IUB-AAUP deplores Rokita’s attacks on IU Professor Caitlin Bernard; Calls on administration to defend Dr Bernard – The Bloomingtonian

The following press release was sent to the Bloomingtonian this week:

« July 26, 2022

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

On Monday, the IU Bloomington chapter of the American Association of University Teachers (AAUP) passed a resolution deploring Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita’s attacks on Dr. Indiana University. The AAUP Chapter is calling on the senior administration of IU to defend Professor Bernard from the baseless and prejudicial actions of the Attorney General, who is threatening to exercise the power of his office against a respected clinician and professor of the ‘IU for her compassionate care performing an urgent intervention and legal medical procedure on a minor rape victim. Actions to attract the attention of the Attorney General, by seeking to criminalize emergency health care and the exercise of reproductive rights, prioritize an ideological agenda over the administration of justice. AAUP, founded in 1915 to uphold academic freedom rights for the public good, views Attorney General Rokita’s misuse of office as a direct threat to mission-critical academic freedom standards. Indiana University. We find it unacceptable that IU’s senior leadership has not yet publicly championed Professor Bernard and the professional standards of the IU School of Medicine.

Text of the resolution:

The IUB-AAUP deplores Attorney General Todd Rokita’s rhetorical attacks and promises to investigate Dr. Caitlin Bernard. Dr. Bernard is a physician affiliated with IU Health and an assistant professor of clinical obstetrics and gynecology at Indiana University School of Medicine. She is a dedicated teacher, an active researcher and the recipient of numerous awards. She is, in short, a distinguished member of the IU community.

Its attacks are a threat to academic freedom and medical professionalism.

And the silence of the IU senior administration about these attacks is disappointing and even shameful.

Indiana University is a public university, not an extension of the state’s Republican administration or the attorney general’s far-right anti-abortion agenda. If it stands for anything, it is the freedom of its professors and professional staff to do their jobs without being threatened or investigated for it.

Indiana University President Whitten and other IU authorities are expected to speak out loudly in defense of Dr. Bernard and against the vindictive investigation announced by Attorney General Rokita.

To do anything less is a disgrace to academic values, civil liberty, and simple human decency.

For more information, contact: Benjamin Robinson at 812-360-1506 or Jeff Isaac: [email protected]

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