Los Angeles County Officials Close Unlicensed Abortion Clinic
Los Angeles County health and law enforcement officials have closed a reportedly unlicensed abortion clinic and are investigating whether the clinic's owner is licensed to practice medicine, the Los Angeles Times reports. Officials say that the West Hollywood-based Centro Medico Para La Mujer, which provided abortions and other gynecological services, was not licensed as a health clinic. Officials were made aware of the clinic after a patient told county Supervisor Gloria Molina's office that the clinic staff had performed an "incorrect procedure." Clinic owner Edgar Ruiz told authorities that he holds a medical license in his native Nicaragua but is not licensed to practice medicine in the United States. Sheriff's and county health department officials said that Ruiz "catered to uninsured women" and charged $200 in cash for abortions. Although Ruiz says he does not hold a medical license, investigators said he paid a licensed physician to attend "at least some" of the abortions performed in the clinic. Investigators asked the district attorney's office to file felony charges against Ruiz, stating that as an unlicensed practitioner he posed a "risk of great bodily injury." Prosecutors, however, said there was not enough evidence to file felony charges. Some officials expressed concern that Ruiz would leave the country or open a clinic in another location (Larrubia, Los Angeles Times, 2/1).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.