Normally, it is bad news when another business or home enters foreclosure, but pro-life advocates can welcome good news in Erie, Pennsylvania as the abortion facility run by Steven Chase Brigham was kicked out.
A business condo association has foreclosed on the Erie offices owned by Brigham, who has faced a loss of his medical license and discipline from several states for hurting women in botched abortions. Operation Rescue indicates the abortion center at 1611 Peach Street is now closed and movers were photographed removing the contents of Brigham’s three suites on Saturday.
The office was the first abortion center in Erie, Pennsylvania but has generally not done abortions since February, 2007 after pro-life advocates drew attention to his clinic and the numerous problems Brigham has had in other states. Notices for delinquent taxes had been seen regularly posted to the clinic’s door and the last abortion practitioner Brigham hired quit year ago.
Tim Broderick of People for Life, who has an office down the hall from Brigham’s suites, told Operation Rescue that he spoke with the movers as they hauled away abortion procedure tables and other furnishings. The abandoned offices were left unlocked. Trash bags and other refuse now litter the spaces. According to Broderick, the movers were familiar with Brigham and told him that the furnishings were being taken to Brigham’s other two abortion clinics in Pittsburgh and Allentown.
In July, 2010, Brigham was banned by the State of Pennsylvania from operating or controlling any abortion clinics in Pennsylvania, citing violations that endangered the public. Brigham circumvented the order by transferring ownership of his clinics to Rose Health Services, a company said to be owned by Brigham’s mother.
“There are certainly ongoing relationships between Brigham and the remaining Pennsylvania abortion clinics. We believe those relationships violate the Pennsylvania Health Department’s order,” said Cheryl Sullenger, Senior Policy Advisor for Operation Rescue. “We are looking into what legal action can be taken to stop his dangerous Pennsylvania abortion mills from operating.”
The Allentown Medical Services abortion business at 2200 Hamilton St. was found in July by state health inspectors found to have multiple health and safety problems that could endanger women’s health. It received citations concerning using unsterilized instruments on women, having drugs and reproductive devices on hand that were past their expiration date. Abortion clinic inspectors also found blood splattered on the walls and floor of a freezer, according to a report the Pennsylvania Health Department made public.
The abortion facility operates under the name Allentown Medical Services but it has new owners. It changed hands after Brigham was prohibited from operating in Pennsylvania because of so many botched abortions and violations of health and safety laws for medical clinics. He gave up his Pennsylvania medial licensed because of problems in 1992 but was allowed to operate abortion centers administratively until the state finally clamped down on that practice.
Brigham’s only current medical license is under suspension in New Jersey after Maryland authorities discovered he was operating an illegal bi-state late-term abortion scheme that landed one patient in the hospital in September of last year. Police later raided Brigham’s clandestine clinic and discovered the remains of 35 aborted babies, one as old as 31 weeks. The Elkton Police Department opened a murder investigation, which remains active.
Brigham continues to operate troubled abortion clinics under the banner of American Women’s Services in New Jersey, Maryland, and Virginia.
Brigham has a long history of hurting women in failed abortions and violating health and safety standards.
His New Jersey medical license has been suspended based on allegations that he illegally began abortions well beyond the 14 week limit in New Jersey and completed them at the Elkton, Maryland abortion center. The state wants his license permanently suspended.
Brigham was cited after a botched abortion left a woman requiring emergency hospitalization, and other cases of problems later surfaced.
Brigham’s attorney, Joseph M. Gorrell, argued the case should be dismissed and said that’s because Brigham has already been examined by the medical board on the same charges a decade ago.
The mid-1990s complaint was based in part on the 1994 New York case that resulted in the revocation of his medical license in that state. It detailed case after case of botched abortions and other miseries, describing what amounted to a shop of horrors operated by Brigham that also crossed state lines.
Brigham would insert laminaria in late-term patients at his office in Voorhees, New Jersey, then transport the women to New York for completion of their abortions.
The Inquirer newspaper indicates Brigham also filed papers in response to Maryland charges that he is practicing medicine without a license. The papers say Brigham was merely “engaging in consultation” and he asked the Maryland Board of Physicians to dismiss his case and allow him “to continue providing demonstrations, training, and assistance to Maryland doctors who seek his expertise and guidance.”
Brigham’s late-term abortion scheme was discovered when a patient suffered a life-threatening complication in Elkton and had to be air-lifted to Johns Hopkins Medical Center for emergency surgery.
Two of Brigham’s associate abortion practitioners, Nicola Riley and George Shepard, Jr. have also had their Maryland medical licenses suspended for aiding and abetting Brigham’s illegal late-term abortion scheme and other violations.
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.
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.
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.
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.