Abortion Center Owners in California to Face Trial for Unlicensed Medicine
by Steven Ertelt
June 11, 2008
Los Angeles, CA (LifeNews.com) — Two owners of a chain of abortion businesses in southern California will face a trial on charges of practicing medicine without a license. Bertha Bugarin and her sister Raquel pleaded not guilty to putting women’s health in jeopardy after they did abortions despite not holding a medical license.
On June 6, California Superior Court Judge Samuel Mayerson ruled after a three-day hearing that there is sufficient evidence to try the Bugarins for practicing medicine without a license.
The pair are now scheduled to be arraigned on June 19.
Los Angeles police began the case when a special unit of the LA Police Department called the Health Authority Law Enforcement Task Force raided a handful of area abortion centers last August.
They arrested the 47-year-old Bugarin, who was charged with five felony counts of practicing medicine without certification and two misdemeanor counts of dispensing medication without a license.
Her 49-year-old sister Raquel Bugarin is charged with aiding or abetting the practice of medicine without certification.
Operation Rescue president Troy Newman told LifeNews.com he’s delighted California courts will hold the pair accountable for their actions.
"This is a great day for women and pre-born children in Southern California, and a step toward permanently protecting them from Bugarin and her predatory abortion clinics," he said.
"These people have demonstrated such callous disregard for the law that the only way to keep them from continuing to commit illegal abortions is to put them in jail," Newman added.
Both sisters are free on six-figure bonds and could face up to six years in prison if convicted on all counts.
According to a September 1 statement by the Los Angeles County District Attorneys office, Bertha Bugarin allegedly managed four abortion businesses and has been charged with practicing medicine without a license.
The office said that when abortion practitioners were not present, Bertha Bugarin "allegedly performed medical procedures on five patients."
"In some incidents, she was allegedly assisted by her sister, Raquel Bugarin. The incidents allegedly occurred in February and March," the district attorney said.
In a report on the arrests, the Los Angeles Times indicated the sisters have been the subject of as many as a dozen medical malpractice and personal injury lawsuits, with most of them failing to recover damages for women injured by abortions.
The newspaper also said the women have employed numerous abortion practitioners over the years who have come with medical problems of their own.
Phillip Rand did an abortion on one woman with a method that should only be used in the early portion of pregnancy that nearly killed her, according to Medical Board of California reports. Even the National Abortion Federation said Rand did the wrong type of abortion on the woman.
Nicholas Braemer, another abortion practitioner employed at the abortion centers, was put on probation for five years for a botched abortion and then violated the probation on three occasions by doing abortions at unapproved locations.
The Bugarin sisters were ordered to stay away from the Clinica Medica Para La Mujer De Hoy abortion businesses Bertha runs, but Operation Rescue officials say, two months after her arrest, Bertha Bugarin was photographed at the abortion chain’s Chula Vista office in San Diego County wearing a stethoscope around her neck.
"Since then Bugarin’s stay away order has been expanded to include the Chula Vista office and police have asked pro-lifers to notify them immediately if they observe her there again," the pro-life group told LifeNews.com recently.
The abortion chain was temporarily closed and then reopened under the name Clinica Medica Feminina Para La Communidad. Abortion practitioner Nolan Jones now claims to be the new owner.