Las Vegas “YouTube Abortionist” Committed Suicide in Jail While Awaiting Trial

By Cheryl Sullenger

Las Vegas, NV – A man accused of committing illegal underground abortions without a license was found dead at the Clark County Detention Center where he was being held without bond pending trial.

Rick Van Thiel, 54, was found hanged in an apparent suicide on July 21, 2017.

Van Thiel was arrested and jailed in September, 2015, for conducting abortions and other quack medical treatments out of a grimy trailer in his junk-cluttered back yard. A local news reporter dubbed it the “Trailer of Terror.”

He was never formally educated, trained, or licensed in the field of medicine. His background was instead that of a pornographic movie star/maker and inventor of sex toys.

Van Thiel bragged during an interview from jail shortly after his arrest that he learned to do abortions by watching YouTube videos.

A Clark County grand jury issued 30 felony indictments against Van Thiel in June 2016, including:

• 19 counts of engaging as a medical physician without a license.
• 6 counts of sexual assault resulting in substantial bodily harm.
• 2 counts of sexual assault.
• 2 counts performance of a health care procedure resulting in substantial bodily harm.
• 1 count child abuse, neglect, or endangerment.

As a five-time convicted felon, Van Thiel was also charged with three federal firearms violations. A judge had ruled to suppress information about the firearms charges during his state trial, which was set for January 20, 2017.

Van Thiel was an opportunist. Like many charlatans before him, he saw that offering cut-rate abortions and quack “holistic” cures to hookers and other vulnerable women was a viable means to quick cash. He lured customers through several seedy “adult” websites and by word of mouth.

“It is a shame that Van Thiel took his own life. As long as he was living, there was hope for his redemption,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue. “However, he will never hurt another person again, and that is something to be grateful for, however tragic the circumstances might be.”

The arrest of Van Thiel came within weeks of news of two other illegal abortionists in two other states, raising concerns that underground abortions have become a dangerous new trend.

In October 2015, Michigan abortionist Michael Roth was involved in a traffic accident after which police discovered stolen drugs and surgical instruments, along with the remains of fourteen aborted babies, the result of his illegal underground home abortion scheme. He was later criminally charged and awaits trial in November 2017. On September 13, 2017, Michigan Medical Board suspended his medical license for 90 days and fined him $25,000.

Also in October 2015, Florida abortionist James Pendergraft was arrested in South Carolina for conducting abortions out of the back of his van and possessing illegal drugs. Pendergraft was never licensed to practice medicine in South Carolina. He was indicted by a grand jury in June 2016, on 10 criminal counts, and is set to stand trial on November 13, 2017.

“Before anyone thinks that a lack of access to abortion facilities had anything to do with this, all three of these men conducted illegal abortions in areas where there were several abortion facilities. This illegal abortion trend is all about exploiting the vulnerable to satisfy greed,” said Newman. “It is a thousand wonders that no mother was killed during these dangerous, unsanitary abortions. If anyone learns that there are underground abortions happening in their area, I urge them to immediately contact the local police.”

Kansas Suspends Abortionist’s License for 90 Days for Violations During Abortion on 13-Year Old

Abortionist Allen S. Palmer

Topeka, KS – The Kansas Board of Healing Arts has suspended the osteopathic medicine license of Allen S. Palmer, 78, for 90 days. The suspension is due to be completed on December 7, 2017.

Palmer was working part time for Comprehensive Health of Planned Parenthood in Overland Park, Kansas, on December 22, 2014, when a 13-year old girl presented for a surgical abortion. Palmer failed to check her medical records for age prior to the surgery, then failed to preserve fetal tissue from the abortion, which, by law, is supposed to be submitted to the Kansas Bureau of Investigation in the event a criminal investigation is warranted.

Planned Parenthood reported Palmer’s violation. In return, Palmer blamed a “system failure” at Planned Parenthood for the violation since staff did not advise him of the patient’s age.

The Board of Healing Arts found that Palmer had an independent duty to abide by the law and ensure his own compliance, and found it was wrong for him to conduct a surgical abortion without having looked at the young patient’s medical record or history.

