Unlicensed Abortion Center Owner Sees Jury Selection Begin for Upcoming Trial
by Steven Ertelt
November 24, 2008
Los Angeles, CA (LifeNews.com) — The owner of a chain of abortion centers in California who pleaded not guilty to charges of pretending to be a physician and doing abortions without a license is seeing jury selection begin in her case.
Bertha Pinedo Bugarin, 48, also faces charges of giving women the dangerous abortion drug mifepristone without having a medical license. The drug is responsible for the deaths of more than a dozen women worldwide and injuring thousands more.
Bugarin also faces charges in San Diego on the same counts of doing unlicensed abortions. She had a hearing in that case earlier this month, and she is scheduled for trial in San Diego sometime next year.
Bugarin faces 15 years in prison if convicted on the 18 Los Angles County charges and nine years in jail on the charges in San Diego if found guilty.
Operation Rescue president Troy Newman has been closely following the case and tells LifeNews.com he’s glad the abortion business owner is finally seeing her trial get underway.
"We have worked long to bring Bugarin to justice. Her attitude was that she was above the law and could get away with anything, which is so common in the abortion industry," he said.
"To abortionists like that, laws are meant to be broken. The only way to stop them from continuing to hurt women and illegally kill babies is to put them behind bars," he added.
At a hearing in July, Superior Court Judge David Szumowski allowed Bertha Bugarin to remain free on a $500,000 bail.
Prosecutors have found at least nine women who have said Bugarin did abortions on them and one of the women had to be hospitalized three times because of complications from the failed abortion. She eventually gave birth prematurely and the baby died three hours later.
Another woman had to return to the abortion center a second time because Bugarin allegedly botched the first attempt at doing the abortion.
After learning of the unlicensed abortions, officials arrested Bugarin.
Bugarin operates several abortion businesses in the southern California area operating under the name Clinica Medica Para La Mujer De Hoy that Newman says prey on Latino women. At its height of prosperity, the chain ran eleven abortion centers, but problems with the incompetent abortion practitioners hired by Bugarin troubled the chain.
"Her targeting of these neighborhoods was to prey on women who might be illegal, desperate, and have no ability to report shoddy care to the authorities," he said.
As LifeNews.com reported earlier, the Chula Vista office has been closed by state officials.
According to Operation Rescue, abortion practitioner Nolan Jones, who has his own problems with state medical authorities with numerous cases of Medical Board disciplinary action for botched abortions, is running them.
Organization spokeswoman Cheryl Sullenger told LifeNews.com that Jones filed for bankruptcy for substantial amounts of debt in 2003 and has bounced around several southern California abortion centers moving to new ones when others close for medical problems or other reasons.
Nicholas Braemer, the medical director of the abortion centers, surrendered his medical license under pressure in 2000 after Operation Rescue exposed his numerous botched abortions and other problems.
He was replaced as medical director by Laurence Reich, a convicted sex offender, who lost his medical license in 2006 for continued episodes of sexual abuse against his abortion patients.
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