Practitioner Denies Charges of Putting Women at Risk in Botched Abortions

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 28, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Practitioner Denies Charges of Putting Women at Risk in Botched Abortions

by Steven Ertelt Editor
September 28
, 2010

Trenton, NJ ( — Abortion practitioner Steven Chase Brigham is denying charges from the state of New Jersey that he put women’s health 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 and has been accused of injuring other women as well.

Today, his attorney filed documents saying he did not break state law by using a convoluted scheme to avoid state health statutes.

Brigham 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 his 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.

Recently, the New Jersey attorney general’s office accused Brigham of violating standards of care for four 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.

Attorney General Paula Dow wants Brigham’s license suspended and he has already agreed to stop practicing medicine at his abortion centers in Voorhees, Woodbridge, Phillipsburg and Toms River.

Preparing for an upcoming Board of Medical Examiners disciplinary panel meeting, Brigham’s attorney, Joseph Gorrell, today submitted papers rejecting the state’s claim that he violated state laws saying abortions done after 14 weeks must be done in a hospital.

"The medical care provided by” Brigham "was consistent with applicable standards of care,” the response said, according to a State Ledger newspaper report.

Gorrell, the paper reports, also says the state has no jurisdiction on the abortions Brigham completed in Maryland.

The state’s complaint also says none of the abortion centers Brigham operates are licensed ambulatory care facilities, it points out he has no admitting privileges at any New Jersey hospital and he is not trained as an obstetrician or gynecologist.

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 mentions 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.


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