Dr. Caitlin Bernard, an Indianapolis obstetrician and gynecologist who came into the national spotlight after a 10-year-old rape victim traveled from Ohio to Indiana for an abortion, said the case has caused people to recognize the impact of the laws.
According to Indiana records, Bernard is the doctor who performed a medication abortion on the 10-year-old girl on June 30. Due to privacy laws, she cannot confirm this.
“I think we’re at a time in our country where people are starting to realize the impact of these anti-abortion laws,” Bernard told “CBS Evening News” anchor and managing editor Norah O’Donnell in a exclusive television interview on Tuesday. .
“This has been going on for a long time, getting harder and harder in many states for people to access abortion,” she said. “And now, when it’s finally becoming impossible for some people, we’re realizing what that’s going to look like, what the real-life implications are for people who need abortion services. I think people are realizing that in Actually, that’s not what they intended.” That is not what they want the children, the women, to put themselves in these situations ofof traumatic pregnancies. They realize that abortion should be safe and legal.”
Asked how often he gets calls from out-of-state doctors about young women who have been raped and need an abortion, Bernard said, “Sadly, sexual assault on children is not uncommon.”
“I am not the only provider that has seen young children who need abortion services,” he said.
Earlier this month, Bernard gave an interview to the Indianapolis Star about the rape victim 10 years after Ohio’s near-total abortion ban went into effect following the Supreme Court’s decision.. State law prohibits abortions from the time fetal heart activity can be detected, which is usually around six weeks of pregnancy.
Leading Republicans disputed Bernard’s account and accused her of lying. Attorney General Todd Rokita said he would investigate whether Bernard violated abortion or child abuse reporting laws, as well as federal medical privacy laws, by speaking to the Indianapolis Star about the case. Indiana law requires doctors to report abortions performed on girls under the age of 16 within three days of the procedure. Bernard filed her report on the girl’s abortion on July 2, according to records 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 that she indicates the investigation is in “the early days since our first notice was today.” She added that “it is not clear to us the nature of the investigation and what authority he has to investigate Dr. Bernard.”
From the initial hesitation of some, a 27-year-old Ohio manwith raping the girl.
“Come spend a day at 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 that people who need abortion care find themselves in are some of the most difficult you can imagine. And that’s why we, as clinicians, must be able to provide that unhindered care, that medical decisions should be made between a doctor and their patients.
Bernard, who told O’Donnell that she has felt threatened,Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita for defamation, saying he made false statements about her after the June 30 case came to light.
Bernard also said that the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade will have ramifications for other reproductive health services, not just abortions, which could endanger women’s lives.
“When you take away the right to privacy in medical decision-making, you put yourself in a situation where you don’t know where to turn,” he said. “And it makes it incredibly difficult, not just to provide abortion care, but full-spectrum reproductive health care. This will affect our ability to treat miscarriages. This will affect our ability to treat early pregnancy complications.” that could kill someone. This will affect our ability to provide infertility treatment, contraception, the list goes on.”
When asked what he would say to those who believe abortion is immoral, Bernard said his personal religious beliefs should not impede others’ access to health care.
“What I would say is if you don’t think you would have an abortion, then don’t,” she said. “You can’t stop other people from accessing the health care they need based on their personal religious beliefs. You would never want someone to do that to you.”