Pennsylvania Abortionist Performs Abortions Without Medical License

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 23, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Pennsylvania Abortionist Performs Abortions Without Medical License

by Maria Gallagher Staff Writer
April 23, 2004

Harrisburg, PA( — The Pennsylvania Health Department is investigating whether a notorious abortion center operator is guilty of "regulatory violations" for allowing a doctor to perform abortions at his facilities without a valid medical license.

Dr. Harvey Walter Brookman is only permitted to treat himself and his family because he holds what is called an "active-retired" medical license in Pennsylvania.

However, Brookman, who has been sued for malpractice, has been performing abortions at a State College abortion facility known as State College Medical Services and an Erie abortion center known as American Women’s Services.

The abortion facilities are owned by Steve Brigham, who was forced to give up his medical license in Pennsylvania because of his questionable medical practices. Brigham owns a chain of abortion centers along the Eastern seaboard under the name American Women’s Services.

Complaints about the Brookman situation were apparently filed with the state last month, but pro-life leaders note that no action has been taken.

Health Department spokesman Richard McGarvey told the Centre Daily Times that the agency was "looking into" the complaints for possible "regulatory violations."

A spokeswoman for American Women’s Services told the newspaper that Brookman has worked with Brigham’s outfit as an "independent contractor" for at least two years. She added that his file contained a copy of his license which showed it to be "active" until the end of the year.

The spokeswoman, Linda Locke, also told the newspaper that, "Obviously, with this discrepancy, we have to look into it. If the license is not as we have it, we would certainly not have a doctor who does not have a fully functioning license work with us."

However, the Pennsylvania Department of State’s website tells a different story.

"According to the DOS website, Brookman holds neither an ‘Active’ Pennsylvania medical license nor a Pennsylvania volunteer license," said Sue Rogacs, the head of Citizens Concerned for Human Life and board president of the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation.

According to Rogacs, Brookman has also had trouble maintaining a valid medical license in other states.

His New York license was revoked in December of 1996. His New Jersey license was temporarily suspended in December of 1994. In February of 1996, Brookman "voluntarily surrendered his New Jersey license to practice medicine and surgery with a prejudice to his right to apply for reinstatement."

Rogacs adds that Brookman "has an outstanding $50,000 medical malpractice suit against him because of pain and profuse bleeding suffered by a woman he aborted in Pennsylvania."

The Pennsylvania pro-life leader notes that young girls are going into the State College center at a rate of 60 or 70 a month. "We’re worried about the safety of those girls," Rogacs said.

However, Locke is trying to defuse attention away from the abortion center’s troubles by attacking pro-life activists in Pennsylvania.

Locke told the Centre Daily Times that facilities operated by American Women’s Services have "been victim to a lot of gossip, a lot of inaccuracies and misinformation."

She added, "We provide excellent care."

But pro-life leaders who have been following the checkered career of the abortion chain’s owner note that Brigham’s health and safety violations have become so flagrant that even those within the abortion industry have tried to distance themselves from him.

Pro-life activists note that Brigham has been trying to boost the abortion rate in Pennsylvania by opening new abortion facilities. Last year, Brigham opened an abortion center in Erie, marking the first time abortions had been performed there in more than 20 years.

"On the basis of Brigham’s track record, I’m surprised he’s been able to operate this long without any major scandals," said Tim Broderick of People for Life, a pro-life group in Erie.

Related web sites:
Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation –
People for Life –