The Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission on Monday lodged a formal complaint against the state's Republican Attorney General Todd Rokita.
The complaint centers on statements Rokita made about OB-GYN Dr. Caitlin Bernard, who performed an abortion on a 10-year-old girl after she was raped.
The controversy began in December 2022 when Rokita publicly announced an investigation into Dr. Bernard. This action came after the OB-GYN disclosed her involvement in performing an abortion on a 10-year-old patient to the Indianapolis Star.
The Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission, however, contends that Rokita's actions during his investigation violated Dr. Bernard's privacy and were aimed at causing her embarrassment and hindrance. They specifically highlight Rokita's characterization of Dr. Bernard as an "abortion activist acting as a doctor."
"And then we have this abortion activist acting as a doctor with a history of failing to report. So, we're gathering the information," Rokita told Fox News host Jesse Watters last summer. "We're gathering the evidence as we speak, and we're going to fight this to the end, including looking at her licensure if she failed to report it. In Indiana, it's a crime for – to not report, to intentionally not report."
The commission's complaint outlines three distinct charges against Rokita. The first charge asserts that Rokita violated professional conduct rules by making public comments that could potentially prejudice the outcome of an ongoing investigation. The second charge is based on Rokita's labeling of Dr. Bernard as an "abortion activist," which the commission argues violated conduct rules. The final charge alleges that Rokita publicly discussed confidential information prior to officially filing a complaint with the Indiana Medical Licensing Board, which he eventually did in November.
Rokita had previously faced a reprimand from a judge in December for making public statements before initiating a formal investigation, following a lawsuit filed by Dr. Bernard.
Responding to the complaint, Rokita staunchly defended his actions, emphasizing his commitment to protecting "vulnerable children" and their "privacy rights," according to a press release from his office.
Framing his actions as a response to healthcare providers exploiting their media and political notoriety to advance agendas, Rokita added that such "radicals have fostered an environment that 'cancels' non-compliant citizens through intimidation as well as tactics that can weaponize our respected institutions."
"So, today, I am filing a response to the complaint also filed today that stemmed from grievances which mainly referenced media reports … Below are highlights from the forthcoming response. My response includes information unreported by the media. Beyond that, I remain responsible for everything my office and I do and say."
Bernard faced disciplinary action by the Indiana Medical Licensing Board this year for mishandling the 10-year-old patient's abortion information and breaching patient privacy laws. While the board didn't restrict her practice, it marked the event down as her first disciplinary incident.
Despite this, Rokita recently sued Indiana University Health, Bernard's workplace, alleging inadequate enforcement of privacy laws in connection to her abortion care last summer.
Nick Koutsobinas ✉
Nick Koutsobinas, a Newsmax writer, has years of news reporting experience. A graduate from Missouri State University’s philosophy program, he focuses on exposing corruption and censorship.
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