INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Democratic Party, the organization that fights for the future of Indiana, its families and its workers is calling out Attorney General Todd Rokita for wasting taxpayers’ time and money targeting medical professionals and the Hoosier free press just in the last week.
On Tuesday, Rokita’s office posted a thread of tweets directly targeting Hoosier journalists by name at outlets around the state for not promoting his office’s agenda. Hoosiers stay informed because of the stories provided by the hard work of Indiana’s local journalists.
As the top attorney for the State of Indiana, Rokita’s office is tasked with protecting the constitutional rights of Hoosiers, including those of a free and open press. Instead, Rokita is using the office to push a political agenda and attack journalists by name for doing their jobs.
In the thread from the Attorney General he specifically attacked five journalists working for four publications in Indiana.
It should be concerning to all Hoosiers to see any elected official, let alone the state’s top attorney, blatantly and openly admonish members of the media for not following their orders.
This isn’t Rokita’s first run-in with media freedom. Last year, Rokita had to backtrack after trying to keep a journalist out of his office’s public press conferences.
Fox59 3.28.22: A lawsuit filed against Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita on behalf of a journalist who was barred from attending the AG’s press conference was dismissed Monday after Rokita agreed to allow the journalist at future pressers.
The ACLU of Indiana filed the lawsuit in February on behalf of journalist Abdul-Hakim Shabazz. Rokita denied Shabazz from attending his news conference, for credentialed media only, on October 14. Rokita’s office argued Shabazz was not an actual journalist and was merely a gossip columnist.
Shabazz, who has covered Indiana government for almost two decades, will now “be allowed admission consistent with terms and conditions utilized for other press or media,” court documents state.
Last Friday, Rokita attempted to take away Dr. Caitlin Bernard’s medical license for providing live-saving abortion care to a 10-year old rape victim by claiming she failied to report child abuse in front of the State Medicial Licensing Board. To aid these claims, he brought in a “boutique” Washington DC law firm costing Hoosier taxpayers up to $300,000.
After months of posturing and pointless grandstanding about how Dr. Bernard should have her license revoked or suspended, the board voted unanimously that she met all child abuse reporting requirements and to let her continue practicing medicine.
The Guardian: The Indiana state medical board has ruled that it will allow Dr Caitlin Bernard to continue practicing in Indiana after she spoke out about a 10-year-old rape victim who traveled to Indiana for abortion care due to restrictions in the girl’s own state of Ohio.
The doctor will not lose her license, although the seven-person board ruled that Bernard violated patient privacy laws in discussing the 10-year-old’s case with media. Bernard was not found to have violated reporting requirements about child abuse in the case – another charge against her.
The board was asked by the state attorney general to discipline Bernard last summer, in a nationally watched case that has drawn accusations of being motivated by anti-abortion politics.