Fire breaks out at abortion clinic which used to employ doc now accused of murder, Steven Brigham
1/3/2012 (PNJ) A New Jersey abortion doctor who is facing murder charges in connection with late-term abortions is linked to the Pensacola abortion clinic that burned Sunday.
Records show that a mailing address for American Family Planning clinic in Pensacola matches an address used by Dr. Steven Brigham in Voorhees, N.J.
American Family Planning lists its physical address at 6770 N. Ninth Ave. and its mailing address as 1 Alpha Ave. in Voorhees, N.J., according to the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration.
The New Jersey address used by Brigham is the location of American Women’s Services, which offers abortion and gynecological services.
Brigham was being held in Camden County Jail in New Jersey pending extradition to Maryland.
Pensacola Fire Department Battalion Chief Steve Peake tells the Pensacola News Journal ( http://on.pnj.com/v4Ykmh) that the two-story building housing the American Family Planning clinic was engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived just after 1 a.m. Sunday.No one was injured. Peake said the investigation was turned over to the state.
The clinic formerly known as The Ladies Center and as Community Healthcare…In 1995, a New York Times article reported that Florida suspended the license of the Ladies Center abortionist: Steven Brigham. He had been performing abortions at the Ladies Center in Pensacola despite his well publicized cases from New Jersey, New York, Georgia, and California.
Investigators have determined that the fire at the American Family Planning clinic, 6770 N. Ninth Ave., started outside the building, Deborah Cox, a state fire marshal’s office spokeswoman, said this morning.
“We have not determined that it’s arson,” Cox said. “The investigation is continuing in that regard. We haven’t determined the cause of the fire.”
Police Chief Simmons said he was not aware of any recent threats against the clinic.
The clinic pays off-duty Pensacola police officers to provide security.
On Oct. 30, 2009, Community Healthcare Center voluntarily closed because of its failure to pay a $413,000 fine to the state for a licensing violation. In January of that year, a survey by the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration determined that the center’s lab license had been expired.
Meanwhile, the circuit riding abortionist who owned the abortion clinic and then used the Pensacola clinic as his mailing address has a history of abuses. In 1998, Steven Chase Brigham was sentenced to four months in jail for failing to file corporate income tax returns and bilking insurance companies in New York, according to a Boston newspaper.
Last week- Brigham was arrested and charged with murder for several abortions he performed in Maryland on babies that were viable. Brigham has a history of abuse of women and children through botched abortions, which the media has chosen to ignore and leave off this story. I am sure the media wants to hang this on the backs of pro-lifers without even entertaining the idea that the records at that clinic might implicate Brigham further…..
According to reports, Brigham has had a shaky history in Florida as well….When Brigham came to Pensacola, his license had been suspended in two states and restricted in two others. He also had agreed to retire from practicing in another state.
Pensacola abortion opponents expressed concern about Brigham working here. They protested outside a state agency in Tallahassee in December 1994. They also asked the Agency for Health Care Administration, which oversees the Florida State Board of Medicine, to suspend Brigham’s license to practice in Florida.
In February 1995, the agency suspended Brigham’s Florida medical license. The agency cited three violations:
» Brigham’s failed to notify Florida about actions against his license. In 1992, he agreed to have his license placed on permanent inactive status in Pennsylvania. In 1994, his New York license was revoked and his New Jersey license was suspended.
» He failed to notify Florida that he changed the primary place of his practice from New Jersey to Pensacola.
» Brigham failed to get malpractice insurance when he began practicing in Pensacola.
The Florida Board of Medicine decided to revoke Brigham’s license in June 1996
BALTIMORE — Two doctors who Maryland authorities say botched a teenager’s abortion last year in Elkton, Md., have been indicted on murder charges and are awaiting extradition from New Jersey and Utah, where they were arrested this week.
Steven Chase Brigham, 55, of Voorhees, N.J., and Nicola Irene Riley, 46, of Salt Lake City, Utah, had been ordered to stop practicing medicine by the Maryland Board of Physicians in September 2010, a month after officials said an operation at the Elkton clinic went awry.
In that case, which police said forms the basis for most of the criminal charges filed this week, an 18-year-old woman from New Jersey suffered a ruptured uterus and other internal injuries during a procedure at the American Woman’s Services clinic on East High Street in Elkton.
The physicians board found that the woman, who was 21 weeks pregnant, had initially been treated in Voorhees, N.J., where her cervix was dilated. The woman was then told to travel, in her own car, to Elkton so doctors could complete the procedure.
After the woman suffered a ruptured uterus, state officials said Riley put the patient in Brigham’s rented Chevrolet Malibu and drove her Union Hospital in Elkton. The board said she sat in slumped in a wheelchair, nearly unconscious, outside the emergency room, while Riley argued with hospital staff, demanding their identities before treating the woman.
The woman was flown that day to Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore for more treatment. State officials said Riley then returned to his clinic in Elkton to perform another abortion. The injured woman survived.
