The Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission filed a complaint Monday against Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita, alleging misconduct in the case against IU Health OB-GYN Dr. Caitlin Bernard. The complaint contains three charges surrounding statements Rokita made during his investigation of Bernard.
Rokita sued IU Health and IU Healthcare Associates on Friday, arguing they supported the violation of patient privacy laws when Dr. Bernard shared the story of her patient, a 10-year-old rape victim that had traveled from Ohio to Indiana to get an abortion, in an IndyStar article.
The Disciplinary Commission alleges Rokita inappropriately disclosed information about an ongoing investigation in summer 2022, breaching case confidentiality.
Two of the charges relate to Rokita’s interview with Fox News host Jesse Watters on July 13, 2022, when Rokita said Bernard was an “abortion activist acting as a doctor—with a history of failure to report.”
In May 2023, the Indiana State Medical Licensing Board found Bernard violated state and federal patient privacy laws in the IndyStar article. However, the board unanimously ruled against a complaint from Rokita which alleged Bernard failed to report the procedure.
The third count alleges Rokita intentionally made public statements and directed others to make public statements about the case from July to September 2022. The commission requested Rokita be disciplined for professional misconduct and pay for the costs of the commission’s investigation. The case will now go to the Indiana Supreme Court, though no dates have been set.
The commission is a board of citizens made up of seven lawyers and two non-lawyers. It is responsible for investigating misconduct against Indiana lawyers and protecting lawyers against unwarranted claims of misconduct.
Rokita responded to the complaint in a press release Monday, stating he will continue to fight against healthcare providers' political agenda.
Rokita responded to the Indiana Medical Licensing Board in an additional complaint, which he referenced in the press release. In the complaint, Rokita argues the comments he made regarding the case were consistent with his duties as an elected official. The complaint also said Rokita is not responsible for the high interest generated in the case or the following judicial proceedings.
"We will continue defending Indiana's laws and ensure that licensed medical professionals and other healthcare providers are held accountable when they violate their patients' privacy and fail to obtain consent," Rokita said in the press release.
UPDATE: This story has been updated to include Rokita's response to the complaint.