Remembering When an Abortionist Carved His Initials Into Patient’s Abdomen

National   |   Dave Andrusko   |   May 30, 2013   |   7:08PM   |   Washington, DC

Although not widely known, there is a long and sordid history of bizarre behavior by abortionists. In other words, Kermit Gosnell is by no means an “outlier,” as pro-abortion groups insist he is.

The following appeared in the May 2000 edition of National Right to Life and is the latest in our year-long “Roe at 40” series where we reproduce some of the best stories from NRL News going back to its origins in 1973. If you are not a subscriber, call us at 202-626-8828.

A guilty plea by Manhattan abortionist and obstetrician Allan Zarkin closed a case so bizarre, the New York tabloids had a field day with it.

On April 25, the immaculately dressed 62-year-old Zarkin was allowed to plea bargain after admitting he had carved his initials into the belly of Dr. Liana Gedz, just after delivering her baby by Caesarean section. Under the agreement, worked out between the lawyers and prosecutors, Zarkin pled guilty to second-degree assault. He will not go to jail but instead was sentenced to five years’ probation, during which time he will be barred from applying for a medical license. He had faced up to 25 years in jail if convicted of first-degree assault.

The New York Times reports that when Justice Renee White of the State Supreme Court in Manhattan asked Zarkin what he had done, “Dr. Zarkin responded in a steady, almost soothing tone, ‘Using the scalpel, I scratched my initials into her.’” Zarkin’s assault took place September 9, 1999, at Beth Israel Medical Center. One of his lawyers attributed the “incident” to Pick’s disease, an Alzheimer’s- like illness.

Zarkin’s mutilation of Dr. Gedz set off a chain reaction. For one thing, Gedz sued Zarkin for $1.75 million, a lawsuit settled in February.

For another, Beth Israel was hit with a $14,000 fine by the state Department of Health.

Beth Israel was accused of failing to file the proper reports after Zarkin carved “AZ” into Gedz’s abdomen and for not having monitored him closely, despite prior complaints that his behavior had been erratic.

A third result was the temporary closure of all operating rooms at Choices Women’s Medical Center, an abortion clinic that hired Zarkin as medical director five months after the assault. In the process of investigating the mutilation, the New York State Health Department ordered Choices to cease all operating room procedures after a January 29 on-site investigation found “serious, systemic problems that pose a significant risk to vulnerable women,” according to Health Department spokeswoman Kristin Smith.



Choices president Merle Hoffman told the Times she knew of Zarkin’s alleged medical problem but insisted she knew nothing about the carving incident. Choices was fined $20,000 in February for “performing hasty abortions, lacking proper equipment and infection control, not having enough nurses, and improperly screening and monitoring employees,” the Times reported.

Meanwhile, Dr. Gedz is planning on plastic surgery to obscure Zarkin’s markings. Gedz did not want Zarkin to go to prison and opposed criminal prosecution. Note: Dave Andrusko is the editor of National Right to Life News and an author and editor of several books on abortion topics. He writes NRL News Today — an online column on pro-life issues.