requires the filing of such documents in abuse cases within three days.

Indiana University Health said in a statement Friday that an internal investigation found that Dr. Bernard had complied with “privacy laws,” presumably referring to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. [HIPAA].

“As part of IU Health’s commitment to patient privacy and compliance with privacy laws, IU Health regularly launches reviews, including hot topics about Dr. Caitlin Bernard,” said IU. in an email to the Washington Times. “In accordance with its policy, IU Health has conducted an investigation with the full cooperation of Dr. Bernard and other members of the IU Health team. IU Health’s investigation revealed that Dr. Bernard was complying with privacy laws.

President Biden cited the case as an example of states having overly strict abortion laws. The girl was reportedly pregnant for six weeks and three days, fueling a debate over whether she would have qualified for an abortion under Ohio’s heartbeat law.

The White House has provided no evidence to support the report. Two fact-checkers, Snopes and The Washington Post, said they were unable to verify the incident, prompting speculation about the report’s accuracy.

On Tuesday, however, police in Columbus, Ohio charged Gerson Fuentes, 27, with first-degree rape in the case. The deputy prosecutor said he would be in the country illegally. The girl’s mother contacted Franklin County Children’s Services on June 22, the Columbus Dispatch reported.

Mr. Rokita’s office said its investigation was ongoing.

“As we have indicated, we are gathering evidence from multiple sources and agencies related to these allegations. Our legal review remains open,” the office said in a statement Friday.

Dr Bernard posted a tweet on Wednesday, his first comment since the July 1 story broke.

“My heart breaks for all survivors of sexual assault and abuse,” she tweeted. “I am so sad that our country is failing them when they need us the most. Physicians must be able to provide people with the medical care they need, when and where they need it. »

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