This is a BETA experience. You may opt-out by clicking here


Edit Story

Indiana AG Hit With Misconduct Complaint Over Claim About 10-Year-Old Rape Victim’s Doctor, Who Provided Abortion

Press play to listen to this article!
Updated Sep 18, 2023, 04:20pm EDT


A complaint was filed against Republican Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita on Monday, alleging Rokita violated professional conduct rules after he criticized a physician—who performed an abortion on a 10-year-old rape victim—as an “abortion activist” in an interview with Fox News last year.

Key Facts

The Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission filed three charges against Rokita on Monday—including two charges alleging Rokita violated two rules for professional conduct and a third alleging he violated state confidentiality requirements by making public statements about the doctor before officially filing a complaint with the state’s Medical Licensing Board.

The two counts stemming from the alleged violations of professional conduct refer to Rokita calling Caitlin Bernard—an obstetrician-gynecologist who provided an abortion to a 10-year-old Ohio girl last year—an “abortion activist acting as a doctor—with a history of failure to report” during an interview with Fox News’ Jesse Watters on July 13, 2022.

The commission indicated the statement violates conduct rules because an attorney cannot “use means that have no substantial purpose other than to embarrass, delay or burden a third person.”

Rokita suggested in a statement that Bernard should not be granted confidentiality, after she allegedly violated her patient’s confidentiality by disclosing information to various media outlets.

Adrienne Meiring, the commission’s executive director, requested Rokita be disciplined for the misconduct and pay unspecified expenses.

An officer will be appointed to review evidence in the complaint, which will be given to the state’s Supreme Court for a final decision.

Crucial Quote

Mike Schmuhl, the Indiana Democratic Party chair, referred to Rokita as a “career politician” who “files frivolous lawsuits and wastes state resources on political attacks,” according to the Indianapolis Star.


The complaint comes three days after Rokita filed a lawsuit alleging Indiana University Health and Indiana University Healthcare Associates improperly prioritized Bernard’s safety over the 10-year-old girl’s, among other allegations. A spokesperson for IU Health told the Washington Post that the hospital system was “disappointed” by Rokita’s efforts in “putting the state’s limited resources toward this matter.”

Key Background

Charges by the commission come over a year after Lauren Robel, the former dean of Indiana University’s law school, filed a complaint against Rokita alleging he intended to “harass and intimidate” in-state doctors who perform abortions. Bernard also filed a lawsuit against Rokita last year, alleging he was “unlawfully harass[ing] physicians and patients who are engaged in completely legal conduct.” Bernard drew controversy last year, after she told the Indianapolis Star that she provided an abortion to the 10-year-old rape victim because she was denied one in her home state of Ohio, which virtually bans all abortions after six weeks. Rokita opened an investigation into Bernard on July 15, 2022, over whether she complied with reporting requirements and breached the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) by allegedly violating the patient’s privacy. Public records obtained by both the Star and Post indicated Bernard disclosed the girl’s abortion to the state two days after it took place and noted the victim sought an abortion after being abused. Bernard’s attorney also said she “took every appropriate and proper action in accordance with the law and both her medical and ethical training as a physician.”

Further Reading

Todd Rokita Faces Misconduct Complaint For Comments Regarding 10-Year-Old Rape Victim (Indianapolis Star)

Indiana Doctor Who Helped 10-Year-Old Rape Victim Get Abortion Sues State AG Over ‘Sham Investigation’ (Forbes)

Follow me on TwitterSend me a secure tip