The Board of Healing Arts found that Palmer had committed the following violations:

• Unprofessional conduct;
• Conduct likely to harm the public and hinder a criminal investigation;
• Failure to properly supervise, direct or delegate actions required of a licensee.

“Palmer works at a number of abortion facilities in Kansas, so his suspension is likely to have a large effect on abortion businesses in this state, and will likely save lives,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue.

Palmer conducts abortions at Planned Parenthood in Overland Park, South Wind Women’s Center in Wichita, and at Whole Women’s Health in Peoria, Illinois. He has also been known to work for Planned Parenthood in St. Louis, Missouri, since his own St. Louis area abortion facility closed in February, 2011.

Only the Kansas locations will be affected by the suspension order.

This is not Palmer’s first disciplinary encounter.

In 1979, Palmer was incarcerated and fined after he pleaded guilty to filing a false corporate tax statement in a U.S. District Court in Missouri.

In 1981, Palmer’s home state of Missouri placed him on probation and ordered him to perform charity service at a St. Louis area hospital in lieu of surrendering his license.

Palmer was subsequently fined and his licenses placed on probation by Florida and Illinois.

“It is unusual to see Planned Parenthood throw one of their abortionists under the bus, but in this case, it was probably to save themselves from being charged,” said Newman. “We are just glad that for now there is one less abortionist in Kansas. That is great news for women and their babies.”

Read the final suspension order.
Read related article.

Legislation to Defund Planned Parenthood Must Pass By End of September or Face Lengthy Delay

By Cheryl Sullenger

Washington, DC – Operation Rescue is joining with the Susan B. Anthony List and Family Research Council in support of the Graham-Cassidy Repeal and Replace Obamacare legislation that would also defund organizations like Planned Parenthood and divert the money instead for comprehensive health care.

There is a sense of urgency to passing this legislation because the Fiscal Year 2017 ends on September 30. If the bill is not passed before then, it would be off the table until next year.

“The Graham-Cassidy bill may not be perfect, but it would divert money from abortion businesses like Planned Parenthood, which currently receive over a half-billion taxpayer dollars each year,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue. “A health care bill can be improved upon later, but it is imperative that the funding of businesses that conduct abortion be ended now. Defunding Planned Parenthood will literally save lives.”

Please contact your U.S. Senators today and ask them vote in favor of the Graham Cassidy-Repeal and Replace Obamacare bill.

Contact your Senators

8th Circuit Temporarily Allows Missouri to Block Abortion Licenses for 3 Planned Parenthood Facilities

By Cheryl Sullenger

Jefferson City – Late yesterday, the full Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals stayed a preliminary injunction issued by a lower court that had blocked enforcement of existing Missouri abortion safety laws requiring abortionists to maintain hospital privileges within 30 miles of the place where they conduct abortions.

It is now expected that no facility license will be issued to three Missouri Planned Parenthood offices that applied for licensing to conduct abortions under the injunction. Those offices are in Columbia, Springfield, and Joplin.

“I applaud the Eighth Circuit’s decision,” Attorney General Josh Hawley stated in an e-mail to news outlets. “The health and safety of Missouri women will now be protected while the court considers the merit of our appeal.”

Friday’s stay is a temporary one pending the outcome of the state’s appeal of the preliminary injunction, which will now be heard before the full Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. It came just days after another ruling that allowed the state to seek the stay.

Missouri pro-life activists were equally thrilled about the ruling that will keep abortions out of the three communities, which they consider an answer to prayers.

The new ruling came just days before the Planned Parenthood office in Columbia was expected to be licensed for surgical and medication abortions.

None of the three Planned Parenthood facilities are in compliance with the hospital privilege rule or the facility requirements of the existing law.

“We are very grateful for the last-minute reprieve from the Eighth Circuit that allows the Department of Health to fulfill its duty to protect the public,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue. “Licensing these substandard facilities for abortions would have been a grave mistake that would have cost the lives of babies, and endangered their mothers.”

