DETROIT (AP) _ Dow Corning Corp. has agreed to a bankruptcy plan that would pay $3.2 billion to about 400,000 women for ailments related to ruptured silicone breast implants, a company spokesman confirmed today.

The settlement between Dow Corning and representatives for the women was to be announced by a bankruptcy court in Bay City as early as today.

The deal, which calls for Dow Corning to end its three-year stay in Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, opens the way for women to be compensated for immune system illnesses allegedly caused by silicone and to receive payments for ruptured implants.

In confirming the settlement reached, Dow Corning spokesman Kevin Wiggins said a judge's gag order in the case prevented him from immediately discussing its specifics.

Even so, The Wall Street Journal reported today that women could also choose to receive $5,000 to have the implants removed.

The agreement is similar to a November 1995 deal signed by other corporate defendants, including Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., in which women have received an average of $26,000. The Dow Corning deal calls for women to receive an average of $31,000 for disease and disability compensation, the paper said.

Women who prefer to litigate rather than accept the payments may do so, but amounts will be limited, the paper said.