INDIANAPOLIS (WXIN) — An attorney symbolizing Dr. Caitlin Bernard, who supplied an abortion on a 10-12 months-outdated rape target, has filed a tort assert against Indiana Lawyer Basic Todd Rokita — the to start with stage in a defamation lawsuit against Rokita.
“Mr. Rokita’s bogus and misleading statements about alleged misconduct by Dr. Bernard in her occupation constitute defamation,” stated Legal professional Kathleen A. DeLaney, who signifies Bernard.
The lawsuit arrives on the heels of a stop and desist issued by DeLaney, which was by itself a response to Rokita’s ongoing public responses aimed at Bernard. Rokita went on Fox News on July 13, calling Bernard an “abortion activist acting as a doctor” and mentioned she had a “history of failing to report” and even threatened to go right after Bernard’s license.
The Fox Information caption beneath Rokita proclaimed “Doc Failed to Report Abortion Abuse Victim,” according to the tort claim.
Having said that, Nexstar’s WXIN received files exhibiting that Bernard did file the report, and even filed it inside the timeframe needed.
DeLaney also stated that a “simple check” on a governing administration license website would have confirmed that Dr. Bernard’s license was active with no disciplinary history.
In addition, Indiana College Wellness issued a assertion expressing they done an investigation into Dr. Bernard and found her in compliance with privacy rules.
But regardless of Rokita and his workplace remaining in a position to get hold of this facts, Rokita spoke publically in countrywide and neighborhood media, continuing to vow an investigation into her license, and to see if she experienced submitted the report.
“Rokita either realized the statements had been false or acted with reckless disregard to the truth of the matter or falsity of the statements,” DeLaney reported in the tort assert. “Mr. Rokita recklessly and/or negligently unsuccessful to confirm whether the statements about Dr. Bernard’s licensure have been genuine or untrue just before generating them.”
DeLaney mentioned Rokita’s statements “exceed the typical scope of Mr. Rokita’s authority as Indiana’s Legal professional Basic.”
“Given the present political environment in the United States, Mr. Rokita’s remarks ended up meant to heighten public condemnation of Dr. Bernard, who lawfully delivered legit health care care,” the tort claim stated.
The filing triggers a 90-day investigative period for the point out to settle the assert, soon after which a lawsuit can be filed.
Rokita’s workplace provided WXIN with the next statement:
Lawyer General Rokita and the Business of Legal professional Typical are leaders in the pro-existence motion. His historic do the job has further more distinguished Indiana as a protector of unborn existence and females. This is portion of a divisive narrative and an try to distract from the vital do the job of the business office, which include the responsibility to decide whetherpractitioners have violated the requirements of apply in his or her occupation, as effectively as federal and point out guidelines. We will defend in opposition to baseless promises.
KELLY STEVENSON, Business OF Lawyer Basic TODD ROKITA
The Indiana Democratic Bash also introduced a assertion in reaction to the news:
“Hoosier taxpayers will now have to spend for Attorney Standard Todd Rokita’s nationwide smear campaign in opposition to a health care provider who helped a 10-yr-previous rape survivor achieve a authorized and harmless abortion. The Indiana GOP shows a lot more and extra that they will do nearly anything to go after their extremist agenda — an agenda that removes option and forces gals to have birth even in instances of rape, incest, or saving the daily life of the mother. This agenda is far too serious for Indiana and Hoosiers have had plenty of of Rokita’s self-serving antics.”
DREW ANDERSON, SPOKESMAN FOR THE INDIANA DEMOCRATIC Bash