The Indiana abortionist who helped a 10-year-old rape victim obtain an abortion before leaking the story to the media without consent from the girl or a guardian has been fined and reprimanded; however, the provider’s actions highlight an ongoing trend of abortionists enabling abusers.

Indiana’s medical licensing board determined on May 25 that Caitlin Bernard, an OB/GYN and an assistant professor at the Indiana University School of Medicine, can still practice medicine. The board did find that Bernard violated patient privacy laws by discussing the 10-year-old’s story with the media, however. 

“My reason to recommend a letter of reprimand would be that I don’t think she expected this to go viral,” the board’s president, Dr. John Strobel, said, contending that Bernard didn’t intend for the rape victim’s story to go viral. 

This is strange because if Bernard did not want the girl thrust into the spotlight, then that makes the decision to share her story with the media amid heated debates about abortion in a post-Roe society appear rather reckless and irresponsible. 

 “But I do think that we as physicians need to be more careful in this situation,” the board president added. 

The board fined Bernard $3,000 and issued a letter of reprimand. The disciplinary action against Bernard is thanks to Indiana’s Attorney General Todd Rokita, who filed a complaint against her in November. 

Unfortunately, the board dismissed another allegation in the complaint accusing Bernard of failing to report child abuse. As Fox News reported, The Indy Star published the story of the girl’s rape on July 1, and records obtained by the outlet show that Bernard filed a report about the abuse on July 2. The provider also wrote that the alleged rapist was about 17 years old in an official filing to the Indiana Department of Health when he was actually 27. 

Reprotection also filed a complaint in Kentucky earlier this year, seeking accountability for undermining the girl’s privacy by sharing her story. While abortion is outlawed in Kentucky, Bernard still has a license to practice in the state, hence why we filed a complaint. According to our research, the provider is licensed in both Kentucky and Indiana. 

We have since followed up on the status of the complaint several times, and we’re continuing our investigation into Bernard, who has a history of being accused of failing to report child abuse.

An audit of pregnancy termination reports released by Indiana Right to Life in 2018 listed Bernard as one of nine abortionists who failed to report underaged abortions to the state’s health department. 

And she’s not the only abortion worker who has drawn attention to the industry’s tendency to overlook child abuse. 

According to a 2014 study published by Annals of Health Law, 55% of sex trafficking victims were forced to undergo abortions, and 30% were forced to have more than one. One survivor told the study authors her trafficker took her to Planned Parenthood for one of her six abortions “because they didn’t ask any questions.”

As a pro-life watchdog group, Reprotection has also received numerous reports of grown men bringing minors to abortion facilities and abusers forcing their teenage victims to abort their pregnancies.

While Reprotection is relieved that the Indiana abortionist is facing at least some level of accountability, we will not stop calling for investigations into abortion workers who violate the law and prioritize abortion over the health and well-being of young girls and women.