Maryland’s abortion law, which is less restrictive than in nearby states, may explain why the procedure was initiated elsewhere and completed in Elkton. In other states, later abortions must be performed at a surgical center or hospital rather than at a doctor’s office. In New Jersey, pregnancies after 14 weeks cannot be ended at doctors’ offices.
After this case, the state Health Department proposed regulations to increase oversight of surgical abortion clinics.
Elkton police said they searched the clinic on East High Street but could not located medical records for the woman. But police said they found 35 later-term fetuses, some 20 to 35 weeks old, in a freezer. The Philadelphia Inquirer has reported that Brigham’s four New Jersey clinics cannot perform abortions after the first trimester — 14 weeks of pregnancy — because they did not meet safety standards.
Another doctor at the clinic, George Shepard Jr., 88, also had his Maryland license suspended by the Board of Physicians, but he has not been charged with a crime. ( And here NJ Case here) State authorities said Brigham ran a string of clinics in several states, including Pennsylvania and New York. His Maryland clinics were located in Elkton, Baltimore, College Park, Frederick and Cheverly.
Both doctors who have been charged have previously lost their licenses to practice medicine or run clinics in several states, including New York and Pennsylvania.
Brigham faces five counts of first-degree murder, five counts of second-degree murder and one count of conspiracy to commit murder. Riley faces one count each of first- and second-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder.
Details behind each of the murder counts was not given by Elkton police, who issued a news release on the charges but cited only the case of the 18-year-old woman who was injured. It was not immediately clear if the other murder counts related to the other fetuses that police said were found in the clinic’s freezer.
In early August 2010 abortion patient “D.B.”, as records identify her, went to Steven Chase Brigham’s American Women’s Center in Voorhees, New Jersey, and discovered she was 21.5 weeks pregnant. In order to skirt the laws on abortion limits by gestation in New Jersey, Brigham, who is not licensed to practice in Maryland, opened a secret office in a rented medical space in Elkton, Maryland. This clinic was not advertised under Brigham’s American Women’s Services, his four-state empire of 15 known abortion mills. Documents show that the Elkton facility’s paperwork often bore the name Grace Medical Services, but the people that worked there simply referred to it as Elkton. The purpose of this under-the-radar office was to complete second and third trimester abortions that were illegally initiated at Brigham’s Voorhees, New Jersey, headquarters.
It appears in an effort to maximize profit and avoid state law, Brigham would begin the late term abortions in New Jersey, than instruct the women to appear to his office in Maryland where the abortion could be completed legally.
The abortion on D.B. was performed by Brigham’s associate Nicola I. Riley, with Brigham overseeing the procedure. D.B. began her procedure at about 11:00 a.m. and it lasted for about two hours. The patient developed complications and needed to be taken to the nearby hospital. Riley placed D.B. into a wheelchair with her legs up and had intended to push her the two blocks to the emergency room, but the patient’s mother insisted that an ambulance be called, but Riley refused, and after some discussion, D.B. was loaded into Brigham’s rental vehicle and transported to Union hospital. The 18-year-old woman suffered a critical uterine perforation during surgery, she arrived at the hospital bleeding and semiconscious. The patient’s injuries were so complicated that she had to be flown by helicopter to Johns Hopkins Hospital. Riley “returned to the Elkton office … to perform another abortion,” documents report.
According to several archived news sources – abortion doctor Steven Chase Brigham has had a litany of troubles which have plagued him for years.
In 1990 according to The Providence ( A Canadian Newspaper) Brigham attended the National Abortion Federation Conference, where he was quoted in the paper as stating, “We believe women deserve the best care.”
NOTE_ He was obviously associating with NAF and they welcomed Brigham in…but… in 2011 when Brigham was finally arrested NAF Had this to say as their excuse:
Vicky Saporta, president of the National Abortion Federation in Washington, D.C., has said Brigham’s activities “are not representative of abortion care…throughout the country.”
In a September 2010 blog post that addressed an investigation into Brigham’s practices by the Maryland Board of Physicians, Saporta said Brigham “has come under fire from state licensing boards and health departments throughout his career and has had his medical license temporarily suspended, relinquished or revoked in five states.”
“These repeated disciplinary actions make it evident that Dr. Brigham operates outside recognized standards for quality abortion care,” she said.
Elizabeth Barnes, director of the Cherry Hill Women’s Center Abortion clinic , said this after Brigham’s 2011 arrest, “I am glad that a predator is off the street.”
She added: “I hope the public understands that Steve Brigham is an anomaly and that most abortion care is of high quality.”
The only problem with Barnes’ statement is that it is false and the abortion industry covers for these doctors all the time defending the male killers instead of the women seeking the abortion !
In 1991 – Brigham was ordered by Berks County Judge Forrest G. Shaeffer Jr to stop doing abortions at his Berk, PA offices. Shaeffer ruled that Brigham fraudulently concealed his intentions to perform abortions when he signed a lease from the owners: Berkshire Group.
