Archive for Nicola I. Riley

2nd Abortion death prompts Maryland to close three abortion clinics

Posted in Abortion, Abortion clinic closed by state, abortion clinic safety, Abortion Clinic Worders, Abortion complication, Abortion death, Abortion injury, Abortion Regulation, Abortionist, Brigham with tags , , , , , , , , on March 12, 2013 by saynsumthn

According to Operation Rescue, The Maryland Department of Health and Hygiene has suspended the licenses of three surgical abortion clinics affiliated with the notorious illegal late-term abortionist Steven Chase Brigham after inspections revealed violations that made the continued operation of the clinics unsafe.

Jennifer Morbelli Funeral

The inspections were prompted by a letter from seventeen Maryland House Delegates raising concerns about abortion clinic safety after Jennifer Morbelli, a New York kindergarten teacher, died from complications to a 33-week abortion she received from LeRoy Carhart in Germantown on February 7, 2013. None of the clinics licensed under Maryland’s new abortion clinic licensing rules was ever inspected to verify safety compliance prior to Morbelli’s death.

In a shocking revelation, inspectors discovered a second abortion-related patient death had occurred at one of Brigham’s abortion clinics in Baltimore that is located in a residential condominium complex. The woman was said to have had a previous health condition that contributed to her suffering cardiac arrest at the time of the abortion.

condomill

According to the Baltimore Sun, “The physician who performed the abortion at Associates in OB/GYN Care LLC on North Calvert Street wasn’t certified in CPR and a defibrillator at the facility did not work, state officials said in a letter Friday to the General Assembly.”

“Ignoring a health condition that might contraindicate abortion, one of Brigham’s shoddy abortionists proceeded with surgery at a residential condo unit without the necessary certification or emergency equipment required to treat the patient in the event a complication arose. Because of this negligence, he was unable to provide emergency care that could have saved her life. It is beyond belief that the State of Maryland would allow these dangerous Brigham affiliates to continue to operate in the state,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue and Pro-Life Nation.

Brigham and another abortionist, Nicola I. Riley, were arrested and charged with murder after police raided a secret late-term abortion mill they were illegally operating in Elkton in 2010. A botched abortion that resulted in a ruptured uterus and other injuries alerted authorities to the site where 35 corpses of viable late-term babies were discovered in a freezer. The charges were dropped after an expert witness for the prosecution bowed out of the case under pressure from the abortion lobby.

It was that incident that instigated the new abortion clinics licensing law that took effect in July, 2012.

The two other abortion clinics that were suspended by the state were American Medical Group affiliates in Cheverly and Silver Spring. A representative of the clinics told the Baltimore Sun that they are owned by Integrity Health in Pennsylvania and are listed on Brigham’s American Women’s Services web site only because “they help with our online presence and other marketing efforts.”

However, Operation Rescue previously discovered that Integrity Health is a shell organization that Brigham placed in a family member’s name after Brigham was banned by the State of Pennsylvania from operating or controlling any abortion clinics in that state citing violations that endangered the public after the discovery of a series of botched abortions and illegal practices. He has a history of hiring troubled abortionists that are among the worst in the country. (Read about their backgrounds.)

“Brigham is playing a shell game with authorities to keep open abortion businesses that are dangerous to women. Brigham has repeatedly shown an arrogant disregard for the law that has caused him to be expelled or suspended in every state where he ever held a medical license,” said Newman.

Currently, Brigham holds a medical license only in the state of New Jersey, which remains under suspension.

An abortionist associated with the suspended Cheverly clinic, Mehrdad Aalai, was criminally convicted of Medicaid fraud in 1993, and more recently had his license temporarily suspended in 2011 over a horrifically botched late-term abortion that nearly killed a patient.

The license suspension of the three clinics means they can no longer do surgical abortions until the violations are corrected, however, they can stay open and provide nonsurgical services.

“These abortion mills should be permanently closed. We appreciate Maryland taking steps to inspect, but they authorities there need to take a harder line against these abortion clinics that operate under shady circumstances at the expense of the lives and health of women,” said Newman.

The abortion industry appears to be full of unqualified abortionist quacks !

