Erie, Pennsylvania Facility Does 200 Abortions in First Three Months
by Maria Gallagher
LifeNews.com Staff Writer
March 15, 2004
Erie, PA (LifeNews.com) — Erie’s first abortion center in 20 years performed nearly 200 abortions last year, according to figures obtained from the Pennsylvania Department of Health.
The statistics show that 181 abortions were performed at the abortion business in a period of three and a half months. The center opened on September 19, despite strenuous objections raised by members of the Erie community.
The center is owned by Steve Brigham, a notorious abortionist who was forced to give up his medical license in Pennsylvania in the early 1990s. Brigham has a history of health, safety, and tax violations. Yet, he continues to operate a chain of abortion centers in several states.
According to the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation, "The health and safety of women in Erie are being placed at great risk because of Brigham’s abortion center. Lives have been lost needlessly, and women’s physical and psychological health have been jeopardized because of Brigham’s actions."
Meanwhile, the Erie abortion statistics come as a surprise to Tim Broderick, leader of the local pro-life group People for Life.
"It seems a little low, based on the number of women we see coming in and out of the clinic when the abortionists are there," Broderick told the Erie Times-News. "I’d say there have been 400 abortions done there since it opened."
A spokeswoman for the abortion center told the newspaper that, while there have been no figures released for the first three months of this year, business has "remained steady" in 2004.
Members of People for Life continue to protest outside the Professional Building where the abortion center is located. The demonstrations have been a constant since the center opened in September.
"I still hear from a lot of people in the community who are outraged by what goes on in the clinic," Broderick told the Times-News.
In all, Pennsylvania recorded 35,167 abortions in the year 2002, the latest year for which statistics are available. No abortions were performed in Erie that year, although 221 women who were Erie residents obtained abortions elsewhere in Pennsylvania in 2002.
"At the rate that Brigham’s center is going, the number of Erie women having abortions this year could quadruple over the 2002 figures. Obviously, Brigham is bad news for babies and their mothers," the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation said in a written statement.
However, the opening of the Brigham center has had an unintended effect–the resurgence of the pro-life movement in northwest Ohio.
A new chapter of the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation is opening in nearby Crawford County. A number of the organizers of the chapter were motivated to get involved, in large part, by the threat posed by Brigham’s center.
"People in Crawford County have made it clear that they do not want an abortion center in their backyard. They’re prepared to let women know about the inherent dangers involved in obtaining abortions–especially at centers operated by people who can’t even practice medicine in Pennsylvania," the Federation said.