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Abortion Practitioner Convicted of Manslauter in Legal Abortion Death

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    Abortion Practitioner Convicted of Manslauter in Legal Abortion Death Source: Associated Press, Arizona Republic; May 5, 2001 Phoenix, AZ -- An abortion
    Message 1 of 1 , May 6, 2001
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      Abortion Practitioner Convicted of Manslauter in Legal Abortion Death
      Source: Associated Press, Arizona Republic; May 5, 2001

      Phoenix, AZ -- An abortion practitioner was convicted of manslaughter and
      sentenced yesterday to five years in prison for a botched abortion that
      led to the death of a 33-year-old woman.

      LouAnne Herron bled to death in 1999 after John Biskind punctured her
      uterus during an abortion at the now-closed A-Z Women's Center abortion
      facility in Phoenix. Prosecutors demonstrated that Biskind and
      co-defendant Carol Stuart-Schadoff, administrator of the abortion
      facility, did not care for Herron adequately as she bled heavily following
      the abortion. No doctors or registered nurses remained at the facility
      following the abortion, and Biskind testified that he did not return and
      instead went shopping after being notified of Herron's condition,
      deferring treatment to a nearby hospital.

      They also pointed out that Biskind and Stuart-Schadoff ignored sonograms
      that showed Herron's pregnancy was too advanced for an abortion.
      Prosecutors said seven sonograms performed on Herron showed the length of
      her pregnancy ranged from 26 weeks to 23 weeks and three days, but six of
      those documents were lost or destroyed by the defendants.

      Superior Court Judge Michael O. Wilkinson sentenced Biskind, 75, and
      Stuart-Schadoff, 63, who was sentenced to four years probation and 500
      hours of community service. She was convicted of negligent homicide for
      her role in arranging the abortion and waiting so long to call for
      paramedics.

      Wilkinson also ordered Biskind to pay $12,841.40 in restitution. He has 20
      days to file an appeal.

      Herron's father, Mike Gibbs, attended the sentencing and said he was
      satisfied with Biskind's sentence.

      Shane Wickfors, Executive Director of Arizona Right to Life said his group
      was "very disappointed" by the weak sentence.

      "During the sentencing," Wickfors explained, "Biskind turned to the family
      of LouAnne Herron and stated, 'I goofed.' It was clear that Biskind
      continued to show reckless disregard for his actions and the value of
      human life."

      "We are extremely disappointed that the judge did not sentence him to the
      maximum 12 years. Biskind has yet to show any sincere remorse in this
      terrible tragedy. It's very clear that the only thing he's sorry about is
      his incompetence," Wikfors stated.

      In final statements, Biskind's attorney, Lawrence Kazan, stated that
      "abortion lends itself to these kinds of mishaps," acknowledging the risks
      and dangers associated with abortion.

      Biskind's Arizona medical license was revoked after a botched abortion on
      a 17-year-old girl in June 1998. In that case, she was rushed to a
      hospital and a doctor delivered a full-term baby who Biskind had estimated
      at 23.6 weeks. He also had surrendered his license to practice in Ohio.

      But Biskind is not the first abortion practitioner in the nation convicted
      for performing a botched abortion. California abortion practitioner Bruce
      Steir, 69, was convicted of involuntary manslaughter last year after
      botching an abortion and killing a woman. He only served 114 days before
      being released on parole.

      Like Biskind, Steir had perforated the uterus of the mother, 27-year-old
      Sharon Hamptlon, while performing an abortion of her 20-week-old unborn
      child. Hamptlon bled to death in front of her 3-year-old son while being
      driven home by her mother after the abortion. Having been on probation
      with the medical board since 1988, Steir surrendered his license to
      practice medicine four months after Hamptlon's death.

      The defendants were denied a motion for a new trial based in part on
      Wilkinson's admission of evidence relating to the unborn child's
      viability. While Arizona law does not specify a date that a doctor cannot
      perform an abortion, it does prohibit abortions after viability -- usually
      22 to 26 weeks.

      Stuart-Schadoff's attorney, Cameron Morgan, said he plans to file an
      appeal, claiming Stuart-Schadoff and Biskind should have been tried
      separately.

      Biskind was immediately taken into custody and will serve his time in the
      Maricopa County correctional system, run by Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Best known
      for his policies requiring inmates to eat discolored food, wear pink
      underwear and black-and-white striped uniforms. His "tent city" and both
      male and female chain gangs are a throw-back to prison practices of the
      early part of the 20th century -- practices that many observers say are
      necessary and preferable to the privileges -- such as cable television --
      prisoners received in other facilities.
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