Caitlin Bernard drops request for restraining order against Todd Rokita
The Indiana doctor who provided an abortion for a 10-year-old rape victim has dropped her request for an injunction against the attorney general over his investigation of alleged complaints about her.
DR Caitlin Bernardwho was catapulted into the national political struggle after a local newspaper leaked the Ohio young girl’s story that she had to cross state lines to obtain an abortion, sued the attorney general death Rokita (R) in November. The lawsuit follows Rokita’s public statements about his investigations into Bernard and her medical partner, Dr. Amy Caldwell.
Rokita based his investigation on so-called “consumer complaints,” which Bernard said were obviously false and were filed by people who had never interacted with either doctor.
On Thursday, Bernard’s attorney released a statement announcing the voluntary withdrawal of the doctor’s lawsuit.
“With today’s voluntary release, we are maintaining our victory in court by proving that the Attorney General broke Indiana law by publicly detailing an investigation into Dr. Bernard discussed, which he was required by law to keep confidential at the time,” Lawyer said Kathleen Delaney by DeLaney & DeLaney LLC, said in a statement Thursday. “While the application for emergency aid was pending, AG Rokita continued its investigation into Dr. Caldwell overall one. We now turn our full attention to the complaint that Mr. Rokita made to the Medical Licensing Board against Dr. Bernard submitted.”
Bernard and Caldwell had asked an Indiana judge to issue an injunction barring Rokita from serving subpoenas to obtain medical records from patients who had requested an abortion from them.
On December 2nd, Marion Superior Court Judge Heather Walch issued a decision that prompted both sides to declare victory: Bernard celebrated the fact that Welch found Rokita had violated Indiana’s privacy law, and Rokita hailed the rejection of Bernard’s emergency request as a victory.
“DR. Bernard has satisfied her burden of proving irreparable harm based on the Attorney General’s public statements regarding an investigation, which Indiana law required to remain confidential until the complaint was filed with the Medical Licensing Board,” Welch wrote in her decision.
Welch also pointed out that Indiana law requires the confidentiality of consumer complaints and information related to consumer complaints until the attorney general files a notice with the regulatory agency, which Rokita did just days before the judge’s ruling — and after he completed the investigation announced by Bernard.
Rokita’s filing nonetheless removed the matter from the jurisdiction of the court, essentially negating Bernard’s reason for seeking the injunction.
On Thursday, DeLaney said she was ready to defend Bernard and her medical clearance against Rokita’s “baseless attacks.”
“Rokita’s actions set a dangerous precedent that jeopardizes the delivery of legitimate patient care and compromises the confidentiality of patients’ medical records,” DeLaney said in the statement. “And Rokita continues to take these actions at taxpayer expense.”
In July, the Indianapolis Star contained a brief retelling by Bernard of a recent patient, a young Ohio rape victim who was pregnant. The girl traveled to neighboring Indiana for abortion treatment because of her home state’s restrictive abortion laws following the June Supreme Court ruling Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organizationwhich overturned decades of guaranteed abortion rights Roe v. calf.
As Bernard’s story gained national attention, Rokita turned to Fox News to criticize the doctor and announce that his office would be investigating her for alleged violations of Indiana law regarding patient privacy, abortion reporting and child abuse.
So far, none of the investigations into Bernard have revealed such violations.
However, Rokita’s office was undeterred from further criticizing Bernard.
“Her decision to withdraw her lawsuit less than a week after our victory in court is further validation that she has put her political agenda ahead of the privacy and safety of her 10-year-old patient,” a Law&Crime office spokesman said in an email sent to E -Mail sent statement. “At the same time, any extraneous babble by the court about the attorney general’s comments had no legal value, as the court itself acknowledged.”
Read Bernard’s voluntary resignation here.
[Image via CBS Evening News/YouTube screengrab.]
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https://lawandcrime.com/abortion/indiana-doctor-drops-lawsuit-against-attorney-general-shifts-focus-to-medical-board-investigation-into-abortion-care/ Caitlin Bernard drops request for restraining order against Todd Rokita