INDIANAPOLIS--You may have heard Indiana Atty. Gen. Todd Rokita come down hot and heavy on Dr. Caitlin Bernard, the doctor who performed an abortion on a 10-year-old girl from Ohio, who had been raped. That doctor has taken legal action and may sue for defamation.
Her attorneys filed a tort claim Tuesday, which is a step toward a defamation lawsuit.
Rokita said he would investigate whether Bernard had reported the abuse of the girl and the abortion, a requirement under law. Shortly thereafter, Bernard’s employer supplied documentation supporting that she had acted properly and also had not violated any privacy rules or laws.
“The claim outlines the harm caused by the State of Indiana, in particular, through the false and misleading statements about the facts of the case made by Attorney General Todd Rokita to local and national news sources on July 14, 2022, even after it was confirmed by public records requests that Dr. Bernard complied with all applicable reporting laws,” read a news release from the law firm DeLaney and DeLaney, LLC., which filed the tort claim.
This filing triggers a ninety-day investigative period for the state to settle the claim, after which a lawsuit can be filed, said the firm.
“Mr. Rokita’s false and misleading statements about alleged misconduct by Dr. Bernard in her profession constitute defamation per se. The statements have been and continue to be published by or on behalf of Mr. Rokita and the Office of the Attorney General. To the extent that these statements exceed the general scope of Mr. Rokita’s authority as Indiana’s Attorney General, the statement forms the basis of an actionable defamation claim against Mr. Rokita individually,” read a portion of the claim.
The tort claim is against Rokita and the Office of Attorney General.