by Steven Ertelt
October 27, 2006
Toms River, NJ (LifeNews.com) — A receptionist at a New Jersey abortion facility will go to jail for 270 days after pleading guilty on charges that she performed drug-induced abortions on women. Liza Berdiel, 26, of Lakewood, does not have a medical license, which means she’s not eligible to give out the dangerous abortion drug RU 486.
Berdiel was charged with three counts of performing abortions without a medical license, theft and forgery.
She had injected three women with abortion drugs while abortion practitioner Flavius Moses Thompson was away from his office or during non-business hours. She also stole prescription pads from Thompson and wrote illegal prescriptions.
Thompson had alerted police to Berdiel’s actions, when he noticed abortion drugs missing. He told officials he was worried she was pocketing the money for the abortions.
On Thursday, Judge Peter Giovine handed down the sentence and said Berdiel will serve her time in the Ocean County Jail.
"The days of the back-alley abortions are gone," Judge Giovine told Berdiel, according to an Asbury Park Press newspaper report.
"This was egregious conduct that you were involved in," he told her. "This type of crime can’t go unpunished."
Assistant Ocean County Prosecutor Martin Anton confirmed her actions and said the drug-induced abortions were done after Thompson had left the abortion center, known as the Pleasant Women’s Pavilion.
"The behavior is outrageous and without excuse," Anton said, according to APP. "The motive was to make money. The victims suffered from the lack of medical professionalism."
One of the three abortions did not work and the woman involved later had to obtain a surgery abortion to complete the incomplete abortion process.
Berdiel’s attorney, Robert Gerage, said she was acting under direction from Thompson but Anton said no evidence was found to corroborate that allegation.
Berdiel must also submit to probation for three years and was ordered to pay $380 to each of the women to reimburse them for the cost of the abortions.
Thompson himself came under fire from authorities at about the same time as Berdiel.
Thompson was accused last year of flushing the dead bodies of unborn children into the sanitary sewer, a violation of state environmental laws. In May, he had his medical license reinstated after it was temporarily revoked by the state medical board.
He was also charged with not having a license to store or process medical waste.
Thompson completed a court intervention program and after eight months of not having a medical license, the medical board has lifted the suspension. However, Thompson can only practice at the Kimball Medical Center in Lakewood and must be under the supervision of a physician.