An abortion provider whose clinic has been in operation since the 1980s has been arrested on charges of providing abortion-inducing drugs to women who were not pregnant.
Authorities arrested Nareshkumar G. Patel of Warr Acres at his clinic on Tuesday, later being booked into the Oklahoma County jail.
Aaron Cooper of the Oklahoma Attorney General's Office provided The Christian Post with a statement regarding the arrest from Attorney General Scott Pruitt.
"This type of fraudulent activity and blatant disregard for the health and well-being of Oklahoma women will not be tolerated," said Pruitt.
"Oklahoma women should be able to trust that the advice they receive from their physicians is truthful, accurate and does not jeopardize their health."
The arrest derived from an inter-agency effort made by agents of the Attorney General's Office, Warr Acres Police Department and Oklahoma City Police Department.
"An investigation into Patel's dubious practices arose from a complaint that he had performed an abortion procedure on Pamela King, even though she was not pregnant," noted the press release given to CP.
"King was diagnosed and died from complications of cervical cancer later that year, and her autopsy determined that she had not been pregnant in the time frame that the abortion procedure occurred."
In June, authorities began an undercover investigation in which three women visited Patel at separate sessions and had the abortion provider secretly recorded, noted local media.
According to authorities, Patel falsely told the women that they were pregnant after conducting an ultrasound and then charged $620 each for providing abortion-inducing drugs.
Dr. Patel's clinic, Outpatient Services for Women, was founded in 1984 and has facilities in Texas, Kansas, and Arkansas.
"We understand that terminating a pregnancy may be a difficult situation and that is why our friendly staff is available to help you through the process," noted its website.
"In our clinic you can be assured that you will be in a comfortable atmosphere and we also ensure you privacy and confidentiality."
The allegation of fraud has not been the first time that Patel's practice has face such accusation, according to Nolan Clay and Robby Trammell of Newsok.com.
"Patel has been the center of controversy repeatedly since getting his medical license in Oklahoma in May 1984," reported Clay and Trammell.
"In the most notorious incident, he burned 55 aborted fetuses in 1992 in a field east of Shawnee. He was investigated over the incident but never charged."
Lorryn McGarry, communications director with the Holy Innocents' Foundation of Oklahoma, which has a chapel near the clinic, told CP that her organization had been long aware of the "many greivances" against Patel.
"We were therefore not surprised to hear of his arrest. He is still a Child of God, and we continue to pray for his conversion of heart, a fair trial, and a just sentence," said McGarry.
"It is truly saddening to see disregard for one form of life become a disregard for so many others, as well, should he be found guilty of these charges."
McGarry also told CP that "just seeing the state intervening and insuring that abortion clinics are held to the same standard as other medical clinics is always a pro-life victory."
If Patel is found guilty of the three charges of fraud he could face as much as three years of prison time.