The persecution of an abortion doctor who treated a pregnant child was shameful
Image: Dr Caitlin Bernard
Dr Caitlin Bernard, the first physician to publicly fall victim to anti-abortion attacks that have followed the overturning of Roe v. Wade was vindicated last month when Indiana medical officials ruled that she did not fail to report child abuse and was not unfit to practice medicine after providing abortion care to a 10-year-old who had been sexually abused and telling a journalist about it.
However, the state medical board fined Dr Bernard $3,000 for violating her unnamed patient’s privacy rights. The board members’ ruling, as reported, did not make clear exactly what protected information she had disclosed.
Dr Bernard, an Ob-Gyn who works for Indiana University Health, was subjected to a campaign of harassment by the Republican Attorney General of Indiana. Yet she is considered to be exactly the kind of thoughtful and courageous physician needed at the moment when women’s reproductive rights are being trampled in statehouses around the country.
Seeing clips of her wiping away tears and defending herself for nearly 15 hours in a hearing was proof to the journalist who wrote this article that the US is now a dystopia where “logic and proportion”, to quote Grace Slick, “have fallen sloppy dead.”
About a year ago, four days after the US Supreme Court overturned the constitutional right to abortion, Dr Bernard was at an abortion rights rally, and talked about the girl’s case with a colleague. A reporter for the Indianapolis Star who was working on a story about the effects of the Supreme Court’s decision overheard her and asked her about it.
Without divulging any information that compromised her patient’s confidentiality, Dr Bernard said she had received a call from a child abuse doctor in Ohio, where abortion had suddenly become illegal after six weeks of pregnancy. A youngster who was three days over the legal limit, nevertheless needed abortion care. In a sane world, said the journalist, a state would not force a 10-year-old to bear a child after rape, or to cross a state line for help.
SOURCE: Yahoo!, by Robin Abcarian, 4 June 2023 + PHOTO of Dr Bernard, by Jenna Watson/Indianapolis Star via AP, abortion rights rally, Indiana State capitol, June 2022
Doctors rally to defend abortion provider Caitlin Bernard after she was censured
Hundreds of Indiana doctors came to the defence of Caitlin Bernard, the obstetrician/gynaecologist who was recently punished by a state licensing board for talking publicly about providing an abortion for a 10-year-old rape victim.
In public statements, doctors across a range of specialties are speaking out against the board’s decision, and warning that it could have dangerous implications for public health.
SOURCE: National Public Radio, by Sarah McCammon, 3 June 2023