INDIANAPOLIS — A Marion County judge denied a request to limit the Indiana attorney general’s investigation into a local doctor.
The same judge also said Attorney General Todd Rokita violated state law by talking about the investigation before a complaint was filed.
“This is a win for patient privacy rights in the practice of medicine and for properly reporting child abuse,” a statement from the attorney general’s office said, in part, Friday afternoon. “This case is not really about abortion, despite the best efforts of those with an agenda to make it appear that way.“
Marion County Judge Heather Welch issued her order Friday afternoon denying Dr. Caitlin Bernard’s emergency motion for preliminary injunction asking a judge to stop the attorney general's office from accessing the full medical record of a 10-year-old rape victim.
However, Welch also wrote, “the Attorney General did violate the licensing statue’s confidentiality provision by discussing the statutorily confidential investigation in statements to the media.”
The doctor’s attorneys sent a statement claiming partial victory.
Bernard is suing Rokita over his investigation into her handling of a case involving a 10-year-old rape victim from Ohio.
Rokita went on Fox News to say his office would investigate Bernard after a newspaper article included she was consulted to help a 10-year-old obtain an abortion.
State law requires investigations remain confidential until an official complaint is filed with the medical licensing board. That administrative complaint wasn’t filed until Wednesday.
In the complaint, Rokita accused Bernard of violating state and federal privacy laws. He also accused the doctor of not reporting the child abuse to authorities in Indiana in a timely manner.
Bernard contends she did not need to contact Indianapolis police because she was already working with officials in Ohio who were investigating the rape.
The Medical Licensing Board of Indiana will now schedule a hearing before deciding if it will grant the attorney general’s request to discipline the doctor.
On Friday, Welch also granted Rokita's request for a special judge. Judge James Joven of Marion County was assigned to take over the civil lawsuit.