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Indiana AG warned over remark about abortion provided for a 10-year-old rape victim

FILE - In this Jan. 11, 2021 file photo, Indiana's attorney general Todd Rokita speaks, in Indianapolis. Indiana's ban on telemedicine consultations between doctors and women seeking abortions and several other abortion restrictions are back in force after a federal appeals court set aside a judge's ruling that they were unconstitutional on Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2021. The state's Republican attorney general, Todd Rokita, hailed the appeals court decision. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings, File)
FILE - In this Jan. 11, 2021 file photo, Indiana's attorney general Todd Rokita speaks, in Indianapolis. Indiana's ban on telemedicine consultations between doctors and women seeking abortions and several other abortion restrictions are back in force after a federal appeals court set aside a judge's ruling that they were unconstitutional on Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2021. The state's Republican attorney general, Todd Rokita, hailed the appeals court decision. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings, File)

Updated July 15, 2022 at 4:59 PM ET

An Indiana doctor who recently provided an abortion to a 10-year-old rape victim has sent a cease and desist letter threatening legal action against Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita. That comes after Rokita suggested without providing evidence that the doctor may have failed to report the abortion as required under state law.

Documents released to NPR and other media outlets by the Indiana Department of Health on Thursday confirm that Dr. Caitlin Bernard had indeed reported the abortion in a document filed with the state on July 2.

The report indicated that Bernard had provided a medication abortion to the girl on June 30.

A letter sent to Rokita on Friday by Bernard's attorney, Kathleen DeLaney, reads in part: "Please cease and desist from making false and misleading statements about alleged misconduct by Dr. Bernard in her profession, which constitute defamation per se."

A spokesperson for Rokita's office, Kelly Stevenson, emailed NPR this response regarding the letter: "Like any correspondence, it will be reviewed if and when it arrives. Regardless, no false or misleading statements have been made."

The girl's story became the focus of widespread attention and political debate after Bernard discussed it with The Indianapolis Star in a story about patients crossing state lines to obtain abortions in the aftermath of the Supreme Court's June 24 decision overturning Roe v. Wade.

Bernard said the girl had traveled from Ohio, where a trigger ban prohibiting most abortions had just taken effect.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.