By the time paramedics arrived, the patient was lying in a pool of her own blood, her pulse racing and her blood pressure dangerously low.
The medical board documents identify the woman as Angela P. She had undergone what she expected to be a safe legal abortion at Clinica Medica Para la Mujer de Hoy in Santa Ana, California in the summer of 2004. The abortion was performed by Phillip Rand, then in his early 80s. Rand used a simple suction abortion, appropriate only for the first trimester, on Angela, though she was 20 weeks pregnant. Angela had been given no anesthesia or pain medications.
Angela P.'s experience was cited in a 2004 medical board accusation against Rand as "barbaric" and a "severe departure" from a reasonable standard of care. Rand surrendered his license in 2005.
Rand was one of at least six doctors with histories of malpractice complaints, addiction or medical board actions who were employed by a chain of Southern California abortion clinics, according to court and medical board records.
Bertha Bugarin, who manages the clinic and others in the chain, has been charged with five counts practicing medicine without a license in February and March of 2007. Her sister, Raquel Bugarin, has also been charged with related crimes.
A fictitious name statement from 1991 filed for the business lists Bertha Bugarin as the person behind Clinica Medica Para La Mujer de Hoy, although paperwork filed with the medical board lists Nicholas Braemer, a Torrance doctor who lost his license in 2000, as the sole registrant of the clinics between 1991 and 1999.
The chain had offices in "Baldwin Park, Huntington Park, Los Angeles and Panorama City, operating either under the name Clinica Medica Para La Mujer de Hoy or Community Women's Medical Clinic. Public records contain references to four more locations, in Chula Vista, North Hollywood, Torrance and Santa Ana. One clinic doctor said in a deposition for a 2002 malpractice suit that there were nine clinics."
The Los Angeles Times article noted "at least 12 personal injury and malpractice lawsuits and one wrongful death suit have been filed in Los Angeles County against Bertha Bugarin, the clinics or both." The wrongful death might be associated with a botched delivery by one of Bugarin's abortionists (see George Dalton Flanigan, below), but since this death took place at a hospital and not at one of the chain of abortion facilities, this seems unlikely.
The Times indicates that "Bugarin developed the clinics herself, hiring the doctors to work on an on-call basis." The doctors themselves are a rogues' gallery:
I am currently working on downloading copies of the medical board documents. I'll write them up and make them available for your perusal. You won't have to take my word for any of it; you'll be able to check it yourself.
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