INDIANAPOLIS (WXIN) — An legal professional representing Dr. Caitlin Bernard, who provided an abortion on a 10-yr-previous rape victim, has filed a tort assert towards Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita — the first step in a defamation lawsuit against Rokita.
“Mr. Rokita’s false and misleading statements about alleged misconduct by Dr. Bernard in her profession represent defamation,” claimed Legal professional Kathleen A. DeLaney, who represents Bernard.
The lawsuit arrives on the heels of a cease and desist issued by DeLaney, which was by itself a reaction to Rokita’s ongoing community remarks aimed at Bernard. Rokita went on Fox News on July 13, calling Bernard an “abortion activist acting as a doctor” and mentioned she had a “history of failing to report” and even threatened to go following Bernard’s license.
The Fox Information caption underneath Rokita proclaimed “Doc Unsuccessful to Report Abortion Abuse Sufferer,” according to the tort assert.
Even so, Nexstar’s WXIN attained files demonstrating that Bernard did file the report, and even filed it within just the timeframe expected.
DeLaney also reported that a “simple check” on a governing administration license web page would have verified that Dr. Bernard’s license was active with no disciplinary heritage.
In addition, Indiana College Well being issued a assertion saying they done an investigation into Dr. Bernard and observed her in compliance with privacy guidelines.
But even with Rokita and his business office staying equipped to obtain this data, Rokita spoke publically in countrywide and neighborhood media, continuing to vow an investigation into her license, and to see if she had submitted the report.
“Rokita either understood the statements were being false or acted with reckless disregard to the fact or falsity of the statements,” DeLaney stated in the tort assert. “Mr. Rokita recklessly and/or negligently failed to determine whether or not the statements about Dr. Bernard’s licensure had been correct or fake right before making them.”
DeLaney said Rokita’s statements “exceed the standard scope of Mr. Rokita’s authority as Indiana’s Lawyer General.”
“Given the present political atmosphere in the United States, Mr. Rokita’s reviews were meant to heighten general public condemnation of Dr. Bernard, who legally furnished legit medical care,” the tort claim stated.
The submitting triggers a 90-day investigative period of time for the point out to settle the assert, immediately after which a lawsuit can be filed.
Rokita’s place of work presented WXIN with the pursuing statement:
Legal professional Typical Rokita and the Business office of Attorney Typical are leaders in the pro-existence movement. His historic do the job has more distinguished Indiana as a protector of unborn everyday living and ladies. This is component of a divisive narrative and an attempt to distract from the crucial perform of the office, such as the obligation to figure out whetherpractitioners have violated the expectations of exercise in his or her job, as nicely as federal and state regulations. We will defend in opposition to baseless claims.
KELLY STEVENSON, Place of work OF Attorney Standard TODD ROKITA
The Indiana Democratic Social gathering also introduced a statement in response to the news:
“Hoosier taxpayers will now have to fork out for Lawyer Typical Todd Rokita’s national smear campaign versus a medical professional who helped a 10-year-previous rape survivor achieve a legal and safe and sound abortion. The Indiana GOP shows extra and a lot more that they will do something to pursue their extremist agenda — an agenda that eliminates choice and forces women to have birth even in scenarios of rape, incest, or conserving the daily life of the mother. This agenda is much too excessive for Indiana and Hoosiers have had plenty of of Rokita’s self-serving antics.”
DREW ANDERSON, SPOKESMAN FOR THE INDIANA DEMOCRATIC Social gathering