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Abortion care provider drops lawsuit against Attorney General Rokita as focus shifts to licensing board

Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita stands in the balcony of the Indiana House during a speech. Rokita is a White man with dark hair, wearing a suit and tie.
Brandon Smith
IPB News
A county judge ruled that Attorney General Todd Rokita broke Indiana law by violating confidentiality about an investigation into Dr. Caitlin Bernard.

Indiana abortion care provider Dr. Caitlin Bernard dropped her lawsuit against Attorney General Todd Rokita Thursday.

The suit sought to halt Rokita’s investigation of Bernard. The doctor’s legal team said it’s now focusing on her case in front of the Indiana Medical Licensing Board.

Rokita began investigating consumer complaints against Bernard as he went on television and accused her, without evidence, of breaking the law around an abortion she provided to a 10-year-old rape victim from Ohio.

Bernard filed a lawsuit in Indiana court trying to halt that investigation after Rokita sought access to the patient’s full medical record.

A county judge last week ruled that Rokita violated Indiana law by breaking confidentiality. But the judge also refused to halt the Attorney General’s investigation because Rokita had already officially filed a complaint against Bernard with the state medical licensing board.

READ MORE: Rokita files complaint with medical licensing board against abortion care provider

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For that same reason, Bernard’s legal team said it’s now dropping the lawsuit, focused instead on defending the doctor in front of the licensing board.

Contact reporter Brandon at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

Brandon Smith has covered the Statehouse for Indiana Public Broadcasting for more than a decade, spanning three governors and a dozen legislative sessions. He's also the host of Indiana Week in Review, a weekly political and policy discussion program seen and heard across the state. He previously worked at KBIA in Columbia, Missouri and WSPY in Plano, Illinois. His first job in radio was in another state capitol - Jefferson City, Missouri - as a reporter for three stations around the Show-Me State.