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Indiana doctor who performed abortion on 10-year-old sues to keep him from accessing medical records

Caitlin Bernard and Todd Rokita.png
Posted at 2:28 PM, Nov 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-03 14:28:04-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Lawyers for an Indiana abortion doctor have filed a lawsuit against Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita to keep him from accessing her private patient medical records.

The lawsuit, was filed Thursday on behalf of Dr. Caitlin Bernard, her medical partner Dr. Amy Caldwell, and their patients by attorney Kathleen Delaney of DeLaney and DeLaney LLC along with Arnold & Porter.

"This is an action for declaratory and injunctive relief to prevent defendants from exceeding their authority under Indiana law by flouting the Indiana General Assembly's carefully crafted structure for regulating physicians and other licensed professionals," the lawsuit reads. "Unless this Court intervenes, Defendants will continue to unlawfully harass physicians and patients who are engaged in completely legal conduct and even though neither the physicians nor patients have any complaints about their relationship."

According to a press release issued by Delaney's office on Thursday, "The filing asserts that Rokita ignored Indiana law and issued subpoenas for medical records based on complaints from individuals who have never been a patient of either doctor, who lack any personal knowledge of their work and that provide no explanation of their validity. In fact, the records he requested were of patients who did not themselves file complaints about Bernard or Caldwell, which is blatant hypocrisy, given that Rokita himself claimed that Bernard violated patient privacy. So far, Rokita has issued at least five subpoenas that DeLaney’s office knows of; however, there are potentially more as he has been sending them directly to persons and entities which may have medical records, without notifying Bernard, Caldwell, or their attorneys."

Bernard's story garnered national attention after a newspaper connected her to a 10-year-old rape victim who allegedly traveled from Ohio to Indiana to have an abortion.

Rokita appeared on Fox News in July, calling out Bernard and vowing to investigate the circumstances surrounding the abortion and whether she had followed proper reporting procedures.

"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," his statement read.

Shortly after his statement was made public, Bernard's attorney provided Scrrips station WRTV with the legal documents showing that she had properly reported the abortion within the legally required time frame.

The report also shows that the abortion was reported to the Indiana Department of Child Services and received by the Indiana Department of Health on July 2. Doctors in Indiana are required to submit the report within three days after the abortion if the patient is under 14.

WRTV has contacted the Attorney General's Office for comment and is awaiting a response.

This article was written by Katie Cox for WRTV.