SANTA ANA: U.S. Supreme Court Denies Appeal Over Abortion Issue
The U.S. Supreme Court Monday upheld the murder conviction and 16-year prison sentence of a former Santa Ana abortion provider whose patient died during an illegal abortion, the Los Angeles Times reports. The justices rejected without comment the appeal of Alicia Ruiz Hanna, whose attorney argued there was not enough evidence to support her second-degree murder conviction. Orange County Assistant District Attorney Rick King, who prosecuted the case in 1994, said, "We are pleased. It appears now that we have our final chapter." Angela Nieto Sanchez, a mother of four, came to Hanna's unlicensed clinic in 1993 requesting an abortion. While two of her children sat in the clinic waiting room, Sanchez died on the examination table after "reacting violently" to an unknown drug administered by Hanna during the procedure. During court testimony, prosecuting attorneys maintained that Sanchez "could have been saved because a fire station staffed with emergency workers was less than one mile away." Yet Hanna conceded to jurors that she did not dial 911 because she "feared being arrested for performing illegal abortions" -- an act called "callous and self-serving" by the trial judge. Sanchez's daughter stated that she saw Hanna "trying to hoist the body into a car trunk," and a clinic worker testified that Hanna had planned to dump Sanchez's body in Tijuana, Mexico (Marosi, 1/11).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.