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Indiana Doctor Hit With $3k Fine After Speaking Out About Abortion She Performed on 10-Year-Old Rape Victim

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Source: WTHR/youtube

May 26 2023, Published 4:00 p.m. ET

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Caitlin Bernard, the doctor who performed an abortion on a 10-year-old rape victim, was hit with a $3,000 fine for violating ethical standards and state laws by speaking out about the case that gained international media attention, has learned.

"I did not release any protected health information. I complied with all patient confidentiality and HIPAA laws to the best of my knowledge," Bernard said during a state hearing about her comments made to a reporter from the Indianapolis Star last summer.

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Source: WTHR/youtube

Bernard, an OB/GYN and an assistant professor at the Indiana University School of Medicine, told the court she shared the story in place of a hypothetical scenario because it's "incredibly important for people to understand the real-world impacts of the laws of this country."

On Thursday, Indiana's medical licensing board issued her punishment after she carried out the procedure in June 2022 on a patient who was sexually assaulted in Ohio.

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Source: @drcaitlinbernard/twitter
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The case was used as an example of the ramifications from trigger laws just a month after a US Supreme Court ruling ended the nationwide guarantee to an abortion with the overturning of Roe v. Wade.

As a result of the historical change following a decision initially made in January 1973 that protected a woman's right to terminate her pregnancy under the Constitution of the United States, Ohio's abortion ban immediately went into effect and prohibited all abortions after the sixth week of pregnancy.

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Source: US congress
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Abortion is legal in Indiana, up to 21 weeks and six days, and at this time that decision is also in jeopardy because a law that banned abortion in the state with limited exceptions was enacted on September 15, although it is being challenged.

Prosecutors said Bernard broke patient privacy laws, but her legal team disputed those claims, arguing that she followed protocol and reported the incident to an Indiana University Health social worker. It was determined that she did properly report the abortion to the relevant state agencies ahead of the legally mandated deadline.

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She was, however, issued a letter of reprimand and board members chose to fine the doctor $3,000 for violating ethical standards and state laws by discussing the case.

Bernard fought back tears when they denied a request from the AG's office to suspend her license.



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