Abortion Practitioner Brigham Accused of More Violations by New Jersey Officials
by Steven Ertelt
September 23, 2010
Trenton, NJ (LifeNews.com) — New Jersey officials are accusing embattled abortion practitioner Steven Chase Brigham of more violations. He is already under the microscope in three states for putting women at risk with botched legal abortions and taking women from one state to another to avoid health and safety regulations.
Brigham severely injured a teenage girl in a botched abortion.
He is not allowed to do late-term abortions in New Jersey, one of the four states in which he owns an abortion business, because he doesn’t meet the state’s medical requirements. As a result, he has started late-term abortions for women there and transported them via rental care to his Maryland abortion centers to complete the abortions.
One abortion using this method went so poorly, Brigham was forced to take the teenager to a local Maryland hospital — and she eventually had to be airlifted to Johns Hopkins Medical center because the abortion caused a perforated uterus and it required immediate surgery.
Now, the New Jersey attorney general’s office has accused Brigham of violating standards of care for two additional women seeking abortions at his centers. One case involves a woman from Canada whose Down syndrome child was killed in a late-term abortion.
Officials want Brigham’s license suspended or revoked and Brigham has agreed to stop practicing medicine in New Jersey until the New Jersey Board of Medical Examiners holds a hearing next month in his case.
An Associated Press report indicates the new concerns revolve around an August abortion Brigham did on a 35-year-old Canadian woman who was 33 weeks pregnant at the time. The unborn child was healthy in all respects, medical records show, and was targeted for an abortion only because of the Down syndrome.
Brigham employed his technique of starting the abortion in New Jersey and he then instructed the woman to drive to Maryland herself to complete the procedure.
The medical records do not say who completed the abortion in Maryland, where Brigham is not licensed to practice medicine.
AP indicates Dr. Gary Brickner wrote an expert opinion in the investigation saying the abortion procedure "seriously violated medical standards of care and, to my knowledge, is not sanctioned by any statute or regulation." He said the abortion "did not involve a fetus with a lethal defect or a condition dangerous to the mother’s health."
The document AP cites also mention another case involving a woman who was in the 24th week of pregnancy. She was slated to complete her abortion in Maryland but began experiencing heavy bleeding while staying in a New Jersey hotel room and she eventually delivered a stillborn baby in a local hospital.
Vicki Saporta, president of the National Abortion Federation, a trade group of abortion businesses, was forced to admit to AP that Brigham’s actions violated the standards of care, though she tried to dismiss the concerns by saying that only a physician seeing a woman for an abortion could know if the abortion was right for her and the baby.
A hearing on Brigham’s suspension is now scheduled for October 13.
New Jersey Right to Life tells LifeNews.com that it is glad the state is pressing Brigham because it warned of problems related to his abortion practice weeks ago.
New Jersey Right to Life executive director Marie Tasy wrote a letter to New Jersey Attorney General Paula Dow on July 23 urging her to investigate Brigham and his six state abortion centers following news that Pennsylvania had started probing his abortion facilities there.
Meanwhile, Maryland officials have told Brigham to stop doing abortions in the state.
And Pennsylvania officials told him to close his abortion businesses there after he was found to be employing unlicensed staffers and putting women’s health at risk.
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