INDIANAPOLIS — Following the intense international spotlight on an Indianapolis obstetrician-gynecologist who provided abortion care to a 10-year-old child, doctors and supporters across the country have raised nearly $100,000 and are counting towards the help with security-related expenses.
IU Health Physician Dr. Caitlin Bernard has been thrust into a media circus after an IndyStar story sharing her experience treating the 10-year-old rape victim from Ohio went viral.
The story appeared in news outlets around the world and became a talking point for President Joe Biden and a point of criticism for Fox News hosts. As guests on the network, the attorneys general of Ohio and Indiana questioned the validity of Bernard’s account.
Recordings:Indiana Dr. Caitlin Bernard reported the abortion of a 10-year-old girl in Ohio
An Ohio man has since been charged with the rape of the 10-year-old girl. Although IU Health concluded that Bernard did not violate HIPAA laws, Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita maintained his intention to investigate Bernard. An attorney for Bernard sent a cease-and-desist letter to Rokita on Friday, citing claims he made about her during a Fox News appearance.
On Friday, several supporters launched fundraisers to help Bernard with legal and security costs in light of the scrutiny.
A team of OB-GYN providers from across the country launched a GoFundMe which as of Saturday morning received $87,000 from approximately 1,500 donors. Another started by a Georgetown University professor raised $8,500.
“We are obstetrics-gynecology providers and abortion providers across the country who want to thank our colleague, Dr. Caitlin Bernard, for doing a brave thing and helping to provide compassionate health care. to a child in times of need,” reads the abortion providers’ fundraising description. “Many of us have experienced this in our work, and the ability to answer the call despite a tragedy like this is truly commendable.”
Also on Friday, Planned Parenthood Great Northwest, Hawaii, Alaska, Indiana, Kentucky said it would provide Bernard with security services and assistance with legal costs.
“We stand in solidarity with Dr. Bernard and all providers who continue to provide compassionate and essential patient care, even in the face of attacks from anti-abortion extremists,” CEO Rebecca Gibron wrote in a statement.
Planned Parenthood has shared an Abortion Provider Fund, which the organization says is where donors can provide financial support for Bernard.
Bernard tweeted his thanks Friday night for the “brave outpouring of support.”
“It has been a difficult week, but my colleagues and I will continue to provide health care every day with ethics, love and courage,” she wrote.
“And thank you to the reporters who have worked tirelessly and diligently to bring this important story and the truth to the public,” she added. “I hope to be able to share my story soon.”
Contact IndyStar transportation reporter Kayla Dwyer at email@example.com or follow her on Twitter @kayla_dwyer17.