INDIANAPOLIS — A Hoosier doctor who performed an abortion procedure for a 10-year-old rape victim will be reprimanded, but she will not lose her medical license.
Dr. Caitlin Bernard gained national attention last year, after the overturning of Roe v. Wade by the Supreme Court of the United States. She spoke to the press about providing an abortion for the Ohio girl, who had gotten pregnant after being raped.
The Indiana Medical Licensing Board determined that her decision to speak to the press did violate some patient privacy laws. As punishment, she will have to pay a $3,000 fine and will receive a letter of reprimand.
However, the doctor will still be free to practice medicine. The state’s Attorney General, Todd Rokita, had hoped to see her medical license suspended. He also called her an “abortion activist acting as a doctor.”
Though Rokita did not get his desired result, he released a statement in which he said, “We appreciate the Medical Licensing Board’s extraordinary time and consideration. My team did a great job getting the Truth out.”
That being said, Bernard and her lawyers say she did not reveal any explicit identifying information about the little girl, and she argues that talking about the girl’s case was important for educating people about the realities of modern abortion care.
The Medical Board was split in its decision.
Indiana University released this statement Friday:
We appreciate the Medical Licensing Board’s time dedicated to understanding the issues involving our colleague Dr. Caitlin Bernard. We are pleased she will continue to be a member of our medical team and provide compassionate care to her patients. We do not agree with the Board’s decision regarding patient privacy regulations and stand by the HIPAA risk assessment. We believe Dr. Bernard was compliant with privacy laws.
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