The Wisbey Dossier, Part 1: Soliciting Abortion and Gambling Money from Edward Allred

Randal Wisbey recently announced that he would retire as president of La Sierra University at the end of the current school year. He has been the president of La Sierra since 2007.  

In the comment thread, I noted that I would write an article chronicling some of his dubious achievements as president.  Upon reflection it became clear, however, that I could not do justice to such an energetic administrator in only one article. A series is called for.   

In light of the recent news that Loma Linda has accepted a donation of $25 million from the San Manuel Indians that is excess profits from the tribe’s large casino near San Bernardino, I decided to start the Wisbey Dossier with a story from nine years ago, in 2010.  Around that time, La Sierra solicited a contribution of over a million dollars from an alumnus, Dr. Edward C. Allred, and named a “center” in its Business School after him.  Dr. Allred made millions as an industrial-scale abortionist, then plowed his fortune into horse racing and gambling venues .

Dr. Allred personally aborted hundreds of thousands of babies (yes, literally hundreds of thousands). He has since sold his abortion mills, but he plowed the profits into gambling venues, most notably the Los Alamitos racetrack in Cypress, California, and Ruidoso Downs in New Mexico, which he owned at the time of his gift to his alma mater (and might still own today).

In 2010, La Sierra University established the “Edward C. Allred Center for Financial Literacy and Entrepreneurship" in honor of Dr. Allred.  Their website stated:

Dr. Allred has always been an entrepreneur, whether in his innovative and financially successful medical practice or in his lifelong commitment to the sport and business of quarter horse racing in the United States and Southern California in particular. To both he has brought not only sound and creative business practices but also a deep interest in his colleagues and employees and a genuine care for their well-being.

To characterize a business with annual revenues of $70 million from 23 outlets in two states as a “medical practice” goes well beyond spin and deep into dissimulation.  The real story of Edward Allred’s “medical practice” makes for riveting, if unedifying, reading.

In 1969, Dr. Edward C. Allred, a graduate of La Sierra University and Loma Linda University, founded the “Avalon-Slauson Medical Group,” which was later renamed “Family Planning Associates.” Although this was before the Supreme Court legalized abortion nationwide in Roe v. Wade (1973), California had already legalized abortion in several situations, and many women were traveling to California to abort their babies.

“We had planeloads of people coming in,” recalled Allred to a Los Angeles Times reporter in 2002, “We'd meet them at the airport with a bus.”

Allred systematized the abortion process until it rolled with assembly-line efficiency. Just as McDonald's founder Ray Kroc pioneered efficiencies and economies of scale in the hamburger business, Allred pioneered efficiencies in the abortion clinic business, causing some to call Allred “the Ray Kroc of abortions.”

“We've been pioneers in so many ways,” Allred once told a reporter. “We streamlined, we made efficiencies, we employed the suction technique better than anyone, and we eliminated needless patient-physician contact (meaning that he and his doctors would spend no more than five minutes with patients). We usually see the patient for the first time on the operating table and then not again.”

In 1980, Allred claimed to have personally aborted a quarter of a million babies in the preceding 12 years. It may seem difficult to believe that one man could perform so many abortions, but I’ve done the math and it pencils out:  Spending only five minutes with each patient would have allowed Allred to perform as many as 100 abortions in a 10-12 hour working day, and 210 working days per year would, over 12 years, add up to 252,000 dead babies. So Allred's estimate of a quarter million personally-performed abortions during that twelve-year period is very realistic.

You might wonder how a person who has snuffed a large city worth of human lives salves his conscience. Well, he does it just as the pioneers of abortion did it: by appealing to the need to purge the race of “undesirables.” Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood, was quite explicit in favoring abortion as a means of weeding out the unwanted and unfit, and there was general agreement that the black race was undesirable.

Dr. Allred has, at least on one occasion, voiced similar thoughts.

“Population control is too important to be stopped by some right-wing pro-life types. . . . The Aid to Families with Dependent Children program is the worst boondoggle ever created. When a sullen black woman of 17 or 18 can decide to have a baby and get welfare and food stamps and become a burden to all of us, it's time to stop. In parts of South Los Angeles, having babies for welfare is the only industry the people have.” Edward C. Allred, M.D. quoted in Anthony Perry, "Doctor's Abortion Business is Lucrative," San Diego Union, October 12, 1980, pages A-3 and A-14.

