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High court permits conviction of abortion clinic owner to stand

WASHINGTON (BP)–The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld the second-degree murder conviction of a California abortion clinic owner.

The high court refused to review a lower-court decision in the conviction of Alicia Ruiz Hanna, who was found guilty in the 1993 death of Angela Sanchez. Hanna was sentenced to prison for a term of from 16 years and four months to life. Her convictions for second-degree murder and unlawful abortion were upheld on appeal.

Sanchez sought an abortion at a Santa Ana, Calif., abortion clinic owned and managed by Hanna. After Sanchez requested an abortion even though a doctor was not present, Hanna, who was licensed to give injections but was not a registered nurse nor a physician’s assistant, injected the pregnant woman with an undetermined drug. Sanchez died in the clinic after reacting with a violent seizure.

An abortion clinic employee testified Hanna would not allow her to call for emergency medical help. She also testified Hanna planned to dump Sanchez’s body in Tijuana. Hanna was interrupted when relatives of the dead woman arrived as her body was being placed in a car by the clinic owner.

Part of the basis of Hanna’s appeal was her contention the evidence in her trial did not support the element of malice required for second-degree murder.

Sanchez, 27, was the mother of four children, according to The Los Angeles Times. Two of the children were in the clinic waiting room when their mother died, The Times reported.

The Supreme Court announced Jan. 10 it would not accept the case.

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