INDIANAPOLIS (WXIN) — An attorney symbolizing Dr. Caitlin Bernard, who provided an abortion on a 10-12 months-outdated rape victim, has submitted a tort declare towards Indiana Attorney Basic Todd Rokita — the 1st step in a defamation lawsuit from Rokita.
“Mr. Rokita’s phony and deceptive statements about alleged misconduct by Dr. Bernard in her job constitute defamation,” explained Legal professional Kathleen A. DeLaney, who signifies Bernard.
The lawsuit will come on the heels of a stop and desist issued by DeLaney, which was itself a reaction to Rokita’s continued public feedback aimed at Bernard. Rokita went on Fox News on July 13, contacting Bernard an “abortion activist acting as a doctor” and explained she had a “history of failing to report” and even threatened to go after Bernard’s license.
The Fox Information caption underneath Rokita proclaimed “Doc Failed to Report Abortion Abuse Victim,” according to the tort declare.
Nevertheless, Nexstar’s WXIN attained documents displaying that Bernard did file the report, and even filed it inside of the timeframe expected.
DeLaney also stated that a “simple check” on a federal government license internet site would have verified that Dr. Bernard’s license was lively with no disciplinary historical past.
In addition, Indiana College Overall health issued a statement declaring they executed an investigation into Dr. Bernard and discovered her in compliance with privateness guidelines.
But regardless of Rokita and his business being capable to get hold of this data, Rokita spoke publically in nationwide and nearby media, continuing to vow an investigation into her license, and to see if she had submitted the report.
“Rokita both understood the statements had been untrue or acted with reckless disregard to the truth of the matter or falsity of the statements,” DeLaney said in the tort claim. “Mr. Rokita recklessly and/or negligently failed to determine whether or not the statements about Dr. Bernard’s licensure have been legitimate or false just before earning them.”
DeLaney said Rokita’s statements “exceed the standard scope of Mr. Rokita’s authority as Indiana’s Legal professional Typical.”
“Given the recent political atmosphere in the United States, Mr. Rokita’s remarks were intended to heighten public condemnation of Dr. Bernard, who lawfully delivered authentic health-related care,” the tort claim said.
The filing triggers a 90-working day investigative period of time for the condition to settle the claim, immediately after which a lawsuit can be submitted.
Rokita’s office environment delivered WXIN with the pursuing assertion:
Lawyer Standard Rokita and the Office environment of Attorney Basic are leaders in the pro-everyday living movement. His historic work has even more distinguished Indiana as a protector of unborn existence and girls. This is aspect of a divisive narrative and an try to distract from the critical operate of the workplace, which include the responsibility to figure out whetherpractitioners have violated the benchmarks of observe in his or her career, as very well as federal and condition guidelines. We will defend from baseless statements.
KELLY STEVENSON, Workplace OF Legal professional Basic TODD ROKITA
The Indiana Democratic Social gathering also launched a statement in reaction to the information:
“Hoosier taxpayers will now have to fork out for Attorney Common Todd Rokita’s countrywide smear marketing campaign towards a physician who helped a 10-yr-old rape survivor attain a authorized and secure abortion. The Indiana GOP demonstrates much more and a lot more that they will do everything to go after their extremist agenda — an agenda that gets rid of alternative and forces women to have beginning even in cases of rape, incest, or conserving the existence of the mom. This agenda is also excessive for Indiana and Hoosiers have had more than enough of Rokita’s self-serving antics.”
DREW ANDERSON, SPOKESMAN FOR THE INDIANA DEMOCRATIC Party