On Wednesday, New Jersey officials filed legal documents seeking to suspend the medical license of an abortion provider involved in a procedure that critically injured an 18-year-old woman who was 21 weeks pregnant, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. The physician, Steven Brigham, owns American Women’s Services, which operates clinics in New Jersey, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia. The filing is the first step in revoking a medical license.
According to the filing by Attorney General Paula Dow’s (D) office, Brigham “has committed serious violations” of the rules of medical practice and “would represent a clear and imminent danger to the public health, safety and welfare.” The filing stems from a case involving a woman who “suffered a uterine perforation and small bowel injury” during an abortion at one of Brigham’s Maryland clinics. Brigham allegedly initiated the abortion process at his New Jersey clinic and told the woman to travel to his Maryland clinic for the completion of the procedure.
Brigham has never been licensed to perform abortions in Maryland, and he is not authorized to perform the procedure after 18 weeks’ gestation in New Jersey, the complaint says. However, Brigham performed about 50 abortions from January through August 2010 at his Elkton, Md., office, using a “two-step process” initiated in New Jersey and completed in Maryland, the complaint alleges. The complaint also alleges that Brigham created false records or asked others to create them stating that two physicians working for him — George Shepard and Kimberly Walker — performed the procedures in Maryland. Shepard and Walker deny that that they performed any procedures (McCullough/Goldstein, Philadelphia Inquirer, 9/9).
Md. Case ‘Not Representative’ of Abortion Care, Letter to the Editor Says
As the Maryland Board of Physicians investigates the allegations against Brigham, “it is important to note that cases like this are not representative of the state of abortion care in Maryland or throughout the country,”
National Abortion Federation President and CEO Vicki Saporta writes in a letter to the editor of the Baltimore Sun. The case in Maryland is “just the latest problem for [Brigham], who has come under fire from state licensing boards and health departments throughout his career,” Saporta continues, noting that Brigham “has had his medical license temporarily suspended, relinquished or revoked in five states.”
Abortion is “one of the safest medical procedures” in the U.S., Saporta writes, adding that the “repeated disciplinary actions” against Brigham indicate that he “operates outside recognized standards for quality abortion care” (Saporta, Baltimore Sun, 9/8).
- N.J. seeks to halt abortion doctor (philly.com)
- “The only thing that will stop Brigham from committing illegal abortions, toss him in jail for a long time,” (deaconforlife.blogspot.com)
- Two More Abortionists Suspended In Illegal Abortion Scandal Spanning Four States (deaconforlife.blogspot.com)
- N.J. doctor accused of performing illegal abortions had license suspended, revoked in several states (nj.com)
- N.J. seeks to end license of abortion doctor with office in Voorhees (philly.com)