On Thursday, an Indiana doctor who performed an abortion on a 10-year-old rape victim filed a lawsuit against the state’s attorney general, claiming that he had launched a “baseless” inquiry using “frivolous consumer complaints.”
OB-GYNs in Indiana After the Supreme Court repealed Roe v. Wade, an Ohio girl who needed to go across state borders to get an abortion was treated by Caitlin Bernard, who said the Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita’s (R) office pursued false complaints.
The Attorney General has engaged in precisely the kind of domineering, harassing behaviour that the General Assembly sought to forbid, according to the complaint. “The Attorney General has wholly ignored the General Assembly’s fine-tuned structure for handling consumer complaints regarding licenced professionals,” it says.
The Attorney General’s Agency may confidentially look into consumer complaints made against regulated professions under Indiana law if the office finds the complaint to have “merit.”
Amy Caldwell, a colleague of Bernard’s who also offers abortion services, claims that Rokita’s office has pursued eight “facially invalid” charges against them, the majority of which allege that they withheld necessary information from authorities.
Bernard’s phone number is listed as “5555555555” and her zip code is “00000” in the lawsuit by one of the alleged complaint filers. According to the lawsuit, another filer described themselves incorrectly as the target of the complaint.
The doctors said that the accusations came from people who were not their patients and had no connection to the two doctors.
According to the lawsuit, “all of these consumer complaints were made by people who saw news reports or social media posts about Dr. Bernard’s patient at a time when a news outlet claimed that Dr. Bernard was an activist and erroneously questioned whether she had reported child abuse to the authorities.”
Bernard and Caldwell claim Rokita’s office looked into those and other concerns recently despite knowing they are untrue and that the investigations included several subpoenas for private medical documents. The lawsuit aims to prevent Rokita from issuing subpoenas based on the complaints.
The action claims that the Attorney General’s overreach in requesting these pointless medical records “poses a considerable threat to patient privacy and the security of medical records” in addition to going beyond the scope of his investigative powers.
According to statutory obligations, the office yearly looks into tens of thousands of potential licence and privacy violations, according to Rokita’s press secretary Kelly Stevenson.
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According to Stevenson, the majority of the complaints that we get come from people who are not patients. “Any investigations that come from potential infractions are handled consistently and with a specific goal in mind. The judicial papers we produce will be used to further discuss this specific issue.
Rokita was previously sued by Bernard for making “false and deceptive” claims about her, some of which are mentioned in the latest lawsuit as proof of privacy infringement.
The two doctors detailed a series of news conferences and interviews the attorney general held while he pursued the investigations, alleging that Rokita had breached rules requiring the confidentiality of consumer complaint investigations.