Wednesday, November 1, 2023

US Doctor Faces Hearing for Treating 10-Year-Old Rape Victim


The Indiana Medical Licensing Board is holding a disciplinary hearing against Dr. Caitlin Bernard for speaking out about offering abortion care to a 10-year-old rape victim last June. The doctor’s initial story was published in The Indianapolis Star newspaper to illustrate the immediate effects of a Supreme Court decision to overturn the constitutional right to an abortion. The complaint against Bernard, filed by Indiana’s Attorney General Todd Rokita, accuses her of violating both state and federal law and seeks “appropriate disciplinary action.” The attorney general’s office alleges that Bernard violated Indiana law by not reporting the rape to authorities and federal standards for patient privacy. Bernard and her lawyers deny any violation of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), the law that protects patient privacy. At Thursday’s hearing, Bernard defended her ability as a doctor to speak broadly about medical issues in the public interest. Healthcare groups with ties to Bernard, like Planned Parenthood and Physicians for Reproductive Health, have also come to her defense, arguing that attacks on her professionalism are “politically motivated.”

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