Board Upholds License Suspension of Practitioner Who Injured Teen in Abortion

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 8, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Board Upholds License Suspension of Practitioner Who Injured Teen in Abortion

by Steven Ertelt Editor
September 8
, 2010

Annapolis, MD ( — The Maryland Board of Physicians today upheld the suspension order it put in place against an abortion practitioner who injured a teenage girl in a botched abortion. The Maryland medical licenses of George Shepard, Jr., of Delaware and Nicola I. Riley of Utah, were suspended last week.

They are employees of the troubled abortion business Steven Chase Brigham runs in four states, including Maryland.

The abortion practitioners were involved in the botched abortion in Elkton, Maryland, that led to the discovery of Brigham’s scheme to circumvent late-term abortion laws by beginning the abortions at his New Jersey centers, which don’t meet state health and safety laws to make them eligible to do later-term abortions, then transporting the women to Maryland for completion of the abortion.

Shepard, who is 88, oversees the five abortion centers Brigham runs in Maryland and the Baltimore Sun newspaper said neither he nor his attorney showed up for the medical board decision announcement today. There. they heard evidence presented against Shepard related to the teen’s abortion.

Two lawyers for Riley, who is 45, asked for a continuance saying they did not have enough time to prepare her defense before the board.

"She’s going to fight to keep her license," Christopher C. Brown, one of Riley’s lawyers, said, according to the Sun.

C. Irving Pinder Jr., the executive director of the physicians’ board, said during the hearing that Brigham could be fined $50,000 for every incident of malpractice. The newspaper also quoted him as saying officials were looking into charging him with felonies related to the incident.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reported on the suspensions last week and noted Brigham led a car caravan of women from his Vorhees, Pennsylvania abortion center to his Maryland one after one of the patients was critically injured during the abortion at his Pennsylvania abortion business.

Brigham put the semiconscious, bleeding woman in the back of a rental car and drove her to a nearby hospital instead of calling for an ambulance and drawing attention to problems at his abortion center, American Women’s Services.

A surgeon at a local Baltimore hospital was forced to perform an emergency operation on the young woman to repair the damage to her because of the botched abortion at the Elkton facility.

The Maryland Board of Physicians and Elkton police compiled documents unveiling the problems and later conducted a raid of his Maryland abortion facility. Authorities who raided Brigham’s abortion center discovered the remains of 35 late-term aborted babies in jars.

Brigham is not licensed to practice medicine in Maryland and never has been. The state issued a cease and desist order to Brigham on August 25 for him to stop doing abortions.

The order to stop Brigham from doing abortions in Maryland says indicates that Brigham has been practicing illegally in Maryland since January, 2010.

"The health of Maryland patients is being endangered by the Respondent’s unlicensed practice of medicine in this State," the order read.

In Pennsylvania, in July, the Pennsylvania Department of Health ordered Brigham to shut down four of his abortion centers for reportedly employing medical staff who were not properly licensed with the state — and potentially putting women’s health at risk.

Brigham also has had problems with the IRS, where officials have filed a lien on him for failing to pay payroll taxes from 2002 to 2006 for the employees of his American Women’s Services abortion centers in Pennsylvania and the six he runs in New Jersey.

Brigham was forced to give up his license to practice medicine in Pennsylvania some years ago because of botched abortions. Brigham has also lost his license in other states. He had medical licenses revoked in New York and Florida, and received disciplinary action in California and New Jersey. He served 120 days in jail in 1998 for Medicaid fraud.

He was also taken to task for employing Harvey Walter Brookman, who did abortions at a State College abortion facility known as State College Medical Services and at the Erie abortion center known as American Women’s Services under Brigham’s employ.

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

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."

The Pennsylvania state health department took its latest action on July 7, according to the newspaper, when Deputy Secretary of Health Robert Torres permanently banned Brigham and any corporation he owns or runs from doing abortions in the state.

That could allow for a significant reduction of abortions in Pennsylvania as American Women’s Services does about 3,600 abortions annually at its centers in Pittsburgh, Allentown, Erie, and State College.


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