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Scottsdale abortion doctor sentenced to five years in prison

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PHOENIX (AP) — A Scottsdale abortion doctor convicted in the death of one of his patients was sentenced Friday to five years in prison.

Dr. John Biskind, 75, was found guilty of manslaughter in February in the 1998 death of LouAnne Herron, whose uterus was ruptured during a late-term abortion at the now-closed A-Z Women's Center.

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Michael Wilkinson also ordered Biskind to pay $12,841.40 in restitution. He has 20 days to file an appeal.

Biskind's clinic administrator, Carol Stuart-Schadoff, 63, was found guilty during the same trial on the lesser charge of negligent homicide in Herron's death.

She was sentenced Friday to four years probation and the same amount of restitution. Stuart-Schadoff also must complete 500 hours of community service and is barred from working again in the medical field, said Superior Court spokeswoman Karen Arra.

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

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

Prosecutors said Biskind and Stuart-Schadoff did not care for Herron adequately as she bled heavily following the abortion.

No doctors or registered nurses remained at the clinic following the abortion, and Biskind testified that he went on to a tailor shop after being notified of Herron's condition, deferring treatment to a nearby hospital.

They also argued that Biskind and Stuart-Schadoff ignored sonograms that showed Herron's pregnancy was too advanced to be terminated. 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.

While Arizona law does not specify a date that a doctor cannot perform an abortion, it prohibits aborting a fetus after it becomes viable — usually 22 to 26 weeks.

Biskind denied he had manipulated ultrasound tests.

Biskind was one of the first Arizona doctors to be criminally charged with the death of his patient. His case led to a state law that heightened regulation of abortion clinics.

Biskind's Arizona medical license was revoked after a botched abortion in June 1998. In that case, the doctor delivered a full-term baby that Biskind had estimated at 23.6 weeks. He also had surrendered his license to practice in Ohio.

— Arizona Daily Sun


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