In 1992, according to the Associate Press, Brigham retired his Pennsylvania medical license after a confidential attorney general investigation.
In 1994, The Star Ledger reported that a New Jersey woman filed suit against Brigham after he botched a late stage abortion then kept her bleeding in his office for hours. The suit identified the woman only as “Jane Doe” said that the abortion patient lost 8 units of blood and needed an emergency hysterectomy following her encounter with Steven Brigham at the American Women’s Center in Spring Valley, NY. The paper stated that at the time of the suit, Brigham had lost his medical license in New York.
While lawmakers in Maryland are cracking down on non-surgical Pregnancy Care Centers, they have neglected the high risk surgical abortion clinics, for possibly political reasons. In the 1994 suit mentioned above, the plaintiffs claimed that Brigham lured women into his abortion clinic through deceptive yellow page ads indicating he was ” a specialist in gynecological surgery”
Similar to recent events from the recent Maryland botched abortion incident, in this 1994 case, when the women came to Brigham showing signs of a later term pregnancy than New Jersey law allowed, staff at Brigham’s abortion clinic told her they could do the procedure in New York. During the abortion , according to the article, Brigham slashed the women’s cervix , uterus, and uterine artery. Despite her obvious critical condition, Brigham only called an ambulance after the women went into shock.
In January of 1994, the Star Ledger reported that New Jersey disciplined Brigham’s New Jersey license and according to the 17-page complaint charged that Brigham “has no formal training in obstetrics and gynecology and is neither board certified nor board eligible in any specialty.”
The state also alleged that in 1993, Brigham performed an abortion on a 14 year old girl and barred her mother from the operating room because she could not pay his $50.00 surcharge, for allowing a family member to watch the procedure. In addition, the article states that according to the complaint, Brigham used excessive amounts of sedation and placed gauze in the teen’s mouth during the abortion.
Brigham was also accused by the board of performing second trimester abortions which he was not trained to perform , failed to refer patients for follow-up care, engaged in unsterile practices and published “misleading and deceptive advertisements”.
Also in 1994, according to the Asbury Press, a nurse was so disgusted with the care Brigham gave his abortion patients that she quite working for him. Lynette Zielke of Turnersville, testified before the New Jersey Medical Board that she was the nurse who assisted Brigham in the 1993 abortion on the 14-year-old girl. She said the girl was over sedated and that Brigham risked choking her by stuffing her mouth full of gauze. ” I whispered, do you really want to do this?” Brigham replied, “Yeah , I want to give her a little extra sedation, She needs it.” The nurse then exclaimed that they would not be able to wake her up.
In December of 1994, The Star Ledger headline read, ” New York revokes license of abortion doctor”
The article stated that both New York and New Jersey determined that Brigham was a danger to the public for acting negligently and displaying bad judgement and according to the report would often “inflate and embellish the truth.” Brigham maintained that he was a victim of unfair treatment by the board. At the time of the revocation, Brigham was practicing at an abortion clinic in Florida and had previously let his Georgia license expire instead of facing a disciplinary hearing in that state. In addition, the 1994 news story said the California medical board was meeting to determine whether they would revoke his license as well.
When local pro-life groups publicized the news of Brigham’s disciplinary records, a 1994 Associate Press report quoted Patricia Anderson spokeswomen with the National Abortion Federation as blaming pro-lifers for sleazy abortionists when she stated, that tactics against abortion doctors “create a climate where physicians with less experience can step in.”
In 1995, a New York Times article reported that Florida suspended the license of Steven Brigham. He had been performing abortions at the Ladies Center in Pensacola despite his well publicized cases from New Jersey, New York, Georgia, and California.
In 1998, he was sentenced to four months in jail for failing to file corporate income tax returns and bilking insurance companies in New York, according to a Boston newspaper.
Old news stories also indicate that despite Brigham’s despicable behavior of botched and dangerous abortions, pro-choice supporters routinely came out to escort women into his clinics.
According to Boston.com in April of 2010, the IRS placed more than $234,000 in liens against him for failing to pay payroll taxes. He’s also subject to tens of thousands of dollars in state tax liens. and in July , the Pennsylvania Department of Health ordered Brigham to close his four clinics in the state, saying he employed unlicensed caregivers.
The pro-life group Operation Rescue is calling for criminal charges against Brigham and has a detailed report of secret abortion clinics and abortion horrors by Brigham and his associates. Operation Rescue obtained several key documents which show that Brigham sticks his nose up in the face of the law and will continue to be a public safety concern if he is not stopped. Read the full report here
More news here
New Jersey authorities suspended Brigham’s medical license in November 2010, when the state Board of Medical Examiners said in part he had “provided grossly negligent care” to five women who sought late-term abortions. The state board also alleged Brigham had performed about 50 abortions in Elkton between January and August 2010 “without holding a license to practice in Maryland.”