Vice President Harris called Dr. Caitlin Bernard: "She thanked me for speaking out" on abortion

Vice President Harris called Dr. Caitlin Bernard: “She thanked me for speaking out” on abortion

Vice President Kamala Harris called Dr. Caitlin Bernard, who was pushed into the spotlight after a 10-year-old rape victim from Ohio received a medicinal-induced abortion in Indiana earlier this month.

Bernard is the doctor who provided the abortion to the 10-year-old on June 30, according to Indiana records, though she cannot confirm that due to privacy laws.

Bernard said she was at work when Harris called.

“She really just thanked me. She thanked me for speaking out, for bringing this issue up,” Bernard told “CBS Evening News” anchor and managing editor Norah O’Donnell on Tuesday. “She talked about how important it is to hear the voices of physicians, and again, what has been made into a political situation but is actually about health care and how important it is for physicians to be advocates for their patients.”

Doctor at center of abortion debate speaks out


Harris called the Indiana OB-GYN on July 19 to commend her for her “courage, professionalism, and dedication to her patients,” a White House official exclusively told CBS News. The official said Harris thanked Bernard for her leadership and said it’s giving others a “sense of strength.”

President Biden highlighted the girl’s case while signing an executive order meant to protect access to abortion as several Republican-led states, including Ohio, moved to restrict abortion access after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.

Bernard gave an interview earlier this month to the Indianapolis Star and mentioned the 10-year-old rape victim. After Mr. Biden’s remarks about her, prominent Republicans accused her of fabricating the story, including Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita, who accused her being an “abortion activist acting as a doctor.” She said she has felt threatened and “it shows how abortion, instead of being part of health care — which it is — a needed life-saving procedure — which it is — has been used to create a wedge between people personally and politically.”

Rokita said he would investigate whether Bernard violated child abuse notification, abortion reporting laws or federal medical privacy laws for speaking to the newspaper about the case. Indiana law requires doctors to report abortions performed on girls younger than 16 within three days of the procedure. Bernard submitted her report about the girl’s abortion on July 2, according to records obtained by CBS News.

A 27-year-old Ohio man has since been charged with raping the girl.


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