INDIANAPOLIS — Attorneys for Dr. Caitlin Bernard filed notice of a tort claim against Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita for defamation.
Bernard, an Indianapolis obstetrician-gynecologist, is being investigated by the AG's office.
Rokita had made claims that Bernard had a “history of failing to report” information on abortions and/or abuse. He also questioned whether she had followed Indiana law in providing an abortion for a 10-year-old girl.
On July 14, a letter sent from Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita to Gov. Eric Holcomb showed there was no current evidence Bernard ignored state law.
The AG's office tells 13News:
"Our office is continuing its investigation into whether Dr. Caitlin Bernard was in compliance with Indiana and federal privacy laws, among other reporting and confidentiality requirements and practices. No enforcement actions have been filed."
IU Health previously reported that Bernard had followed Indiana privacy laws in her handling of the abortion.
The tort claim notice outlines "harm caused by the State of Indiana, in particular, through the false and misleading statements about the facts of the case made by Attorney General Todd Rokita to local and national news sources on July 14, 2022, even after it was confirmed by public records requests that Dr. Bernard complied with all applicable reporting laws."
A statement from Bernard's attorney reads in part:
"Mr. Rokita’s false and misleading statements about alleged misconduct by Dr. Bernard in her profession constitute defamation per se. The statements have been and continue to be published by or on behalf of Mr. Rokita and the Office of the Attorney General. To the extent that these statements exceed the general scope of Mr. Rokita’s authority as Indiana’s Attorney General, the statement forms the basis of an actionable defamation claim against Mr. Rokita individually."