An Oklahoma abortionist was arrested this morning, charged with defrauding his patients by selling abortion-inducing drugs to women who were not pregnant.
Dr. Nareshkumar Gandalal Patel – who goes by “Naresh” – operates the Outpatient Services for Women abortion facility in the Oklahoma City suburb of Warr Acres.
Undercover agents from the Oklahoma City Police Department, the Oklahoma Medical Licensure Board, and the attorney general's office say they launched an investigation of Patel after receiving a complaint that Patel performed an “abortion” on a woman named Pamela King. After King died from complications of cervical cancer later that year, her autopsy showed that she had not been pregnant during the procedure.
The agencies had a woman who was not pregnant schedule an ultrasound. Patel said that it showed the woman was expecting, and charged her for prescribing “an abortion-inducing drug,” according to the attorney general's office.
“This type of fraudulent activity and blatant disregard for the health and well-being of Oklahoma women will not be tolerated,” Attorney General Pruitt said. “Oklahoma women should be able to trust that the advice they receive from their physicians is truthful, accurate, and does not jeopardize their health.”
Officials charged Patel with three counts of obtaining money under a false pretense. If convicted, he could be sentenced to three years in jail and a $15,000 fine.
Pruitt said the investigation was necessary “to protect Oklahomans and prosecute the worst offenders.”
That's exactly what Patel is, according to pro-life leaders who have followed him during his long, checkered career.
“We are very excited about this morning’s arrest. This is the result of a collaborative effort that involved gritty pro-life work, active enforcement of state laws,” said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman. “We also want to especially thank [Americans United for Life] for their contributions to efforts to bring Patel to justice.”
Operation Rescue filed an initial complaint with the attorney general's office that Patel had thrown documents containing patients' sensitive information into the trash, without shredding them or blotting it out, providing identity thieves a treasure trove. They also questioned whether the forms had been properly reported to the state and abided by the state's informed consent law.
But the allegations of Patel's wrongdoing stretch back decades.
Patel has been accused of sexually abusing his patients. In 1993, three separate women alleged that Patel had raped them conventionally, as well as orally and anally, while they were anesthetized for their procedures. One produced taped conversations in which Patel apologized for having sexual relations with her. Patel said the woman – who was then 25-years-old and hailed from Ghana – was an obsessed stalker, and a jury found him not guilty.
He also has a string of malpractice accusations. A judge ordered Patel to pay $240,000 in damages to a 15-year-old girl after a botched abortion in June 1989 left the minor injured for life. According to an eyewitness, Patel pulled the girl's small intestine out. Ultimately, her ovaries, fallopian tubes, and part of her colon had to be removed.
Not all his victims were mothers. Claire Curwell says she is still paying the price for Patel's fraud. Her 13-year-old birth mother had a 20-week abortion at Patel's office in 1988, killing her sibling but leaving her alive. “She was also told that during the abortion the amniotic sac had been ruptured, thus leaking fluid for weeks,” Curwell wrote. “Due to the botched abortion, I was born 2.5 months premature with many lifelong complications.”
“Not only was I born 2.5 months premature, but I was born with complications including dislocated hips, club feet, and was on life support in the hospital,” she wrote. “In fact, I still have hip and foot complications today due to the abortion.”
Patel has also admitted to disposing of aborted babies by immolating their remains.
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He admitted that he burned a trash bag containing 55 aborted babies in 1992 along a gravel road in Pottawatomie County, Oklahoma, claiming that he was having a hard time finding a disposal company willing to handle his refuse.
It was not the first such incident. He said he did the same thing inside a hospital. An administrator at Seminole Municipal Hospital recounted in a letter written to Patel in September 1990: “It is my understanding that Seminole Municipal Hospital disposed by incineration biomedical waste products from your office. I need to inform you that this practice must be discontinued…due to federal and state legislative requirements.”
Last February, the University of Oklahoma entered into an agreement with Patel and his abortion facility to provide medical training to its students.