Indiana doctor did not violate 10-year-old rape victim’s privacy: Employer

The Indiana doctor who provided care for a 10-year-old Ohio rape victim who crossed state lines seeking an abortion did not violate privacy regulations and filed a report to the state’s health department, an investigation determined.

Dr. Caitlin Bernard was found not to be in violation of any state privacy laws after Indiana University Health conducted an investigation into the matter, the healthcare system for which she works said.

INDIANA AG INVESTIGATING DOCTOR WHO PROVIDED CARE FOR CHILD RAPE VICTIM SEEKING ABORTION

“As part of IU Health’s commitment to patient privacy and compliance with privacy laws, IU Health routinely initiates reviews, including the matters in the news concerning Dr. Caitlin Bernard,” IU Health said in a statement. “Pursuant to its policy, IU Health conducted an investigation with the full cooperation of Dr. Bernard and other IU Health team members. IU Health’s investigation found Dr. Bernard in compliance with privacy laws.”

Attorneys representing Bernard have indicated they would be pursuing legal action against the state attorney general, who is investigating whether the doctor filed her report in compliance with state law.

“My client, Dr. Caitlin Bernard, took every appropriate and proper action in accordance with the law and both her medical and ethical training as a physician,” Kathleen Delaney, who represents Bernard, said in a statement Thursday. “She followed all relevant policies, procedures, and regulations in this case, just as she does every day to provide the best possible care for her patients. She has not violated any law, including patient privacy laws, and she has not been disciplined by her employer. We are considering legal action against those who have smeared my client, including Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita, and know that the facts will all come out in due time.”

Rokita announced earlier this week his office would be conducting its own investigation into whether the doctor had failed to report the procedure, which is required under Indiana law. He maintained his investigation would “remain open” even after it was reported by the Indianapolis Star that Bernard filed the appropriate abortion disclosure forms on July 2, within the required three-day window dictated by Indiana law, according to records.

The outlet initially reported on July 1 that a 10-year-old rape victim who was six weeks and three days pregnant traveled to the state after her Ohio doctor called an Indianapolis obstetrician-gynecologist for help in the wake of the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade. The newspaper published an interview with Bernard, who said she had provided care to the young girl.

The story raised several questions, and some doubted whether it was true after multiple fact-checking sites could not corroborate the story independently. After Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost said there was no evidence of a report being filed in the 10-year-old’s case, Fox News was able to corroborate some elements of the story earlier this week, although it remains unclear whether the young girl was “forced” to travel across state lines to receive the abortion or was just referred to another clinic.

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Gerson Fuentes, 27, whose last known address was a Columbus apartment, was arrested Tuesday after he confessed to raping the girl on at least two occasions, police said. Police charged Fuentes with rape, a felony of the first degree in Ohio. Fuentes is an illegal immigrant, an ICE spokesperson told the Washington Examiner in a phone call Wednesday afternoon.

However, Bernard had filed in the report that Fuentes was a minor, according to a copy of the filing obtained by Fox News. The child’s mother has also rejected details that were reported about Fuentes, telling a Telemundo reporter that her daughter is “fine” and “everything they say about” him is a “lie.”

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