US Doctor Reprimanded for Discussing Child Rape Victim's Abortion

    US Doctor Reprimanded for Discussing Child Rape Victim's Abortion
    Last updated May 26, 2023
    Image credit: Wikimedia Commons


    • Dr. Caitlin Bernard, an Indiana doctor who provided an abortion for a 10-year-old rape victim who crossed state lines to receive the treatment last June, has been reprimanded by Indiana's Medical Licensing Board for speaking publicly about the case.[1]
    • The state medical board fined Bernard $3K and issued a letter of reprimand for violating the victim's privacy by publicizing the case but cleared her of the allegation that she failed to report the rape to authorities.[2]
    • In her testimony at the hearing on Thursday, Bernard denied revealing any identifiable information when she spoke with the media about the case and claimed she was compliant with patient confidentiality laws, which her employer, Indiana University Health, affirmed last summer.[3]
    • Dr. John Strobel, board president, stated that he believed Bernard was a "good doctor" who's fit to return to practice, but cautioned physicians to "be more careful in this situation," adding he believed Bernard didn't expect the attention brought upon her by the case.[3]
    • The complaint was filed by Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita, who criticized Bernard for discussing the case with media outlets. A lawyer representing Rokita at the hearing said Bernard's actions were driven by an "agenda," while Bernard reiterated she felt "an obligation" to speak out about the impact of abortion restrictions.[4]
    • After the repeal of Roe V. Wade last June, the Indianapolis Star published Bernard's account of providing an abortion for a 10-year-old Ohio girl who needed to travel to Indiana due to Ohio's ban on abortion after six weeks of gestation, with the case becoming a flashpoint in the national debate over abortion.[5]


    Republican narrative

    A board of her peers rightly found her in the wrong for bringing international attention to a rape victim who was only 10 years of age at the time, no doubt distressing the victim and her family greatly. What's worse, Bernard did so to advance a political agenda at her own admission. The liberal media was complicit in this grave violation of medical ethics by making the lurid and disturbing details headline news.

    Democratic narrative

    A vindictive attorney general has convinced a medical board hand-picked by a Republican governor to punish a doctor for showing the naked truth of what a post-Roe America looks like. Conservatives have relentlessly hounded the doctor for daring to speak out, falsely accusing her of lying about the case and then trumping up charges at a professional hearing to silence those who speak out against the GOP agenda.

    Nerd narrative

    There's a 5% chance that elective abortion will be banned nationally in the US before 2030, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

    Political split



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