Posted in Abortion, abortion clinic safety, Abortion Clinic Worders, Abortion complication, Abortion death, Abortion injury, Abortion Regulation, Abortionist, National Abortion Federation, pro-choice, Pro-choice law breakers, pro-choice violence, Violence against women with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on September 24, 2010 by saynsumthn

Recent stories of abortion clinics operators Randall Whitney of Florida arrested for slapping an abortion patient, abortionist Ghevont W. Wartanian who performs abortions at Gynecare Center in Severna Park, Maryland, an affiliate of the National Abortion Federation, and who has a long and sordid history of malpractice suits and wrongful deaths , Dr. Rapin Osathanondh, hauled off to jail this week in the homicide death of one of his abortion patients, abortionist Romeo Ferrer, whose medical license was suspended by Maryland this month after he killed Denise Crowe during her abortion, and abortion doctor George Shepard whose medical license was also suspended for his participation in an illegal late-term abortion scheme that landed one woman in the hospital with life-threatening injuries, leaves many asking if the entire abortion industry is full of abortionist quacks like these? All these stories have occurred within the past few weeks…imagine if health regulators really tried to crack down on abortion clinic quackos? But..this is only part of it, because today the sags continues:

We now have this story from the Philadelphia Inquirer:


Brigham behind secretive late-term abortion clinic
9/24/2010 By Marie McCullough Philadelphia Inquirer Staff Writer

For more than a year online, “Grace Medical Care” has advertised abortions up to the last few weeks of pregnancy. It said it’s located in a Philadelphia suburb, yet kept the address secret. And it has operated without the knowledge of state regulatory authorities.

Now, for the first time, the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office says the person behind the clandestine enterprise is Steven Chase Brigham, the physician being investigated by New Jersey and Maryland on suspicion of licensing and criminal offenses.

Brigham’s attorney, Joseph Gorrell of Roseland, N.J., did not return a call or e-mail requesting comment.

Brigham, 54, who has been in and out of trouble for much of his two-decade career, operates at least a dozen abortion clinics in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia under the name American Women’s Services.

He has many other “entities,” including Grace Medical Care, also called Grace Medical Services, say the attorney general’s Sept. 8 charges.

Variations of Grace Medical turn up repeatedly in late-term abortion records recently seized from Brigham’s offices.

Authorities said he initiated those abortions in the Voorhees headquarters of American Women’s Services, then finished them the next day in Elkton, Md. – a scheme authorities say was designed to evade outpatient-surgery rules.

New Jersey is also looking into why state agencies that oversee businesses and medical facilities have no records for Grace Medical, said the attorney general’s spokesman, Paul Loriquet.
Grace Medical remained a mystery even to doctors recruited by Brigham over the last year to work in Elkton, transcripts of interviews with investigators show.

Kimberly Walker, a young doctor who began training with Brigham in January, told investigators: “He basically calls the later-[term] cases, he calls them Grace patients. I don’t know what Grace means.”

George Shepard, an 88-year-old Delaware gynecologist hired as medical director at Elkton, was asked by investigators whether the Elkton facility was called “Grace something.”

“I’ve heard the word Grace, but I’m not sure that they call it that,” he responded. “All I know is Elkton.”

The latest inquiry was launched after one of Brigham’s bistate abortions went awry. An 18-year-old New Jersey woman who was 21 weeks pregnant suffered life-threatening complications Aug. 13 and had to be airlifted from Elkton to Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. She and a Hopkins physician later filed complaints.

Investigators soon discovered that Brigham has never had a medical license in Maryland. They also seized 35 frozen fetuses and fetal parts from Elkton, but they could not find medical records for 33 of those abortions either in Elkton or Voorhees.

Brigham has a hearing scheduled for Oct. 13 before the New Jersey Board of Medical Examiners to say why he should not lose his medical license there, the only state where he still has one. Pennsylvania, New York, and Florida took away his practice privileges in the 1990s.

Although Grace Medical Services was a regulatory phantom, it caught the attention of other abortion providers last summer. They were startled because its online ad explicitly offered “abortions up to 36 weeks” – two weeks shy of a full-term delivery – a risky procedure most doctors are loath to perform. The website said payments had to be in cash, while practically all providers accept health insurance. And not only was no address listed, but Grace Medical’s phone receptionist would not readily divulge it.

Even in this era of heightened security amid fears of antiabortion violence, the secrecy seemed intended to hide the clinic, not protect it, said Vicki Saporta, president of the National Abortion Federation. The trade group, whose members must meet care standards, has long excluded and criticized Brigham. (WHAT A FLIPP’N SLOPPY EXCUSE !)

