Indiana’s medical licensing board disciplined the doctor who spoke publicly about providing an abortion to a 10-year-old rape victim from Ohio last year, according to reports.
The Indiana Medical Licensing Board issued a letter of reprimand and fined Dr. Caitlin Bernard $3,000 after it found that she violated patient privacy law when she discussed the case of the girl without the consent of the patient or a guardian in an interview. Bernard is still allowed to practice medicine.
The move comes after Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita filed a complaint against Bernard late last year alleging that she violated patient privacy laws and also failed to report child abuse to Indiana authorities.
The board did not agree that Bernard failed to report child abuse because law enforcement in Ohio was already investigating the case.
Rokita still praised the board’s decision in a statement on Thursday.
“This case was about patient privacy and the trust between the doctor and patient that was broken,” he said. “What if it was your child or your parent or your sibling who was going through a sensitive medical crisis, and the doctor, who you thought was on your side, ran to the press for political reasons? It’s not right, and the facts we presented today made that clear.”
Last July, Bernard told the Indianapolis Star about the 10-year-old rape victim from Ohio who was forced to cross state lines to obtain an abortion. The child was just over six weeks pregnant and Ohio banned abortions after around six weeks of pregnancy.
The case drew nationwide attention since it came in the weeks after the United States Supreme court overturned Roe v. Wade and several states, including Ohio, trigger ban went into effect.
Asked at the disciplinary hearing Thursday why she spoke about the case publicly Bernard said: “I think that it’s incredibly important for people to understand the real-world impacts of the laws of this country about abortion. I think it’s important for people to know what patients will have to go through because of legislation that is being passed, and a hypothetical does not make that impact,” according to the Associated Press.
A 27-year-old man was arrested after he confessed to raping the girl at least twice.