Monday, June 23, 2008

CA Abortionist Faces 9 Years in Prison

UPDATE (12/8/08): Abortion Business Owner Pleads Guilty to Unlicensed Abortion, All Facilities Closed

-- From "Abortion clinic operator is charged in felonies by San Diego County D.A." by Tony Perry, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer 6/21/08

SAN DIEGO -- A 48-year-old woman who ran an abortion clinic in Chula Vista was charged Friday with 10 felony counts of practicing medicine without a license and grand theft.

Bertha Pinedo Bugarin, who faces similar charges in Los Angeles, is accused of telling women that she was a doctor, performing abortions on them and prescribing drugs. One woman had to be rushed to a hospital with life-threatening complications, prosecutors said.

[San Diego County Dist. Atty. Bonnie] Dumanis said nine former patients from Bugarin's Clinica Medica de la Mujer have identified Bugarin, including one woman who gave birth prematurely to a baby that lived for only three hours. Another patient paid $500 for an abortion but had to return for a second procedure when the first was not successful, prosecutors said.

"This defendant preyed on women in the Hispanic community" by passing herself off as a doctor, the prosecutor says. Bertha Bugarin, 48, at one point ran six clinics in Southern California. If convicted on all counts, she faces more than nine years in prison, prosecutors said.

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