Unlicensed Abortion Practitioner Bertha Bugarin Gets Three Year Prison Term
by Steven Ertelt
February 2, 2009
Los Angeles, CA (LifeNews.com) — The owner of a chain of abortion centers in California has been sentenced to three years and four months in prison on charges of pretending to be a physician and doing abortions without a medical license. Bertha Pinedo Bugarin, 48, had pleaded no contest to seven felony counts in Los Angeles Superior Court.
Bugarin was accused of putting more than a dozen patients at risk by doing abortions on them or giving them the dangerous RU 486 abortion drug without having medical training.
The abortion business owner appeared in court sobbing uncontrollably and begging for leniency and mercy and received a slightly lesser sentence than the five years prosecutors sought.
Had she been found guilty and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law on all charges, Bugarin could have faced 15 years in prison.
Now, Bugarin faces sentencing on Friday in San Diego County on similar charges. She had a hearing in that case last month and could be headed to jail for nine years in association with those charges.
Operation Rescue has been closely following the case and helped expose some of the problems. OR spokeswoman Cheryl Sullenger told LifeNews.com she was disappointed that the Bugarin escaped a longer prison sentence.
"In sentencing Bugarin, Judge Sam Ohta has forgotten that Bugarin’s victims were given no such mercy. Many of the women were cruelly given abortions without anesthesia or pain medication," she said.
"Bugarin preyed on vulnerable Hispanic neighborhoods. She hoped to earn the maximum amount of profit by providing the shoddiest care, hoping the illegal status of many in those neighborhoods would prevent them from reporting [the illegal activities]," Sullenger added.
"Her victims will have to live with the trauma and injury Bugarin inflicted on them for the rest of their lives. Bugarin is a cold-hearted predator whose only remorse is that she got caught," she told LifeNews.com.
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.
Bugarin operates several abortion businesses in the southern California area operating under the name Clinica Medica Para La Mujer De Hoy. At its height of prosperity, the chain ran eleven abortion centers, but problems with the incompetent abortion practitioners hired by Bugarin troubled the chain.
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.
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.
"We are very thankful that Bugarin’s clinics are now closed and that she is on her way to jail where she belongs. We worked very long to protect the women of Southern California further abuse at the hands of this ruthless predator," said Sullenger.
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