Catholic World News News Feature
Abortionist Plea Bargains To Avoid Illegal Abortion Charge May 08, 2001
DETROIT, May 8, 01 (CWNews.com) - A Detroit abortionist agreed to plead guilty on lesser charges and revocation of his medical license on Monday in exchange for prosecutors dropping charges of illegal abortion for performing a third-trimester abortion without a valid medical reason.
Dr. Jose Higuera, 61, faced up to four years in prison if had been convicted of performing the late-term abortion, which is banned in Michigan. Higuera will instead plead guilty to one count of altering medical records, according to the Michigan Attorney General's office.
Higuera performed the 1994 abortion on a woman who the state said was nearly seven months pregnant. He has said the procedure was protected by doctor-patient privacy. Higuera also argued that the abortion statute was unconstitutional. It predated the US Supreme Court's 1973 Roe vs. Wade ruling that legalized abortion. The doctor's lawyer said his client had already retired several years ago and gave up his license to "bring closure."