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Doctor Convicted For Performing Illegal Abortions

June 12, 1991

ANDERSON, Ind. (AP) _ A doctor convicted Wednesday of performing illegal abortions on his former lovers could be sentenced to up to 40 years in prison.

Sentencing for Dr. Pravin Thakkar was set for July 31. He faces a maximum prison term of 40 years and a $50,000 fine, said prosecutor William Lawler Jr.

Thakkar, 40, violated a state law requiring doctors to explain the abortion and obtain a patient’s written consent, prosecutors said.

A jury convicted Thakkar of two counts each of performing an illegal abortion, battery and criminal recklessness, plus one count of attempted illegal abortion.

The three women who accused the doctor of either aborting or trying to abort their fetuses were in the courtroom when the verdicts were returned about 2:30 a.m.

″We believe justice was done,″ said Bonnie Coffey-Myers, 33, of Indianapolis, who accused Thakkar of the attempted abortion.

Carmen Singer, 36, of Anderson, said: ″We had all said it was going to come to court and people would hear the evidence. They made a decision from what they heard.″

Singer had testified that she heard the sound of a baby’s cry after Thakkar aborted her 8-month fetus at his home.

Coffey-Myers and Kathy Collins testified that Thakkar forced a medical instrument into their wombs during pelvic examinations. Each had missed a menstrual period and suspected being pregnant, but each testified she hadn’t consented to an abortion.

Thakkar’s lawyers attacked the credibility of the women by noting they appeared on national talk shows. They presented office records to contradict the women’s claims that they had been in Thakkar’s office on certain days.

Thakkar is free on $100,000 bond but Madison Circuit Court Judge Frederick R. Spencer set a bond revocation hearing for Friday. Spencer denied the prosecution’s request to take Thakkar into custody after the guilty verdicts.

Prosecutors say they fear Thakkar, a native of India, may flee the country before his sentencing.

Lawler said his office had received a tip that Thakkar had applied for hospital jobs in Africa and Canada. The informant also said Thakkar was using an assumed name, Lawler said.

Jeffrey Lockwood, one of Thakkar’s attorneys, said he was unaware of any recent foreign job inquiries by his client. He said Thakkar inquired about a job in Canada in 1989 after the state suspended the doctor’s medical license but before he was indicted later that year.

″He is a United States citizen,″ Lockwood said. ″If he is an unusual threat to run, I’d like to know about it. He’s not the first person to show up in these kinds of difficulties.″

Thakkar’s Indiana medical license was suspended on Feb. 23, 1989, pending the outcome of the trial.

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