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State Tells Abortion Biz Owner to Shut Down His Clinic

by Steven Ertelt | Harrisburg, PA | LifeNews.com | 4/5/12 3:37 PM

National

UPDATE:  New information reveals the state only told Brigham to close the abortion clinic for one day.

The state of Pennsylvania has told embattled abortion business own Steven Chase Brigham to shut down the abortion center he runs in Allentown, Pennsylvania. This week, the Pennsylvania Department of Health declined to renew the license for the Allentown Medical Services abortion facility at 2200 Hamilton St.

The license which expired on March 31 and, on Tuesday, DOH officials notified AMS that they were no longer legally authorized to do abortions there.

Mary Paris, a leader with the Pro-Life Coalition of Pennsylvania, informed LifeNews of the decision and applauded it, calling it “long-overdue, but very positive.”

Paris’ group and other pro-life advocates sought the closure of this abortion facility because of its clear association with Steven Brigham and, in 2008, the state health department ordered Brigham not to have any direct or indirect relationship with an abortion facility in Pennsylvania because of his lengthy record of hiring unlicensed or unqualified physicians and nurses.

In response to this order, Brigham transferred ownership of his two Pennsylvania abortion facilities in Allentown and Pittsburgh to his mother, Judith Fitch, who lives in Toledo, Ohio under the name of a newly created non-profit organization called “Rose Health Services.”

Paris explained, “The alleged transfer of Brigham’s two Pennsylvania abortion facilities to “Rose Health Services” constituted a huge fraud that the DOH tolerated for far too long.  For this same reason, the DOH should revoke the license to the Brigham/Rose abortion facility in Pittsburgh, which is called the “American Women’s Services.”

Paris said Brigham has a lengthy and sordid record of medical malpractice and criminal activity.  He has lost or surrendered his medical license in five states.

Operation Rescue noted in January that both abortion centers have stopped doing abortions. One AWS receptionist told a pro-life activist posing as a potential abortion patient that the abortion practitioner for the Allentown and Pittsburgh locations had taken a “temporary leave of absence” and it was not known when he would return.

A receptionist answered a call then that was placed to a phone number listed for Allentown Medical Services, identifying it as “American Women’s Services,” which is a chain of 15 abortion clinics operated by Brigham in four states. The receptionist referred the caller to “our Fredrick, Maryland, clinic”, another office known to be owned by Brigham.

The receptionist warned the caller that abortions could only be done up to 12 weeks in Maryland. Brigham stands accused of murder in that state for illegally aborting babies that were as old as 36 weeks.

Back in May, inspectors found Allentown Medical Services had multiple health and safety problems that could endanger women’s health and it continues to operate amid the complaints. Officials indicated the abortion facility received citations concerning using unsterilized instruments on women, having drugs and reproductive devices on hand that were past their expiration date. Abortion clinic inspectors also found blood splattered on the walls and floor of a freezer, according to a report the Pennsylvania Health Department made public.

OR president Troy Newman provided more details about what was found.

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“Violations found during an inspection that took place on May 26, 2011, discovered out-of-date medicine, metal instruments with a brown material in the hinges and inside the supposedly sterile packaging, surgical instruments tossed in unsterilized drawers, and surgical instruments stored in a “musty” smelling suitcase in broken wrappers – all of which were considered by employees to be ready for use on patients,” Newman said. “Also discovered was a freezer where “Infectious Waste”, (the remains of aborted babies), was stored that was smeared with what an employee acknowledged was blood and contained a thick layer of frozen blood in the bottom. Dirty recovery room blankets and a dangerous lack of patient monitoring were also documented. No plan has been to correct these egregious violations has been filed, yet the abortion clinic continues to operate.”

The abortion facility operates under the name Allentown Medical Services but it has new owners. It changed hands after Brigham was prohibited from operating in Pennsylvania because of so many botched abortions and violations of health and safety laws for medical clinics. He gave up his Pennsylvania medical licensed because of problems in 1992 but was allowed to operate abortion centers administratively until the state finally clamped down on that practice.

State officials said AMS “failed to maintain a safe and sanitary environment” and devices used in abortions had been sterilized but not wrapped to ensure they stayed that way. Several packages of surgical instruments “had an accumulation of brown debris in the hinge areas and brown staining on the inside of the packages” even though an AMS employee told officials they were sterilized and ready for use.

In July, 2010, Brigham was banned by the State of Pennsylvania from operating or controlling any abortion clinics in Pennsylvania, citing violations that endangered the public. Brigham circumvented the order by transferring ownership of his clinics to Rose Health Services, a company said to be owned by Brigham’s mother.

“There are certainly ongoing relationships between Brigham and the remaining Pennsylvania abortion clinics. We believe those relationships violate the Pennsylvania Health Department’s order,” said Cheryl Sullenger, Senior Policy Advisor for Operation Rescue. “We are looking into what legal action can be taken to stop his dangerous Pennsylvania abortion mills from operating.”

He gave up his Pennsylvania medial licensed because of problems in 1992 but was allowed to operate abortion centers administratively until the state finally clamped down on that practice.

More recently, Brigham operated a secret late-term abortion clinic in Elkton, Maryland, even though he had no license to practice in that state. Brigham would start the late-term abortions at his office in New Jersey, then caravan the laboring women to Elkton where the abortions would be completed. The clandestine abortion scheme was discovered after a woman suffered a life-threatening botched abortion in August, 2010. When police raided the Elkton abortion clinic, they discovered the remains of 35 aborted babies, one of which was 33 weeks gestation.

Brigham was charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of five viable, healthy unborn babies between July 9 and August 13 2010 at what his co-defendant Nicola Riley described as a “secret late-term abortion clinic” in Elkton, Maryland. The murder charges were eventually dismissed.