A US doctor who provided an abortion to a 10-year-old has been fined by a medical board after speaking to media about the case.
Dr. Caitlin Bernard, the Indianapolis obstetrician-gynecologist who performed an abortion on a 10-year-old rape victim from Ohio, testified before the Indiana Medical Licensing Board Thursday following a complaint by Attorney General Todd Rokita.
Rokita argues Bernard violated patient privacy laws and failed to report the abuse of the child – allegations she and her attorneys deny.
During her testimony Thursday, Bernard maintained she did nothing wrong when she told The Indianapolis Star last summer that she provided abortion care to the 10-year-old.
Dr. Bernard received a letter of reprimand as well as a $3,000 (£2,425) penalty. However, the Indiana Medical Licensing Board rejected the claim that Dr. Bernard was incompetent to practice medicine and did not suspend her license.
A report on Dr. Bernard’s experience treating a 10-year-old rape survivor was published in the Indianapolis Star in July 2022, one month after a US Supreme Court decision eliminated the national right to an abortion.
The child had traveled to Indiana for an abortion from nearby Ohio. At the time, abortion was illegal in Ohio after six weeks of pregnancy. Later that month, an Ohio man was charged of raping the girl.
The Indiana State Attorney General’s office filed a complaint against Dr. Bernard in November of last year, stating that he neglected to disclose the child’s abuse as soon as it occurred as required by state law and to safeguard patient privacy.
She said that she reported the patient’s maltreatment to a social worker in accordance with the hospital’s procedure.
During the hearing, state officials sought to portray Dr Bernard as an “abortion activist” who shared details about the procedure with the media without first requesting permission from the child’s family.
“Trust was violated when (Bernard) sought to further her own agenda,” said Deputy Attorney General Cory Voight of the accusations facing the physician. He said if the board agreed with the state’s complaint, Dr Bernard “has become unfit to practice”.