Dr. Caitlin Bernard, the Indiana doctor whom Republicans targeted for providing a Abortion to a 10-year-old rape victim, made his first TV appearance on Tuesday since the ordeal took place.
Bernard, who cared for the child from Ohio because his home state has banned abortion since the fall of Roe v. Wade last month, said in an interview with “CBS Evening News” Norah O’Donnell that anyone who doubts that children need abortion care should “spend a day in my clinic”.
“Unfortunately, child sexual abuse is not uncommon,” she said. “I am not the only provider who has dealt with young children in need of abortion care.”
His remarks come after Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost appeared on Fox News earlier this month casting doubt on the existence of Bernard’s patient, whose health care needs had been reported in The Indianapolis Star. There was “not a whisper anywhere” of a 10-year-old child being raped in Ohio, Yost claimed. However, media inquiries confirmed the rape case a few days later.
Bernard also pushed back against Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita, who assaulted her on Fox News as an “abortion activist acting as a doctor with a history of not reporting” an abortion. abortion performed on a minor, adding that he may be able to pursue the charges. against her.
“I’m a doctor,” she said. “I spent my whole life working to get this job so I could take care of patients every day.”
She reiterated, as she did in a defamation lawsuit against Rokita, that she never failed to report an abortion on a patient under 16 to Indiana authorities, as required by the state.
Bernard says she thinks the spotlight on her patient’s case may be a wake-up call for people who wanted strict abortion bans to go into effect, as they have in a dozen states. so far.
Dr. Caitlin Bernard speaks at an abortion rights rally June 25 at the Indiana Statehouse in Indianapolis. Lawyer for Bernard, who drew criticism after speaking out about a 10-year-old girl who traveled from Ohio for an abortion, says his client provided proper treatment and did not violate any laws on privacy by discussing the case of the unidentified girl. (Photo: Jenna Watson/The Indianapolis Star via Associated Press)
“I think we’re at a point in our country where people are starting to realize the impact of these anti-abortion laws,” she told O’Donnell. “And now that it’s finally become impossible for some people, I think people are realizing that’s actually not what they wanted. It’s not what they want for the kids, for that women are put in these situations of traumatic pregnancies that put their lives in danger.
The conservative attacks on her, she continued, show “how abortion, instead of being part of health care, which it is, [and] a necessary rescue procedure, which is the case, was used to drive people apart politically and personally.
Bernard’s interview aired on the second day of Indiana’s special legislative session, where Republicans are pushing to pass legislation that prohibit abortion as is with a few exceptions. With GOP majorities in the state Senate and House, Democrats are unlikely to stop the bill from becoming law in the coming weeks.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.