Pennsylvania Lawsuit Can Move Forward to Open Abortion Business

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 5, 2003   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Pennsylvania Lawsuit Can Move Forward to Open Abortion Business

by Maria Gallagher Satff Writer
August 5, 2003

Upper Merion, PA ( — A Pennsylvania abortion practitioner has received the go-ahead to continue a federal suit which claims that his constitutional rights were violated
through selective enforcement of the local zoning code.

Steven Brigham, who has had his medical license taken away or been forced to give up his license in several states, says Upper Merion Township unfairly targeted him, when his abortion center was cited for violating a zoning provision that restricts clinics to sites of three or more acres. Brigham claimed that township officials cracked down on his operation solely because his facility provides abortions.

Brigham’s American Women’s Services ultimately filed a federal lawsuit against township officials. The township argued that the suit should be dismissed, but U.S. District Judge Michael M. Baylson turned down Upper Merion’s request. The abortion center’s attorney maintains that if the facility were an ear, nose, and throat practice or a general family practice, the township would never have issued the citation.

Township officials insist, though, that abortion is not an issue in the case. "It’s still our position that this is still strictly zoning," said Ralph Volpe, chairman of the Upper Merion Board of Supervisors.

The abortion center has been closed since March, but Baylson must now decide whether to grant American Women’s Services’ request to re-open.

"Sooner or later, Brigham must be made to realize that he is not above the law just because he’s an abortionist," said Tim Broderick, a board member of the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation and the leader of Erie’s People for Life.

Brigham is also trying to open an abortion center in Erie.

"If that means going to court and fighting for justice, so be it. It might cost the taxpayers some money, but if they get rid of Brigham, it will be money well spent," Broderick told

"Anyone who doubts what I’m saying probably hasn’t seen any of the newspaper articles, court depositions, and disciplinary reports that document Brigham’s misadventures over the last 15 years.  My stack of documentation is over three inches thick. The ‘tip of the iceberg’ about Brigham and his outrageous track record is available on People for Life’s website at:,” Broderick said.