Home Defamation Lawsuits Doctor who performed abortion on 10-year-old moves to sue Indiana Attorney-General for defamation

Doctor who performed abortion on 10-year-old moves to sue Indiana Attorney-General for defamation

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An Indianapolis doctor who performed an abortion on a 10-year-old rape victim from Ohio has taken the first step towards suing Indiana’s Attorney-General for defamation.

Dr Caitlin Bernard — an Indianapolis obstetrician-gynecologist who gave the girl a medication-induced abortion on June 30 — filed a tort claim notice over what she says are false statements that Indiana’s Attorney-General, Todd Rokita, made about her and her work.

Dr Bernard received widespread attention after she gave an interview to the Indianapolis Star about the child, who travelled to Indiana from Ohio for the abortion.

A so-called foetal heartbeat law took effect in Ohio last month after the Supreme Court overturned its 1973 Roe v Wade decision.

Foetal heartbeat laws ban abortions from the time a foetus’s cardiac activity can be detected, which is typically around the sixth week of a pregnancy.(AP: Gemunu Amarasinghe)

A 27-year-old man was charged last week in Columbus, Ohio, with raping the girl, confirming the existence of a case that was initially met with skepticism by some news outlets and Republican politicians.

Dr Bernard’s lawyer, Kathleen DeLaney, filed the “tort claim notice” against the Attorney-General just days after Ms DeLaney sent a cease and desist letter.

The claim starts a 90-day period for the state to settle. If it’s not settled, Dr Bernard can file a lawsuit.

While the claim did not say how much money Dr Bernard is seeking, it noted that “the harm is ongoing”.

“Mr Rokita’s false and misleading statements about alleged misconduct by Dr Bernard in her profession constitute defamation,” the claim reads. “The statements have been, and continue to be, published by or on behalf of Mr Rokita and the Office of the Attorney-General.”



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