This is an announcement that had angered Republicans in Indiana (United States), particularly hostile to the right to abortion. An American doctor who revealed to the press that she had helped a 10-year-old girl to have an abortion after a rape was sentenced on Thursday to a fine of 3,000 dollars.
The Council of Physicians of this state in the northern United States has indeed considered that Dr. Caitlin Bernard had betrayed medical secrecy by evoking the case of this child in the media without the consent of her or her guardians.
Caitlin Bernard had explained to the press in the summer of 2022 having received the little girl in Indianapolis, the capital of Indiana, after having been contacted by a colleague from neighboring Ohio, where a law prohibiting abortions after six weeks of pregnancy had automatically entered into force. And this following the cancellation of the constitutional protection of the right to abortion by the Supreme Court of the United States last June.
“It is important that people know what patients will have to go through because of the law that has come into force”
But the little girl, raped in May, had passed this term. She had therefore gone to Indiana, where abortions were legal until 21 weeks of pregnancy. But officials in this state, where Republicans are in the majority, are hostile to the right to abortion. A law almost totally prohibiting voluntary terminations of pregnancy was passed last August but remains blocked by justice for the moment.
“This file is about medical secrecy and the broken trust between a doctor and his patient”, reacted in a press release the attorney general of Indiana Todd Rokita who had opened an investigation into the doctor, accusing him for not reporting the girl’s case to the authorities, as required by local law in the area of pedophilia. The story had been widely covered in the media, crystallizing the heated debates on abortion in the United States.
After more than ten hours of hearings, the Indiana Board of Physicians decided to fine Dr. Caitlin Bernard $3,000 but allowed her to continue practicing medicine, finding that she had complied with the legal procedures related to violence against minors. “It is important that people know what patients will have to suffer because of the law that has come into force,” defended the doctor in front of her peers.
Source: Le Progrès : info et actu nationale et régionale – Rhône, Loire, Ain, Haute-Loire et Jura | Le Progrès by www.leprogres.fr.
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