Pro-Life - Original Articles

The Abortion Kickbacks

by Roger Rapoport

supplied with U.S. Senate testimony by Feminists for Life, January 14, 1974

Not all Los Angeles hospitals have to pay $50 to $100 to acquire patients. At least two prime suppliers of patients, the Rev. J. Hugh Anwyl--who used to be in the business of saving souls before he got into selling bodies--and Dr. Morton Barke firmly believe in volume discounts. During 1971 and 1972 they sent 7,706 abortion cases to suburban Montclair Hospital at a mere $20 a head.

The deal between the doctor and the reverend begain in 1970. Anwyl, a former minister of the Mt. Hollywood Congregational Church, was then director of abortion referrals for Planned Parenthood/Los Angeles. When Anwyl met Dr. Barke, the reverend immediately began referring abortion cases to the gynecologist's personally owned West Coast Medical Group. Then Dr. Barke helped set up National Abortion Council to get still more patients. NAC did little more than take calls from abortion patients who were responding to NAC ads--and referred the callers to Dr. Barke.

The Clergy Counseling Service and National Abortion Council referrals made Barke's West Coast Medical Group flourish. In the summer of 1971, Dr. Barke went to A.R. Markey, chairman of Century Medical Inc., which owned Montclair Hospital. Why not turn the money-losing, 34-bed facility into an abortion hospital? Barke promised to supply Montclair with 2,000 patients a month if Markey would pay $20 a head to National Abortion Council. Markey agreed and Barke began shipping in patients. But not enough. He fell short of his guarantee. So he went to Anwyl, who came up with a new source of patients. In the fall of 1971 Anwyl merged Clergy Counseling Service with Planned Parenthood/Los Angeles and directed abortion referral work for both organizations. Since federally funded Planned Parenthood is the country's largest family planning agency, with over 700 clinics nationwide, it was easy for the Rev. Anwyl to persuade affiliates in states where abortions were illegal to refer patients to his friend, Barke, for abortions at Montclair.

By November, 1971, Barke's West Coast Medical Group had expanded to a staff of eight doctors, two nurses and 20 clerical workers. Thanks to Anwyl, patients were flying in from all over. They were picked up by one of the air-conditioned, 12-passenger vans from Barke's group, whisked to Montclair for quick abortions and returned to the airport within hours. Montclair paid $20 to Planned Parenthood/Los Angeles or NAC for each patient, regardless of whether she paid cash or was covered by the California version of Medicaid, Medi-Cal. The kickbacks were made under the guise of payments for psychological testing and evaluation, which consisted of the following at NAC: just prior to their abortions, National Abortion Council patients filled out a one-page questionnaire. These forms were taken to the NAC office where a clerk rubber stamped them with a psychologist's name.

Montclair also kicked back $20 per patient to Planned Parenthood/Los Angeles for "psychological testing and evaluation." According to sources who were with West Coast Medical Group at the time, there is no evidence that the "psychological testing and evaluation" was actually provided to their patients by Planned Parenthood. Moreover, Planned Parenthood/Los Angeles operates under a federal grant channeled to it through the Los Angeles Regional Family Planning Council, and this grant provides money for "counseling." Under the terms of the grant, Planned Parenthood/Los Angeles is prohibited from receiving any second payment for counseling services to abortion patients. But between November 3, 1971 and March 28, 1972, it received from Montclair $52,940 for "psychological testing and evaluation" of 2,647 abortion patients.

According to the Rev. Anwyl--who became executive director of Planned Parenthood/Los Angeles in 1972--the organization's '71 and '72 financial reports do not show any hospital income for psychological testing and evaluation or any other direct services charged to abortion patients. "We never accept any payments of any kind on abortion referrals," the Rev. Anwyl says, "It's unethical. We don't allow it because it might influence where we send our patients. We want to be free to send our patients to the best possible hospitals."

The fact is that I have copies of 20 checks that were sent from Montclair to Planned Parenthood/Los Angeles in payment for "psychological testing and evaluation." The first four of these checks were sent directly to Planned Parenthood. But Dr. Barke wanted to be sure that Planned Parenthood was not getting paid off for any of his NAC patients, so he asked Century Medical Inc., the owner of Montclair Hospital, to send further checks to him for forwarding. On December 14, 1971 Century issued a check for $2,220 made out to Planned Parenthood-West Coast Med. Group, Inc. It was mailed to the West Coast Medical Group office and marked "personal and confidential," attention of Dr. Morton Barke. The next eight checks were also sent to Dr. Barke who, after examining them, had them delivered to the Rev. Anwyl. This procedure upset Anwyl, so Century tried to strike a compromise by sending the final seven payments--which were still marked to the attention of Dr. Barke--directly to Planned Parenthood.

Planned Parenthood/Los Angeles was violating the terms of its federal grant in two ways. First, it was receiving a second payment for "psychological testing and evaluation" of abortion patients, not permissible under the terms of its grant. Second, it was failing to report this income to the federal government. Both these violations could result in termination of the government funding. More important, if there was appropriation of unreported revenue by an executive of a federally funded organization, this could lead to felony prosecution.

As for Dr. Barke, his funneling of checks to Planned Parenthood could run afoul of the California Business and Professional Code, which prohibits physicians from directing money to sources of patients. Also, any direct or indirect financing of National Abortion Council by Dr. Barke would be a violation of the California Business and Professional Code.

In 1972, Dr. Barke and the Rev. Anwyl became dissatisfied with the $20 per patient fee at Montclair. Barke tried to talk Century chairman A.R. Markey into selling him Montclair Hospital, with Anwyl sitting in on some of his negotiations. When that deal did not go through, Barke and Anwyl tried to boost Montclair's kickback by $5 per patient. Markey balked, and the abortion patient suppliers pulled out of Montclair in the spring of '72.

After withdrawing from Montclair, they directed their patients to Bel Air for a time. Then, Barke became an owner of Inglewood Hospital, which immediately began receiving the majority of Planned Parenthood's cases, then approaching 1,000 a month. The National Abortion Council changed its name to the National Family Planning Council and began offering a full range of patient services, but the vast majority of its abortion cases ended up at Barke's Inglewood Hospital.

Reprinted with permission.

Editorial Comment

This article may be old, but things have apparently not changed for the better. This sounds reminiscent of slave trade to me...

Pat Goltz

Pro-Life - Original Articles

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