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Indiana AG considers criminal prosecution of 10-year-old rape victim’s abortion doctor

If the now-launched investigation finds that the report was not filed or filed in a timely manner, the letter said Bernard could face “criminal prosecution and licensing consequences.”

A copy of the form The question, obtained by POLITICO, shows it was submitted to both the Department of Health and Child Services 2 days after the abortion was performed.

Bernard’s attorney, Kathleen Delaney, released a statement Thursday saying her client has not broken any laws and that they are considering whether to file a complaint with the attorney general about his allegations.

“My client, Dr. Caitlin Bernard, took all appropriate and appropriate actions in accordance with the law, in accordance with her medical and ethical training as a physician,” Delaney said. “He followed all appropriate policies, procedures and regulations in this case, as he does every day, to provide the best possible care for his patients.” He has not violated any laws, including patient privacy laws, nor has he been disciplined by his employer. We are considering legal action against those who insulted my client.”

Rokita’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Governor Holcomb’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The Indiana Department of Health told POLITICO they focus on regulating health care facilities, not individual providers, and would not comment on Rokita’s letter.

Other medical workers and progressive legal advocates in the state told POLITICO they don’t believe Bernard broke any laws and say Rokita’s actions are designed to intimidate providers and stop them from offering abortions even when it’s legal to do so.

“It’s definitely a scare tactic,” said Fabiola Carrion, director of reproductive and sexual health at the National Health Law Program. “It is currently legal in Indiana to offer abortions up to 22 weeks of pregnancy. And even if it wasn’t, it’s a life-threatening situation. A 10-year-old child with a still developing body cannot give birth to a child.”

“It will have a chilling effect on providers who don’t want to risk doing that assessment in the future,” he added. “Health care providers are generally risk averse. They have to pay a lot of money in liability insurance. And now they are being targeted by people who know far less than they do about complex medical situations. “

Bernard did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

When POLITICO spoke to him in the weeks before the Supreme Court overturned the decision Roe v. WadeHe spoke of his plans to continue serving patients in Indiana, though he could no matter what restrictions his state imposes.

“It’s scary to think about what the next phase will be,” he said in May. “But I undertook to do this work, knowing very well that abortion can be criminalized. So I won’t leave it now for my job security. This care will continue to be needed.”

Rokita’s new threat comes as Indiana — one of a small number of deep red states where abortion remains legal — is just days away from a special legislative session in which lawmakers must pass abortion-ban bills in a single reading. What exceptions, if any, would be allowed.

The move by the attorney general — who is expected to one day run for governor or senator — not only prompts lawmakers to consider broader measures to ban abortion, but also has a chilling effect on other health care providers in the state.

“Why should he issue a threat before he has an idea of ​​the full extent of the case? Why is a doctor’s license at risk? Well, it’s very popular for him,” said Andrew Downs, director of the Mike Downs Center for Indiana Politics at Purdue University. “Rokita’s comments also put pressure on the legislature to make as many abortions as possible illegal in all cases.”

Rokita’s conduct in the case has also come under fire from other political leaders in the state.

“The General Prosecutor’s Office has the opportunity to collect previously needed information [he] It’s going on national news and speculating,” said Destiny Wells, a former Indiana deputy attorney general who is also the Democratic nominee for secretary of state. “This interview was pure speculation when he had a chance to put the brakes on, collect the evidence, draw a conclusion and then move on with the news.”

Indiana lawmakers will hold a special session on July 25 to consider bills related to inflation as well as abortion, and most expect the state’s Republican majority to impose a full or near-total ban on the procedure.

“Our lobbying efforts are primarily about harm minimization,” said Kathy McHugh, a member of the Indiana-based Board of OB-GYN and Reproductive Health Physicians. “We want to impress upon legislators – at a minimum – the importance of including life and health, rape and incest benefits. But we know that many members of the Legislature would be happy to eliminate all of these exemptions, which means that we won’t be able to care for patients like a 10-year-old.”

McHugh and other abortion providers in the state say they are working to create networks across state lines to bring their patients elsewhere and help them arrange and buy transportation.

When he spoke to POLITICO in May, Bernard worried that many of his patients would be unable to travel out of state if Indiana banned the procedure.

“They have to pay for clinic care, take time off from their children, take time off work — not to mention transportation, which is a big problem with gas prices going up,” he said. “Already we regularly see people continue with pregnancies they don’t want because they can’t manage it all.” For a lot of people in Indiana, when I tell them to leave the state, I might as well tell them to go to the moon.”

In another sign, the state is moving to limit abortion access post-RoeGovernor Holcomb asked the US Supreme Court on Thursday to allow the mandatory parental notification law to go into effect. While these and other abortion restrictions in the state have previously been blocked by lower courts, they are getting a new look amid the downturn. Roe.

Indiana AG considers criminal prosecution of 10-year-old rape victim’s abortion doctor

Source link Indiana AG considers criminal prosecution of 10-year-old rape victim’s abortion doctor

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