Indiana Attorney General Sues State Hospital System Over Privacy of Ohio Girl Who Sought Abortion

On Friday, Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita (R-Ind.) filed a lawsuit in federal court against the state’s largest hospital system, claiming that it violated the privacy of an underaged girl from Ohio who traveled to Indiana for an abortion last year.

As reported by ABC News, Rokita claims that Dr. Caitlin Bernard violated patient privacy laws when she publicly told the story about the 10-year-old, a victim of rape who traveled across state lines to get access to an abortion drug. The story made national headlines following the Supreme Court’s historic decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, and became a talking point for both pro-abortion activists as well as anti-immigration activists, once it was revealed that the girl’s rapist was an illegal alien. The 28-year-old culprit was sentenced in July to life in prison.

“Neither the 10-year-old nor her mother gave the doctor authorization to speak to the media about their case,” Rokita’s lawsuit states. “Rather than protecting the patient, the hospital chose to protect the doctor, and itself.”

The lawsuit names Indiana University Health and IU Healthcare Associates, claiming that they violated the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), as well as a state law dealing with the protection of patient information.

Bernard, who went public with the story in order to express her support for abortion, was reprimanded by the state’s medical licensing board in May. But Rokita’s office is demanding that the punishment go further, and that Bernard’s medical license be revoked.

Officials with the state hospital system have come to Bernard’s defense, claiming that she didn’t break any privacy laws.

“We continue to be disappointed that the Indiana Attorney General’s office persists in putting the state’s limited resources toward this matter,” IU Health said in a statement. “We will respond directly to the AG’s office on the filing.”

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About Eric Lendrum

Eric Lendrum graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he was the Secretary of the College Republicans and the founding chairman of the school’s Young Americans for Freedom chapter. He has interned for Young America’s Foundation, the Heritage Foundation, and the White House, and has worked for numerous campaigns including the 2018 re-election of Congressman Devin Nunes (CA-22). He is currently a co-host of The Right Take podcast.

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