Dr. Caitlin Bernard, an Indianapolis obstetrician-gynecologist who was thrust into the national spotlight after a 10-year-old rape victim traveled from Ohio to Indiana for an abortion, said the case had made people recognize the impact of the laws
According to Indiana records, Bernard was the doctor who performed a medical abortion on the 10-year-old on June 30. Due to privacy laws, she is unable to confirm this.
“I think we’re at a point in our country where people are starting to realize the impact of these anti-abortion laws,” said CBS Evening News anchor and editor Norah O’Donnell, Bernard. in an exclusive TV interview on Tuesday. .
“It’s been going on for a long time – getting harder and harder in many states for people to access abortion,” she said. “And now that it’s finally become impossible for some people, we’re realizing what it’s going to look like, what the real implications are for people who need abortion care. I think people are realizing that’s not in fact not what they wanted It is not what they want for the children, for the women, to be put in these situations of, traumatic pregnancies. They realize that abortion should be safe and legal.”
When asked how often she receives calls from out-of-state doctors about young women who have been raped and need abortions, Bernard said, “Unfortunately, sexual assaults in children are not uncommon”.
“I’m not the only provider who has dealt with young children in need of abortion care,” she said.
Earlier this month, Bernard gave an interview to the Indianapolis Star about the 10-year-old rape victim after Ohio’s near-total abortion ban went into effect following the Supreme Court decision.. State law prohibits abortions from the time the heart activity of the fetus can be detected, which is usually about six weeks into the pregnancy.
Prominent Republicans have questioned Bernard’s account and accused her of lying. Attorney General Todd Rokita said he will investigate whether Bernard violated child abuse notification or abortion reporting laws, as well as federal medical confidentiality laws for speaking to the Indianapolis Star of the case. Indiana law requires doctors to report abortions performed on girls under 16 within three days of the procedure. Bernard submitted his report on the girl’s abortion on July 2, according to information obtained by CBS News.
Rokita’s office contacted Bernard’s office for the first time on Tuesday, CBS News has learned. Kathleen DeLaney, Bernard’s attorney, told CBS News the investigation was in its “very early days since our first notice today.” She added: “We don’t know exactly what the nature of the investigation is and what authority he has to investigate Dr Bernard.”
Since the initial doubt of some, a 27-year-old man from Ohiowith the rape of the girl.
“Come spend a day in my clinic,” Bernard said when asked about those who accused her of fabricating the story. “Come see the care we provide every day. The situations people find themselves in and need abortion care are some of the most difficult you can imagine. And that’s why we, as doctors, must to be able to provide this care without hindrance, that medical decisions must be made between a doctor and his patients.”
Bernard, who told O’Donnell that she felt threatened,Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita for defamation, claiming he made false statements about her after the June 30 case came to light.
Bernard also said the Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe v. Wade will have ramifications for other reproductive health care, not just abortions, which could be life-threatening for women.
“When you take away the right to privacy in your medical decision-making, it puts you in a situation where you don’t know where to turn,” she said. “And that makes it incredibly difficult, not only to provide abortion care, but also full-spectrum reproductive health care. You know, it will affect our ability to manage miscarriages. It will affect our ability to manage supports complications in early pregnancy, it could kill someone, it will affect our ability to provide infertility treatment, contraception, the list goes on.
When asked what she would say to those who believe abortion is immoral, Bernard said their personal religious beliefs should not get in the way of others’ access to medical care.
“What I would say is if you don’t believe you would have an abortion, then don’t have one,” she said. “You can’t prevent other people from accessing the medical care they need based on your personal religious beliefs. You would never want anyone to do that to you.”