The Indiana Medical Licensing Board fined a local doctor for breach of privacy laws after reporting the abortion care she provided to a 10-year-old Ohio rape victim. Although abortion is legal in Indiana if performed within 21 weeks and 6 days of pregnancy, Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita accused Dr. Caitlin Bernard of privacy policy breach for publicly sharing information about the case.

Atty. Rokita put forward a complaint to the state medical board in November 2022, requesting disciplinary action against Dr. Bernard for the misdemeanor and for failing to report the case to Ohio authorities.

Board Finally Hears Dr. Bernard’s Defense

In a hearing held last Thursday, Dr. Bernard made it clear that hospital policies and state reporting requirements were observed. State authorities as well as hospital social workers were informed of the child abuse at the time when investigation was already ongoing.

The Indiana doctor’s lawyers argued that their client did not violate privacy laws as any identifying information about the 10-yo girl was omitted in the so-called shared reports.

How the Indiana Medical Board Decided on the Bernard Case

The Indiana Medical Board had charged Dr. Caitlin Bernard only for breaking privacy laws. The Indiana doctor has been fined an amount of $3,000 and given a letter of reprimand. Although it was possible for the Indiana Medical Board to withdraw Dr. Bernard’s state license as a medical practitioner, no such ruling was handed down. That meant Dr. Bernard is still licensed to practice medicine after the board addressed the merits of the complaint.

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