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Judge orders Rokita and Bernard legal teams back in court Monday

Judge Heather Welch ordered the state to provide someone from the AG's office that could answer questions on the stand.

INDIANAPOLIS — Attorneys for a local doctor and the attorney general’s office faced off in Marion County court Friday for an emergency preliminary injunction hearing. 

During the hearing, Judge Heather Welch decided she wanted to hear more before deciding on Dr. Caitlyn Bernard’s request to stop Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita’s investigation into the doctor’s handling of an abortion for a 10-year-old rape victim from Ohio.

Welch ordered the state to provide someone from the AG's office that could answer questions on the stand. She said she will also decide if Bernard will have to testify.

Neither Rokita nor Bernard was present during Friday’s hearing. However, both issued statements following the proceedings. Bernard's statement reads, in part: 

We must show our patients that we will stand up for them and their right to confidential care. Every patient needs to know that their medical records will not be handed over to any politician who decides to open an unfounded investigation based on their own political agenda.”

Rokita's office issued this statement:

“Our team always follows the law and pursues the truth - as that is the role of the Attorney General. We put the highest value on patient privacy and ethical standards in medicine. We will continue to push forward in this legal battle to ensure every patient’s privacy is protected in Indiana.”

RELATED: Doctor suing Indiana's AG over access to patients' medical records in abortion investigations

Bernard’s team argues this case is ultimately about privacy and consumer complaints from third parties with no firsthand knowledge of a medical procedure is not sufficient to evidence to allow the state to request and obtain patient’s full medical records.

Bernard’s legal team submitted portions of some of the complaints in its original lawsuit calling them "invalid consumer complaints" from people without any firsthand knowledge of the case or the young rape victim.

Friday’s hearing lasted nearly three hours. It included opening statements from both parties and testimony from three doctors called by the plaintiffs to discuss medical ethics and privacy.

RELATED: Attorney for Dr. Caitlin Bernard addresses consumer complaints in AG investigation

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