In 1982 when the 16,433 bodies of unborn babies were found in the huge shipping container, forty-three of the largest bodies were sent to the Los Angeles County Coroner’s office for autopsy . Labels on the containers stated that these larger baby bodies all came from Inglewood Women’s Hospital. This hospital was owned by Morton Barke, M.D.
In the early 1970s Barke owned West Coast Medical Group, an abortion business, in Woodland Hills, in the eastern San Fernando Valley. This is where he might have met Malvin Weisberg who lived in Woodland Hills but operated a pathology lab in Santa Monica that provided baby body disposal for the abortion industry.
Barke bought a clinic in 1970 that had served as an industrial medical clinic in Inglewood, a predominantly African-American community. Barke renamed the place Inglewood Women’s Hospital; it had two surgical suites, a waiting room, and a recovery room. Real estate was cheaper in Inglewood, it was near LAX airport, had a large parking lot, and Barke could draw from the local African-American population.
At peak operation in the late 1980s, Barke’s Inglewood Women’s Hospital was doing more than 74 abortions per day. On such a day (in late January, 1987) Belinda Byrd, a young African-American woman, bled to death after being left on an unattended gurney. A lawsuit was filed and in 1990, Inglewood Women’s Hospital (Barke) had to pay $425,000 to Byrd’s children.
Belinda’s mother thought that the death of her daughter was criminal and she wrote to a Los Angeles district attorney:
“I am the mother of Belinda Byrd, victim of abortionists at [Inglewood]. I am also the grandmother of her three young children who are left behind and motherless. I cry every day when I think how horrible her death was. She was slashed by them and then she bled to death … and nobody cares. I know that other young black women are now dead after abortion at that address….
“Where is [the abortionist] now? Has he been stopped? Has anything happened to him because of what he did to my Belinda? Has he served jail time for any of these cruel deaths? People tell me nothing has happened, that nothing ever happens to white abortionists who leave young black women dead. I’m hurting real bad and want some justice for Belinda and all other women who go like sheep to slaughter.”
At least eight women are known to have died at the hands of abortionists at Inglewood Women’s Hospital: Jannet Foster, Margaret Davis, Kathy Murphy, Lynette Wallace, Cora Mae Lewis, Yvonne Tanner, and Belinda Byrd. All women but one who died were African-American.
At least four of the abortionists at Inglewood Women’s are known: Morton Barke, M.D., Scott Ricke, M.D., Gordon Goei, M.D., and Stephen Pine, M.D. All doctors were disciplined for gross negligence against women. Besides Barke, there were:
Scott Ricke – censured by the medical board of Arizona in November of 1986 for performing an after-hours abortion on a woman while alone with her, and for reportedly having sex with her first.
In another case, Shanda was 25 years old when she went to Ricke for an abortion on February 7, 1987 at his Women’s Surgical Clinic in Arizona. During the abortion, Shanda said, the head of the fetus became lodged. She was screaming in pain, but Ricke refused her request for painkillers by telling her that he didn’t have any. She asked to be taken to a hospital, but Ricke told her that since her pregnancy was more than 24 weeks along, beyond the 24-week limit most hospitals observed, no hospital would take her.
After three hours of attempts to remove the head, Ricke wrapped the body of the fetus — which was hanging out of Shanda’s vagina — in a towel, and loaded Shanda into an employee’s car to be transported to the hospital.
The Assistant Arizona Attorney General investigated the case and asserted that during the three hours he spent trying to dislodge Shanda’s fetus, Ricke left her several times to do other abortions.
Gordon Goei – his medical license was revoked outright when he killed a 6.5-month-old baby and nearly killed the mother. According to the L.A.Times on March 21, 1998, “[Goei was] a recently suspended doctor with a long history of medical complaints [who] has been arrested on suspicion of murder after performing an abortion that left his patient bleeding uncontrollably and a 26-week-old fetus in the trash at a Van Nuys clinic.”
Stephen Pine. Pine was named in the suit filed by Mattie Byrd on behalf of her daughter Belinda (see above). According to papers filed in this suit, Belinda Byrd’s baby was Pine’s 74th abortion that day.
In February 1988 the health department of Los Angeles County shut down Inglewood Women’s Hospital after a 14-year history of deficiencies and serious violations of the state health code. And deaths to women. Immediately, Barke sold the place to fellow abortionist, Edward Allred, M.D. of the Family Planning Associates abortion chain. Barke said he became a manager for Allred.
Where are they now?
As of December 2012 Barke is 77 years old and maintains his medical license. He owns the Evaluation Center for Medical Marijuana on Venice, California. Barke lives in a condo in Playa Vista, about four miles from his marijuana business.
As of December 2012 Scott Ricke is the medical director of the Institute for Aesthetic Medicine in La Jolla, where he supervises or does “Botox®/Dysport®; Dermal Fillers; Esthetician Services; Hair Removal; Skin Rejuvenation; Skin Tightening; Wrinkle Reduction.”
According to Wellness.com, Dr. Goei practices obstetrics/gynecology, specializing in “female reproductive health issues” on Reseda Blvd. in Reseda. But a July 17, 2008 story on LawFuel.com said that Goei faced prosecution for tax evasion and wire fraud.
The Vitals.com website lists Dr. Pine’s ob-gyn practice as currently located at six locations. The main address is listed on Wilshire Blvd. in Los Angeles.
Past and future topics in this series on California Catholic Daily:
The memorial service