Family Planning Associates expanded, and Allred eventually owned 21 abortion clinics in California and two in Chicago. According to a 2001 article in Forbes Magazine, Allred's business generated $70 million in annual gross revenues and $5 million in annual profits.

But things did not always go smoothly; there have been post-abortion patient deaths, and Allred has been sued many times. One abortion technique Allred used in the early days was saline amniocentesis--injecting saline in place of the normal amniotic fluid--which slowly poisons the baby while burning its skin. This method was usually used in late-term abortions, and the baby typically took an hour to 90 minutes to die. The plan was for the baby to be born dead about 24 hours after injecting the saline. 

In 1977, Gianna Jessen's 17-year-old mother went to Dr. Allred's Avalon Clinic in Inglewood, California, seeking to abort a pregnancy of over six months. Dr. Allred used the salt poisoning method, underestimating the amount of saline necessary to kill the baby, which began struggling to escape the deadly womb. Gianna Jessen was born alive; Dr. Allred is listed on her birth certificate as the doctor who delivered her.

But he did not deliver her. He wasn’t there. The nurse who was there called an ambulance and had Gianna taken to a hospital.  She was was not expected to survive, but she did, and three months later was released from the hospital and adopted.  Gianna suffers from cerebral palsy, which she calls the gift of cerebral palsy, and today has become a Christian and a prominent spokeswoman in the pro-life movement.

Dr. Allred sold Family Planning Associates in 2005, and has retired from the abortion business (reportedly, he sold the business to an Adventist dentist, Irving “Bud” Feldkamp III, DDS). Dr. Allred now devotes his time to a hobby and passion he acquired while still in medical school: horse racing. Dr. Allred owns (or owned) Los Alamitos Race Track in Cypress, California, and Ruidoso Downs, in New Mexico.

But there are serious problems with the horse-racing business.  First, it exists solely to facilitate gambling.  Second, it is an extremely dangerous “sport.”

When I was practicing law in California, I handled a series of cases that dealt with jockeys, the risks they take, and their inadequate insurance coverage.  I can tell you that the exploitation of jockeys is one of the most under-reported aspects of horse-racing.

Jockeys are independent contractors who earn on average about $38,000 per year.  For a basic “mount fee” of as little as $60.00 per race (I think the minimum has since risen to $100.00 per race), they risk death and catastrophic injury. In a typical year, at least one or two jockeys are killed or suffer catastrophic spinal cord injuries. Yet the tracks do not carry adequate insurance. A paralyzed jockey will incur a million dollars in medical bills in the first two years after the accident.

This is not a theoretical concern for track-owners like Dr. Allred; on September 2, 2011, Jacky Martin suffered a broken neck in a fall at Ruidoso Downs, is now a quadriplegic, and needs mechanical help to breathe. Ruidoso downs reportedly carried only $500,000 in accident insurance, and, as in almost every case of this type, that level of insurance is grossly inadequate to provide for Jacky Martin's ongoing medical needs.

These men and women risk death and catastrophic injury almost solely to provide an occasion for gambling. At Los Alamitos, the daily “handle,” or total dollar amount of bets taken in, was reported to be $1.3 million. Allred decided to simulcast Los Alamitos races to other venues, thus enabling gamblers to bet and lose money on races that they did not attend.

Ruidoso Downs had been losing money, but Allred and his partners made the track profitable by adding 300 slot machines, some of which are proudly shown on the track's website. They essentially turned it into a casino.  Attendance at horse racing venues has sharply declined in recent years, and industry insiders say the “sport” cannot survive without casino-style gaming at the tracks.

But is saving the tracks in the public's interest? According to the National Gambling Impact Study Commission (NGISC), more than one in three racetrack patrons is a pathological or problem gambler, so the tracks cause financial problems for the patrons and their families, as well as causing jockeys to risk death, quadriplegia, and paraplegia.

It hardly seems possible that any Adventist institution would accept a large donation from, and name a “center” after, a man who has left such a trail of death in his wake, a man who made his fortune eliminating two generations of humanity, and, since retiring from his abortion mills, has spent most of his days devising ways to separate gamblers from their money. 

But Randal Wisbey had no problem accepting Allred’s money.