Indiana’s Republican Attorney General Todd Rokita says he will investigate the Indianapolis doctor who provided abortion care to a 10-year-old rape victim from Ohio after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.
“We’re gathering the evidence as we speak, and we’re going to fight this to the end, including looking at her licensure if she failed to report. And in Indiana it’s a crime … to intentionally not report,” Rokita told Fox News
“This is a child, and there’s a strong public interest in understanding if someone under the age of 16 or under the age of 18 or really any woman is having abortion in our state. And then if a child is being sexually abused, of course parents need to know. Authorities need to know. Public policy experts need to know,” he said.
Dr. Caitlin Bernard, an obstetrician-gynecologist based in Indianapolis carried out the procedure after receiving a call from a colleague in Ohio.
Ohio banned all abortions after six weeks of pregnancy with no exception for rape or incest after SCOTUS overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark ruling that legalized abortion nationwide. The child was six weeks and three days pregnant.
For now, abortion is legal in Indiana up to 20 weeks of pregnancy with some exceptions for medical emergencies. However, there are strict reporting requirements in the state for abortions and rape allegations, according to Politico.
Indiana law requires that a doctor who provided an abortion to a rape victim, in this case a 10-year-old, must file a report with the Indiana Department of Health and the Indiana Department of Child Services within three days after the procedure.
Rokita sent a letter to Indiana governor Eric Holcomb (R) on Thursday asking for his assistance in the investigation to determine if Dr. Bernard reported the abortion in the correct time frame. Rokita said in the letter that his office did not receive any documents.
“If Dr. Bernard has failed to file the required reports on time, she has committed a criminal offense, the consequences of which could include criminal prosecution and licensing repercussions,” Rokita said.
The story about the 10-year-old girl drew national attention after women lost their right to an abortion. President Joe Biden spoke of it on the same day he signed an executive order to protect access to abortion nationwide.
Some Republicans, including Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan and Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost, suggested that the story was fabricated.