Pennsylvania Abortionist Fired for Not Having Medical License
by Steven Ertelt
April 29, 2004
State College, PA (LifeNews.com) — A Pennsylvania abortion practitioner has been fired for operating without a valid medical license. But, pro-life leaders say many questions remain about the haphazard way in which those who do abortions are regulated within the Commonwealth.
The American Women’s Services abortion chain has dismissed Harvey Brookman, who reportedly performed abortions in Erie, State College, Pittsburgh, and Allentown. The abortion business, operated by abortion practitioner Steve Brigham, runs more than a dozen abortion centers along the Eastern seaboard.
The firing comes after revelations that Brookman was performing abortions without a valid medical license.
In a prepared statement, Linda Locke of American Women’s Services said, “All our independent contractors and licensed staff are required to give a copy of their licenses and other credentials to our human resources department on a yearly basis. We were not aware that the status of Dr. Brookman’s license was changed."
“As soon as we confirmed that Dr. Brookman’s license was not active, Dr. Brookman was terminated and is no longer working in any of our offices,” Locke said.
Brookman holds what’s known as an “active-retired” license, meaning that he can only practice medicine on himself and members of his immediate family.
According to state law, doctors who practice medicine without the appropriate license can be fined or have their licenses placed on probation, suspended, or revoked.
But this is not the first time Brookman has been in trouble with the law.
He’s been disciplined by not only the Pennsylvania state medical board, but medical boards in New York and New Jersey as well.
In New Jersey, for instance, Brookman admitted that he committed gross negligence, repeated acts of negligence, and endangered the health of patients. He was also found to be responsible for altering the medical records of patients and conducting unnecessary examinations of pregnant women’s uteruses.
The New York State Board for Professional Medical Conduct wrote, “The respondent’s lack of integrity, character, and moral fitness is evident in his course of conduct in New Jersey and his testimony before the hearing committee. If this case had been held in New York…it would have resulted in an unanimous vote for revocation of respondent’s license.”
American Women’s Services has a history of hiring abortionists with questionable credentials. In fact, the abortion chain’s owner, Steve Brigham, agreed to give up his Pennsylvania medical license following revelations about his unprofessional conduct.
Brigham’s license was also revoked in New York and Florida, after two women were injured during second-trimester abortions at his centers.
In addition, an abortionist who has been spotted at the Erie abortion center, Gerald Applegate, is now on probation, accused of failing to maintain medical records when prescribing controlled substances to his wife on 86 occasions.
Pro-life leaders in Pennsylvania filed complaints with state authorities about the Brookman matter more than a month ago.
After prodding from the press, state authorities announced that they’re now investigating
the situation. But a great deal of harm has already been done, according to pro-life activists, who see the Brookman fiasco as just the latest example of the substandard medical care available in abortion centers.
“Why doesn’t the State Department of Health regulate this matter?” asks Susan Rogacs, board president of the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation and a pro-life leader in State College.
“They do not monitor the abortion providers in PA, nor do they require regular inspections of clinics. Hair salons have more oversight with required yearly inspections. This outrageous situation makes the so-called back alleys appear safer,” Rogacs added.
Rogacs noted that those who marched in Washington, D.C. last weekend are strangely silent on the threats to women’s lives posed by unscrupulous abortionists.
“Unlicensed abortionists with histories of botched abortions, sexual abuse, and injured women should have the feminists and the entire state up in arms that such criminal activity could occur with little or no supervision and oversight,” Rogacs said.
“We continue to be concerned that private citizens are the only protection from these dangerous abortionists and those who hire them, a tenuous situation that must be resolved and rectified immediately,” Rogacs added.
Brigham has a long history of hiring workers who are unqualified and even dangerous, according to Rogacs.
Brigham hired Vikram Kaji in State College in 1997, even though he was unlicensed and on probation for sexually abusing female patients in another state.
“In both these cases, citizens had to sound the alarm because of concern for the safety of women,” Rogacs said.
Brigham’s medical assistants have included high-school dropouts with no medical experience and a 16-year-old former carnival worker.