As we pointed out at the time, Patel's scam wasn't original. Back in 1978, a Chicago Tribune investigation found that abortion businesses regularly padded their bottom line by selling "abortions" to women who weren't actually pregnant. Unfortunately, we know of no investigations in the decades between then and Oklahoma's undercover op. We raised several questions:
- Activists on both sides of the aisle generally treat the Guttmacher Institute's abortion statistics as the most reliable, but those figures originate with reports from the abortionists themselves. Are non-lethal "abortions" being counted?
- Have any women been injured or killed by complications from fake abortions?
- And how many women are beating themselves up for having killed their children... who didn't?
Oklahoma abortionist Naresh Patel pled guilty on Friday to charges he committed fraud when he sold abortion pills to three non-pregnant undercover officers after Operation Rescue filed a complaint against his that resulted eventually in his arrest in December, 2014.
Patel was ordered to serve 18 days in a private correctional facility, pay a $20,000 fine, and serve 10 years of probation.
Patel surrendered his medical license and can never practice medicine again, according to his plea agreement. His abortion clinic has permanently closed.
Patel must also pay court costs, $2,000 in restitution and a victim’s compensation assessment of $100.Operation Rescue applauds the fact that Patel will no longer be allowed to commit abortions, and that is certainly a victory for the women and children of Oklahoma. Oklahoma is now down to just two abortion businesses.
But 18 days, a fine, and probation seems awfully light to me. Yes, it's a plea bargain, and it may be the best deal Oklahoma could get, because the charge was merely fraud. But the true extent of his crime goes much deeper.
There's no reason to believe that Patel's scam began and ended with the undercover officers. This was his pattern. Every time Patel induced someone who wasn't pregnant—and who obviously wouldn't have wanted an abortion if she were informed of that fact—to take abortion pills, he arguably committed a battery. To the extent he committed surgical abortions on women who weren't pregnant, make that a sexual battery.
But of course, the inherent limitations of an undercover operation make it impossible to bring those charges. The real victims don't even know they were victimized and the evidence is destroyed.
Patel is one down. How many more to go? We have no idea how widespread this practice is. I humbly suggest that it's time for any police department that cares about women to go undercover and find out.