FBI Busts Illegal Abortionist Who Did In-Home Abortions, Learned How to Do Them on YouTube

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 16, 2015   |   12:16PM   |   Las Vegas, NV

The FBI has busted an illegal abortionist in Las Vegas, Nevada — the third abortion practitioner bused this month for doing illegal in-home abortions instead of at an abortion facility or hospital.

Rick Van Thiel, or “Dr. Rick,” stands accused of not only doing illegal abortions on women and unborn children in homes but also doing vitamin injections, hormone injections, and possibly dental work. The FBI busted him and now officials are looking for any patients willing to come forward to provide corroborating evidence:

With an accused unlicensed doctor in custody, authorities in Las Vegas are seeking people who had contact with him for services ranging from women’s health and abortions to hormone and vitamin injections.

The Southern Nevada Health District, Las Vegas police and FBI called Wednesday for information about people who may have received unlicensed dental or medical services at an eastside Las Vegas residence associated with Rick Van Thiel or “Dr. Rick.”

The public notice says patients were recruited through websites including “itsonlynatural.me” and “49days.me” or responded to Craigslist ads under the term “49days.”

Records show Van Thiel is jailed pending an Oct. 20 court appearance on multiple felony charges.

In an interview following his arrest, Van Thiel said he learned how to do abortions and other medical procedures by watching videos on YouTube.

“They’re looking for someone who does things naturally and does no harm like I do,” Van Thiel said. “I love humanity. I care about people I don’t want to see people suffer. If I can ease their suffering I’ll ease their suffering.”

Van Thiel says he’s been studying medicine now for nearly 30 years but doesn’t have an actual degree. In a video, the FBI says Van Thiel posted to YouTube, Van Thiel is seen getting ready to remove a cyst from someone’s back.

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“So Rick are you a surgeon? No, but I played one once in a movie,” Van Thiel said in the video. “Where did you learn to remove a sac? On YouTube of course.”

When News 3 asked Van Thiel about learning medicine on YouTube, he said he’s learned from several books and videos but maintains that YouTube was his primary source for that procedure on video.

“You don’t watch one, you watch like 20 or 25 like I do,” Van Thiel said. “Pretty close to anything you want to learn you can learn it off YouTube for free.”

Van Thiel didn’t want to talk much about the abortions he did, but said that unborn babies are not human beings. Apparently he hasn’t seen the many YouTube videos explaining fetal development.

“Well, that’s something I’ve very, very recently, that’s something I’ve very recently decided to do but I don’t know if I want that in an interview,” Van Thiel said.

He went on to say that before 49 days an embryo is not a person.

“Before 49 days there’s no penal gland, so there’s nobody there. It’s just like removing a cyst,” Van Thiel said.

Anyone who received services at the Monroe Avenue facility can call 1-800-506-1435 or report online atwww.fbi.gov. Information obtained as part of this investigation will be handled in accord with medical privacy laws, investigating agencies said.