Indiana doctor who provided abortion to 10-year-old rape victim under investigation by ‘pro-life’ AGJuly 27, 2022
The story was published in the Indianapolis Star on July 1, and it immediately put the GOP, Fox News pundits, and the anti-abortion cult into a frenzy. Talking heads and lawmakers alike took turns denying the rape, rejecting the doctor’s story, publicly demeaning the journalist who broke it, and opening the floodgates to Bernard’s harassment. Now, Bernard is apparently under investigation by the state’s attorney general for doing her job in accordance with the laws of the state.
There was no reason to deny the veracity of this story. In fact, a Columbus, Ohio, man was charged with the little girl’s rape. Gershon Fuentes, 27, confessed and turned himself in to authorities and even admitted to raping the child on two other occasions.
But the facts haven’t seemed to matter, and Rokita has set the dogs on Bernard.
“It’s honestly been very hard for me, for my family,” Bernard told NPR. “It’s hard to understand why a political figure, a prominent figure in the state, would want to come after physicians who are helping patients every single day in their state.”
When asked if she’d felt threatened, Bernard told CBS News’ Norah O’Donnell plainly: “Yes.”
“It shows how you know, abortion, instead of being part of health care, which it is, a needed, lifesaving procedure, what it is, has been used to create a wedge between people politically and personally. And it shows how far we have come and how sad that is.”
Rokita alleges that Bernard has not followed the state‘s abortion reporting requirements, although he’s offered no evidence. He’s also criticized her for going public about the relentless harassment and his own attacks on her.
Abortion law in Indiana requires physicians to report pregnancy terminations for any patient under age 16. Bernard reported the 10-year-old patient’s abortion on July 2, two days after it was performed, CNN reports.
In a statement sent to NPR, Rokita writes:
“The recent tort claim is not just an attempt to distract, but it’s also an attempt to intimidate, obstruct, and stop my office’s monumental progress to save lives. … It will take a lot more than that to intimidate us.”
Bernard says she and her attorneys are considering filing a defamation suit against the attorney general. As she tells NPR: “One of us is the state attorney general, and one of us is a physician—and it’s very clear who is being intimidated in this situation. … I will continue to provide access to safe, legal care to the best of my ability, and I can’t say what he will do.”
“I think it’s important for us as providers to feel safe working in the state of Indiana. I think it’s important for physicians to know that when they follow the law and when they take care of patients in need of care, that they can do so free of persecution, free of harassment,” she added.