Naresh Patel, an Oklahoma abortion doctor, has been stripped of his license to practice medicine after being arrested for fraud.
On January 7, the state medical board revoked Patel’s license, barring Patel from practicing medicine or running any medical clinics in Oklahoma.
In 2014, state investigators went undercover at Patel’s clinic. Although the investigators were not pregnant, Patel told them that they were in the early stages of pregnancy and sold them abortion drugs. Prosecutors say that Patel was selling abortion drugs to patients who were not pregnant, carrying out a scheme to make money at the expense of his patients’ health. In court documents, Patel admits that he lied to patients about their pregnancy in order to make money.
One of Patel’s former patients describes what she called, “the worst experience of her life.” The 39-year old woman, whose heart condition was causing difficulty in her pregnancy, went to Patel’s clinic for an abortion. Patel said he would charge $1,100 for the procedure, but later lied to the woman about her pregnancy, adding $500 to the cost.
“I went back, and they quickly did this ultrasound and he immediately said ‘You’re two weeks further along than what you’re telling me,’ and I said, ‘I don’t know how that could be,” the woman said. Scared and unsure what to do, she paid the extra cost.
During the procedure, the woman was strapped down to the table and was not given any anesthesia. “I’d never known anything like it in my life. It was like torture,” she said. The woman is relieved that Patel is no longer allowed to practice medicine.
Patel entered an Alford plea to avoid trial. “He’s not saying he is guilty, but the state has enough evidence that he believes he would be convicted by a jury if the evidence was presented to a jury,” said Deputy Attorney General Megan Tilly.
Patel served nine weekends in a state correctional facility, and his sentence also included restitution and a $20,000 fine.
Patel also made national headlines in 1992 for burning 50 aborted fetuses in a field east of Shawnee, Oklahoma. Patel told the state medical board that a hospital would not allow him to use its incinerator. He was not disciplined or charged with a crime.