Kate Anderson on September 18, 2023
The Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission filed a complaint against Republican Attorney General Todd Rokita Monday for statements he made about a doctor who performed an abortion on a 10-year-old, according to the Indiana Capital Chronicle.
Rokita announced an investigation into Dr. Caitlin Bernard in December 2022 after she went public with the Indianapolis Star, a local media outlet, about performing an abortion for a 10-year-old. The state Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission, however, claimed in its complaint that Rokita had violated Dr. Bernard’s privacy and had also sought to “embarrass, delay, or burden” Bernard by labeling her an “abortion activist” during the course of his investigation, according to the Indiana Capital Chronicle.
The commission lists three charges in its complaint, with the first claiming that Rokita broke professional conduct rules that require attorneys to withhold from making any public comments that would prejudice the outcome of an investigation, the Indiana Capital Chronicle reported. The second charge stated that Rokita’s claim that Bernard was an “abortion activist acting like a doctor” also violated conduct rules.
Its final charge argues that the attorney general publicly commented on confidential information before making an official complaint to the Indiana Medical Licensing Board, which he eventually did in November, according to the Indiana Capital Chronicle. Rokita was reprimanded by a judge in December for making public statements before beginning an investigation after Bernard filed a lawsuit.
Rokita immediately responded to the complaint, saying that he would not stop protecting “vulnerable children (our most precious gift)” who have had their “privacy rights unlawfully violated — without consent — by healthcare providers to further their political agenda and their ‘bottom line,’” according to a press release.
“These same radicals have fostered an environment that ‘cancels’ non-compliant citizens through intimidation as well as tactics that can weaponize our respected institutions,” Rokita said in a statement. “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.”
The complaint was filed only days after Rokita launched a lawsuit against the Indiana University Hospital system for violating privacy laws after it defended Dr. Bernard for talking about the rape victim’s abortion. Bernard was later fined $3,000 and given a letter of reprimand by the Indiana Medical Licensing Board for failing to honor patient privacy laws.