INDIANAPOLIS (WXIN) — An attorney representing Dr. Caitlin Bernard, who presented an abortion on a 10-calendar year-old rape sufferer, has filed a tort assert in opposition to Indiana Lawyer Standard Todd Rokita — the to start with step in a defamation lawsuit from Rokita.
“Mr. Rokita’s wrong and deceptive statements about alleged misconduct by Dr. Bernard in her profession constitute defamation,” reported Legal professional Kathleen A. DeLaney, who represents Bernard.
The lawsuit will come on the heels of a cease and desist issued by DeLaney, which was by itself a response to Rokita’s continued community opinions aimed at Bernard. Rokita went on Fox News on July 13, calling Bernard an “abortion activist acting as a doctor” and stated she had a “history of failing to report” and even threatened to go just after Bernard’s license.
The Fox News caption underneath Rokita proclaimed “Doc Failed to Report Abortion Abuse Sufferer,” in accordance to the tort assert.
Having said that, Nexstar’s WXIN acquired documents showing that Bernard did file the report, and even submitted it inside of the timeframe essential.
DeLaney also explained that a “simple check” on a authorities license web site would have verified that Dr. Bernard’s license was lively with no disciplinary record.
In addition, Indiana University Health and fitness issued a assertion saying they executed an investigation into Dr. Bernard and observed her in compliance with privateness regulations.
But in spite of Rokita and his office environment remaining ready to receive this information and facts, Rokita spoke publically in nationwide and area media, continuing to vow an investigation into her license, and to see if she experienced filed the report.
“Rokita either realized the statements ended up bogus or acted with reckless disregard to the truth or falsity of the statements,” DeLaney mentioned in the tort assert. “Mr. Rokita recklessly and/or negligently unsuccessful to confirm irrespective of whether the statements about Dr. Bernard’s licensure were being genuine or wrong prior to earning them.”
DeLaney said Rokita’s statements “exceed the typical scope of Mr. Rokita’s authority as Indiana’s Legal professional General.”
“Given the current political atmosphere in the United States, Mr. Rokita’s opinions have been meant to heighten community condemnation of Dr. Bernard, who legally presented authentic health-related treatment,” the tort claim reported.
The filing triggers a 90-day investigative period of time for the point out to settle the assert, after which a lawsuit can be filed.
Rokita’s place of work provided WXIN with the next assertion:
Attorney Standard Rokita and the Office environment of Legal professional General are leaders in the professional-lifetime movement. His historic do the job has further distinguished Indiana as a protector of unborn life and females. This is component of a divisive narrative and an try to distract from the critical perform of the office environment, which includes the duty to establish whetherpractitioners have violated the benchmarks of apply in his or her profession, as very well as federal and condition guidelines. We will protect versus baseless claims.
KELLY STEVENSON, Office OF Legal professional General TODD ROKITA
The Indiana Democratic Bash also introduced a assertion in response to the information:
“Hoosier taxpayers will now have to pay out for Lawyer Standard Todd Rokita’s national smear marketing campaign towards a medical professional who aided a 10-calendar year-aged rape survivor achieve a lawful and secure abortion. The Indiana GOP exhibits far more and more that they will do nearly anything to pursue their extremist agenda — an agenda that removes selection and forces girls to have beginning even in instances of rape, incest, or preserving the lifestyle of the mom. This agenda is far too intense for Indiana and Hoosiers have experienced more than enough of Rokita’s self-serving antics.”
DREW ANDERSON, SPOKESMAN FOR THE INDIANA DEMOCRATIC Celebration