However, the stay does not affect the newly licensed Planned Parenthood facility in Kansas City, which plans to dispense abortion pills as early as next week.

“Missouri also has a 72 hour waiting period, so even though Planned Parenthood says they will begin abortions on Monday, I believe they can really only begin the process of informed consent on Monday,” said Newman. “I encourage pro-life supporters in the Kansas City area to maintain a steady presence at that facility starting early Monday. There will still be time to save lives.”

Read the Order dated September 15, 2017

Read related story, “Planned Parenthood’s Missouri Abortion Expansion Plans May Be Fleeting”

Planned Parenthood’s Missouri Abortion Expansion Plans May Be Fleeting

By Cheryl Sullenger

Kansas City, MO – Reveling in an injunction issued by U.S. District Judge Howard Sachs earlier this year that blocked enforcement Missouri’s long-standing requirement that those who conduct abortions must have hospital privileges within 30 miles of their abortion facility, two Planned Parenthood organizations are pushing forward with plans to expand abortions into four communities in the Show Me State.

However, Planned Parenthood’s abortion expansion plans may be short-lived.

On September 12, 2017, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals granted State Attorney General Josh Hawley’s request that the full court rehear the appeal of the ruling that blocked the long-standing safety regulations. The Eighth Circuit also ruled to vacate a July ruling that denied the state the opportunity to make a motion in opposition to the restraining order that Planned Parenthood is relying on to expand their abortion businesses.

Earlier this week, Planned Parenthood Great Plains, based in Overland Park, Kansas, announced that it has begun taking appointments for medication abortions, which are expected to resume next week. It also reportedly just passed a state inspection of its Columbia location, which has been the heated fulcrum of Missouri’s abortion battle for a number of years.

Planned Parenthood of Greater St. Louis Region has signaled that medication abortions at its Springfield center are just weeks away. It also plans to add abortions to their list of services in Joplin.

None of the abortionists involved in the expansion plans have qualified for hospital privileges, leaving women at risk of delay in emergency care should abortion complications arise, as they have all too frequently at the currently-lone Missouri abortion facility in St. Louis.

This means if the state appeal to the full Eighth Circuit is successful, the four expansion locations would again be in non-compliance of Missouri licensing requirements.

In addition, a Missouri new law, SB5, is set to go into effect later this year. There is doubt that the Planned Parenthood facilities can comply with the many new patient safety requirements, which include:

• Detailed emergency plans;
• Prohibitions against interfering with emergency medical treatment by requesting ambulances run without lights and sirens;
• Unannounced annual inspections;
• Informed consent must be given by the person conducting the abortions.

SB5 also has placed the authority of enforcement of this new law within the jurisdiction of the Attorney General’s office, and provides new protections for whistleblowers who come forward with information of violations.

“Planned Parenthood organizations in Missouri have been known to engage in dangerous and deceptive practices in order to circumvent state laws and safety regulations. Given their poor past performance, I believe Planned Parenthood’s anticipated abortion expansion will not last long,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue.

The work of Operation Rescue in documenting abortion abuses at Planned Parenthood’s St. Louis abortion location provided a basis for many of the provisions in SB5.

A 2015 State Senate investigation, led by State Sen. Kurt Schaefer, into Planned Parenthood’s shady operations led to the discovery that Planned Parenthood Great Plains had obtained phony hospital privileges for their Columbia abortionist Colleen McNichols, along with irregularities in in the required pathology reports for all tissue and human remains from abortions. It also revealed that the Department of Health at that time may have been complicit in allowing these violations.

Since then, a new pro-life administration under the able leadership of Gov. Eric Greitens made no bones about their efforts to ensure abortion facilities stop their shoddy practices. Also, the Missouri Department of Health has appointed a new director who is dedicated to ensuring that the laws of that state are properly enforced.

Despite the headlines touting Planned Parenthood’s abortion expansion, Newman remains hopeful.

“We will just have to wait and see how the legal issues and the new law pans out in Missouri, but given the new conditions in Missouri with a new pro-life administration and the new law, don’t place any bets on Planned Parenthood,” he said.