Vice President Kamala Harris called Dr. Caitlin Bernard, who wasafter a 10-year-old rape victim from Ohio received a medication abortion in Indiana earlier this month.
Bernard is the doctor who aborted the 10-year-old girl on June 30, according to Indiana records, though he cannot confirm this due to privacy laws.
Bernard said he was at work when Harris called.
“She really thanked me. She thanked me for speaking up, for bringing this up,” Bernard.Norah O’Donnell, host and editorial director of the “CBS Evening News,” on Tuesday. “She talked about how important it is to hear the voices of doctors and again, which has become a political situation, but it’s really about health care and how important it is for doctors to advocate for their patients.”
Harris called the Indiana OB/GYN on July 19 to congratulate her on her “courage, professionalism, and dedication to her patients,” a White House official told CBS News exclusively. The official said Harris thanked Bernard for her leadership and said he is giving others a “feeling of strength.”
President Biden highlighted the girl’s case whileintended to protect abortion access as several Republican-led states, including Ohio, took steps to restrict abortion access after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.
Bernard gave an interview earlier this month to the Indianapolis Star and mentioned the 10-year-old rape victim. Following Biden’s comments, prominent Republicans accused her of fabricating her story, including Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita, who accused her of being an “abortion activist acting like a doctor.” She said she has felt threatened and “shows how abortion, instead of being part of medical care, which it is, a necessary life-saving procedure, which it is, has been used to drive a wedge between people at the personal and political.
Rokita said it would investigate whether Bernard violated child abuse reporting, abortion reporting laws or federal medical privacy laws by speaking to the newspaper 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.
Since then, a 27-year-old Ohio man haswith raping the girl.