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Playing Doctor

Alicia Ruiz Hanna, 33, operated a legal abortion clinic in Santa Ana, California, when she found herself in financial trouble. Hanna had limited medical training but decided to pose as a physician. She was convicted of second-degree murder after a patient suffered a seizure on the examination table and died in January, 1993. The patient, Angela Nieto Sanchez, 27, had gone to Hanna’s clinic for an abortion. As two of Sanchez’s four children sat in the waiting room, she died after reacting violently to an unknown drug injected by Hanna in preparation for the procedure. Hanna told the children that their mother had left without them, according to testimony. The children waited around most of the day, hoping for their mother’s return, until a relative picked them up and began a citywide search for their mother. When they returned to the clinic in hope of finding Sanchez, they found Hanna trying to stuff Sanchez’s body into a car trunk, according to testimony. Deputy Dist. Atty. Rick King said Hanna had made plans to dump the corpse in Tijuana. Abortion clinic receptionist Irasema Mendoza testified.”I told her to call the paramedics. I took the phone to call the paramedics but Alicia grabbed it away from me and hung up. She told me not to call them because I was going to get her into problems. “

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