Maryland Medical Board Upholds Suspension of Abortion Practitioner’s License

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 28, 2010   |   7:10PM   |   Annapolis, MD

The Maryland Board of Physicians has ruled that the medical license of abortion practitioner Nicola Riley should remain suspended. Riley is part of the troubled abortion business Steven Chase Brigham runs in four states.

In September, the state medical board suspended Riley’s license along with that of George Shepard, Jr., of Delaware, who also does abortions at Brigham’s abortion centers.
Riley’s license was suspended on an emergency basis complaints were filed against her and Brigham for a severely botched late-term abortion that required emergency surgery to save the woman’s life.

“We are thankful that Riley will not be allowed to victimize more women, and we renew our call for criminal charges against Riley, her boss Steven Brigham, and all their associates who participated in illegal late-term abortions in Maryland,” said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman.

The information brought to the medical board’s attention showed how Brigham, who is not licensed in Maryland, was operating an illegal late-term abortion scheme where he would start abortions late as 36 weeks at his Voorhees, New Jersey abortion center, where he is not licensed to do late-term abortions. Then, he would have the women drive themselves to his secret abortion clinic in Elkton, Maryland.
Brigham led a car caravan of women from his the abortion center to his Maryland one after one of the patients was critically injured during the abortion at his Pennsylvania abortion business.

According to newspaper reports, 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.

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’s New Jersey medical license has since been suspended as has that of Shepard, who an 88-year old former abortion practitioner who was found to be aiding Brigham in the unlicensed practice of medicine.

Riley had decided to fight the suspension and submitted additional testimony and documents at yesterday’s hearing.

According to documents OR obtained, a letter dated October 28, 2010 from the Maryland Board of Physicians addressed to Riley and her counsel stated, “The Board concluded that the arguments and documents submitted, and the responses to the Board’s questions did not significantly change the Board’s findings or conclusions regarding the danger to the public which would be opposed by Dr. Riley practicing medicine at this time.”

Riley was notified of the decision verbally at the conclusion of the hearing.

Operation Rescue has called for criminal charges for all involved in Brigham’s illegal late-term abortion scheme, including Riley.

The pro-life group indicates Riley is still licensed to practice medicine in Utah, where she continues to do abortions.

She had requested licensure in Virginia, but OR informed Virginia health officials of Riley’s background. They issued a letter to OR confirming that Virginia law prohibits the health department from issuing licenses to physicians who licenses are suspended or revoked in other states.

On September 1, Operation Rescue sent letters asking that the Maryland Attorney General’s office as well as state and county prosecutors file criminal charges against Brigham and that he be held accountable.

“There is a largely unspoken crisis in this country brought on by abortionists who insist that they are above the law,” Operation Rescue spokeswoman Cheryl Sullenger told

“We can no longer turn a blind eye to these abortion abuses and pretend that things like this can’t happen in a nation where abortion is legally permissible. Brigham is just one example in an industry where this kind of behavior is the norm and not the exception,” Sullenger added. “We have yet to find an abortionist who does not violate the law.”

Sullenger said the abortion industry has failed to call Brigham out for putting women’s lives and health at risk.

“Shame on the women’s organizations that know this kind of abuse is occurring, yet continue to cover up for abortionists,” she said. “If groups like NARAL and the NAF really cared about women, they would work night and day to close these abortion chop shops and offer real solutions to pregnant women that does not include submitting them to abortionist quacks.”

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 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.