Another State Targets Abortion Practitioner Injuring Patients, Violating Standards

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

Another State Targets Abortion Practitioner Injuring Patients, Violating Standards

by Steven Ertelt Editor
September 9
, 2010

Trenton, NJ ( — Another state is going after abortion practitioner and abortion business owner Steven Chase Brigham. He operates abortion centers known as American Women’s Services in Voorhees, New Jersey as well as facilities in Pennsylvania and Maryland, where he has also been disciplined for numerous problems.

New Jersey authorities yesterday filed the papers required to start the process of potentially suspending Brigham’s medical license.

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the papers say Brigham "has committed serious violations" of medical practice rules that "would represent a clear and imminent danger to the public health, safety and welfare." Attorney General Paula Dow is now requiring Brigham to provide evidence to counter the charges and show why he does not deserve to have his medical license suspended.

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.

And Maryland Board of Physicians and Elkton police compiled documents unveiling numerous 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 New Jersey case against Brigham relates to an August 2009 incident in which he injured a teenager in a botched abortion.

Because he is only allowed to practice medicine in New Jersey but can’t do late-term abortions in the state, he developed a 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.

Brigham led a car caravan of women from his New Jersey abortion center to his Maryland one after one of the patients was critically injured during the abortion.

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. 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.

Referred to only as "D.B.," the Inquirer newspaper indicated she "suffered a uterine perforation and small bowel injury" that were so severe and life-threatening that she was airlifted from the hospital to Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore.

The new complaint in New Jersey says the case "constituted gross negligence," and his moving patients from one state to another was "part of a wide-scale pattern of practice whereby terminations of pregnancy that cannot be legally performed by Respondent Brigham in his New Jersey office are begun by him in New Jersey and completed in Maryland."

The complaint also says two other women — "S.D., who was 25 weeks pregnant with twins," and "N.C.," who was more than 18 weeks pregnant — were both taken by car from New Jersey to Maryland on August 13.

"Brigham caused patient ‘S.D.’ and ‘N.C.’ to be transported out of New Jersey after their unlawful procedures were begun," the complaint alleges, according to the newspaper. "Fetal demise for both patients was ‘initiated’ in New Jersey."

The complaint also indicates Brigham created false medical records or directed others to do so, including abortion practitioner George Shepard, Jr., of Delaware whose Maryland medical license was suspended in the case.

In Maryland, 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 and officials are looking into charging him with felonies related to the incident.

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.

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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