INDIANAPOLIS (WXIN) — An lawyer symbolizing Dr. Caitlin Bernard, who supplied an abortion on a 10-calendar year-previous rape victim, has submitted a tort claim versus Indiana Attorney Normal Todd Rokita — the initial step in a defamation lawsuit in opposition to Rokita.
“Mr. Rokita’s false and deceptive statements about alleged misconduct by Dr. Bernard in her job represent defamation,” said Lawyer Kathleen A. DeLaney, who signifies 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 general public comments aimed at Bernard. Rokita went on Fox Information on July 13, calling Bernard an “abortion activist performing as a doctor” and claimed she had a “history of failing to report” and even threatened to go right after Bernard’s license.
The Fox Information caption underneath Rokita proclaimed “Doc Unsuccessful to Report Abortion Abuse Victim,” according to the tort declare.
Nevertheless, Nexstar’s WXIN attained paperwork displaying that Bernard did file the report, and even filed it within the timeframe expected.
DeLaney also stated that a “simple check” on a government license web-site would have confirmed that Dr. Bernard’s license was active with no disciplinary historical past.
In addition, Indiana University Wellness issued a statement indicating they executed an investigation into Dr. Bernard and identified her in compliance with privateness regulations.
But despite Rokita and his office becoming in a position to acquire this information, Rokita spoke publically in countrywide and area media, continuing to vow an investigation into her license, and to see if she experienced filed the report.
“Rokita both knew the statements ended up wrong or acted with reckless disregard to the truth of the matter or falsity of the statements,” DeLaney mentioned in the tort claim. “Mr. Rokita recklessly and/or negligently unsuccessful to verify regardless of whether the statements about Dr. Bernard’s licensure were legitimate or untrue in advance of producing them.”
DeLaney said Rokita’s statements “exceed the typical scope of Mr. Rokita’s authority as Indiana’s Legal professional Common.”
“Given the latest political ambiance in the United States, Mr. Rokita’s opinions have been supposed to heighten general public condemnation of Dr. Bernard, who lawfully provided respectable clinical care,” the tort assert explained.
The submitting triggers a 90-working day investigative interval for the condition to settle the declare, after which a lawsuit can be submitted.
Rokita’s business provided WXIN with the pursuing statement:
Lawyer General Rokita and the Place of work of Lawyer General are leaders in the professional-lifetime movement. His historic function has even more distinguished Indiana as a protector of unborn lifestyle and females. This is element of a divisive narrative and an endeavor to distract from the significant function of the office environment, like the responsibility to ascertain whetherpractitioners have violated the standards of exercise in his or her job, as very well as federal and condition rules. We will defend versus baseless statements.
KELLY STEVENSON, Office environment OF Attorney Common TODD ROKITA
The Indiana Democratic Celebration also produced a statement in response to the news:
“Hoosier taxpayers will now have to fork out for Legal professional General Todd Rokita’s nationwide smear marketing campaign from a health practitioner who assisted a 10-yr-outdated rape survivor achieve a authorized and safe and sound abortion. The Indiana GOP demonstrates far more and more that they will do just about anything to go after their extremist agenda — an agenda that removes selection and forces girls to have delivery even in situations of rape, incest, or conserving the life of the mother. This agenda is as well intense for Indiana and Hoosiers have had sufficient of Rokita’s self-serving antics.”
DREW ANDERSON, SPOKESMAN FOR THE INDIANA DEMOCRATIC Get together