Abortion Business Owner Heads to Prison for Six Years for Unlicensed Abortions
by Steven Ertelt
April 27, 2009
San Diego, CA (LifeNews.com) — The owner of a chain of abortion centers in California has been sentenced on a second set of charges that she did abortions without a medical license. With the abortion practitioners her centers hired having their own legal problems, Bertha Pinedo Bugarin, 48, took it upon herself to do abortions.
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.
In February, facing charges in Los Angeles County, Bugarin pleaded no contest to seven felony counts in Los Angeles Superior Court and was sentenced to three years and four months in prison.
On Friday, she was sentenced in San Diego County on Friday to 6 years, 8 months on nine felony counts of doing abortions without a medical license. Judge Charles Gill ordered that Bugarin’s sentence run concurrently with the previous sentence.
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.
Meanwhile, Deputy District Attorney Gina Darvas informed the San Diego Union Tribune that Bugarin has paid most of the $32,800 restitution she was required to pay victims in San Diego.
Operation Rescue spokesperson Cheryl Sullenger, who has closely followed the case and helped expose some of the problems, told LifeNews.com she is disappointed Bugarin received such a lenient sentence.
"Bugarin’s sentence was less than we had hoped, given the number of felonies, and the seriousness of her crimes. Each time Bugarin committed an abortion, she knowingly risked the lives of the women she victimized," she said.
"Bugarin was a cold-hearted predator who was unconcerned with the law or women’s lives. All that mattered to her was making money. Putting her in jail was the only way she was ever going to stop. Thank God she is behind bars where she belongs," Sullenger added.
The abortions were done in February and March 2007 at Clinica Medica de la Mujer in Chula Vista. Bugarin also owned other abortion centers throughout southern California operating under the same name and targeting Hispanic 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.
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.
Bugarin appeared in court in shackles, wearing a blue prison jumpsuit. She made no statement of her own, but her defense attorney, Kay Sunday, asked for leniency saying Bugarin has two children under her care.
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