The office of Indiana’s attorney general says he did not defame the doctor who performed an abortion on a 10-year-old’s fetus in June.
“No false or misleading statements have been made,” a spokesperson for Attorney General Todd Rokita, a Republican, told The Epoch Times via email.
Dr. Caitlin Bernard, a doctor with the Indiana University School of Medicine, carried out the abortion on the Ohio girl’s fetus on June 30, according to records obtained by The Epoch Times. She reported it to state health authorities within three days, as state law requires, although it remains unclear if she followed other mandatory reporting requirements by notifying the Indiana Department of Child Services.
Prior to the records being released, Rokita had said that he was investigating Bernard for potential failure to report.
“The failure to do so constitutes a crime in Indiana, and her behavior could also affect her licensure. Additionally, if a HIPAA violation did occur, that may affect next steps as well. I will not relent in the pursuit of the truth,” Rokita said in an earlier statement.
HIPAA, or the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, is a federal law that prohibits the disclosure of some details about patients.
Indiana University said a review concluded Bernard did not violate any laws, and the doctor’s lawyer subsequently sent a cease-and-desist letter to Rokita.
“Please immediately cease and desist making any false or misleading statements about Dr. Bernard,” Kathleen DeLaney, the lawyer, told the attorney general.
She said that Rokita’s initial comments made during a Fox News appearance “cast Dr. Bernard in a false light and allege misconduct in her profession,” and criticized the statements made after the record release that the investigation into the doctor was still ongoing.
The statements “have the potential to incite harassment or violence from the public which could prevent Dr. Bernard, an Indiana licensed physician, from providing care to her patents [sic] safely,” DeLaney wrote.
Rokita’s spokesperson said that the letter, like any correspondence, “will be reviewed if and when it arrives.”
The man arrested for allegedly raping the 10-year-old girl, meanwhile, remains in Franklin County, Ohio jail, according to jail records.
Gerson Fuentes, described as an illegal immigrant by local and federal authorities, confessed to raping the minor, according to court documents.
Testing of DNA taken from the suspect is pending.
The public defender’s office in the county, which is representing Fuentes, has not responded to requests for comment.
Fuentes is 27. Bernard had listed the age of the father of the unborn child as 17. Her lawyer has not responded to requests for comment.
Fuentes was charged with raping a person under the age of 13 years and faces life in prison if convicted.
His next court appearance is scheduled to take place on July 22.
From The Epoch Times