November 9, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) – An Australian abortionist with a long history of drug abuse has pleaded guilty in Victoria’s Supreme Court to infecting 55 abortion clients with Hepatitis C.

James Latham Peters infected the women over the space of a year and a half while working at Croydon Day Surgery, a late-term abortion facility in Victoria.

He reportedly injected himself with syringes of fentanyl, an opioid, before then using those syringes to inject the women. He had been diagnosed with Hepatitis C more than a decade ago.

The Australian reports that victims “wept” as Peters responded “guilty” to each of the 55 charges of negligently causing serious injury as they were read out in court.

This is not the first timethat Peters has been in trouble with the law. In 1995 he admitted to abusing fentanyl and pethidine, which he obtained by forging prescriptions. Then, in 1996, he pleaded guilty to 20 charges related to providing a two-year supply of painkillers to his wife, Julia Peters. 

In both cases, he received suspended sentences.

In 2003, Peters again admitted to taking fentanyl. At that time he took an extended leave from his job at a hospital, before returning to work at the late-term abortion facility a year later. The Croydon Day Surgery was reportedly aware of Dr. Peters’ problems with drug abuse.

In 2010, Peters was sentenced for possession of child pornography.

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Peters is scheduled to appear in court again on February 11. Meanwhile, his victims have launched a class-action suit against the anesthetist, the owner of the abortion facility, and the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency.

The Croydon Day Surgery was set up in Melbourne in 1998 by David Grundmann and Mark Schulberg - the only two Australian doctors known to perform late-term abortions.

Schulberg himself has a tainted legal record. In 2001, he was found guilty of inappropriately prescribing painkillers. Then, in 2009, he was found guilty of unprofessional conduct for failing to gain legal consent to perform a late-term abortion on a mentally disabled woman. The abortion was organized by the woman’s father, who was later jailed for her rape.

Currently he is facing 16 allegations of overprescribing drugs to patients who were addicted to heroin.

Schulberg’s abortion facility originally performed abortions up to 19 weeks. Sometime before 2004, the clinic started performing abortions after 20 weeks. A woman died after having “a procedure” there last December.