Grace Medical’s website says it is in a suburb “just minutes from Philadelphia” in a “multi-story, multi-practice professional building.” That fits Brigham’s Voorhees headquarters.

The Voorhees facility, as well as his five other New Jersey locations, has never been approved to perform abortions beyond 14 weeks, when the fetus becomes too big to be extracted by mechanical suction. The charges explain the reason why: The clinics do not meet state safety requirements for outpatient surgery. Brigham has no hospital privileges if a patient needs emergency care. And he does not have certification from the Board of Medical Examiners, which requires doctors doing late abortions to have “superior training.”

To skirt these rules, the charges say, Brigham exploited the complicated medical protocol used for late abortions: On the first day in Voorhees, he inserts absorbent rods to slowly widen the patient’s cervix over 24 hours, and gives the fetus a lethal injection of digoxin. On the second day in Voorhees, the patient receives a labor-inducing drug called Cytotec. Then the patient and her driver follow Brigham to the Elkton clinic, where he dismembers and extracts the fetus.

The 18-year-old – one of three patients on Aug. 13 – told investigators their hour-long car caravan to Elkton was a surprise because she had been led to believe Voorhees staff would take her to a surgery center in Philadelphia.

“Transportation in a private vehicle for completion at a distant location is dangerous to the patient,” the charges say.

Brigham falsified recovery room records to make his Elkton abortions appear to have been performed by Shepard or Walker, authorities allege.

Those records list terminations up to 33 weeks of pregnancy and payments, most ranging from about $900 to $2,600. Some patients are identified with the notation “Grace.”
Maryland has temporarily suspended Shepard‘s license for aiding Brigham. It has also suspended Nicola Riley, a Utah physician whom Brigham hired in July to work part-time. No disciplinary action has been taken against Walker.

Under Brigham‘s guidance, Riley did the abortion that left the 18-year-old with a hole in her uterus and bowel, authorities say. Riley’s three-page summary is handwritten on forms headed “Grace Medical Services.”

Maryland has few restrictions on abortions performed after the fetus is “viable” – meaning able to survive outside the womb, at about 24 weeks. It allows such abortions to preserve the mother’s health, or if the fetus has a serious abnormality.

Grace Medical’s website says it specializes in caring for women who need late abortions because of maternal or fetal health problems.

Records released Monday of three post-viability abortions show one involved a 33-week-old Down’s syndrome fetus, for which Grace Medical charged $21,900. But another case involved 25-week-old twin fetuses that the parents wanted to abort because they felt “stress” and regret that they had conceived through fertility treatment with donated sperm. In a third case, no health problems were documented – until the 20-year-old Pittsburgh woman could not go to the bathroom because of the absorbent rods.

She wound up being rushed from her hotel, in labor, to Virtua Hospital in Voorhees where she delivered a dead fetus.

Brigham has a history of doing abortions that straddle state lines. That was one of the reasons New Jersey restricted his license in 1993. He was accused of malpractice and incompetence in six abortions, including one started in his Voorhees clinic and completed in a facility he ran in New York at the time.

Brigham’s license was stripped in New York, but in New Jersey, he got it restored after three years of appeals.

Back then, the prosecutors argued that Brigham’s insertion of the absorbent cervical rods, called “laminaria,” was tantamount to doing a late abortion in Voorhees. An administrative judge ultimately disagreed, saying the rules did not address the use of dilators.

This time around, investigators have documents that show Brigham not only inserted laminaria, but injected a drug to kill the fetus and gave another drug to induce labor – all in Voorhees.
Investigators also cite the consent forms that Brigham’s patients must sign.

“Remember that your abortion really begins,” says one form, “when the laminaria is inserted into your cervix.”

And this investigative story TODAY from Operation Rescue:

Brigham Abortionist Riley Did Federal Prison Time, Records Show
• Written by Operation Rescue
• Posted September 24, 2010 at 9:40 am
Despite her Maryland suspension, Nicola Riley continues to quietly do abortion in Utah, raising concerns about the safety of women in that state

Salt Lake City, UT — Operation Rescue has obtained additional open record documents that show abortionist Nicola Riley, an employee of the notorious Stephen Chase Brigham, has a history of criminal problems that earned her a year at the U.S. Military Prison at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas, and a dishonorable discharge from the U.S. Army.

Riley made headlines when the State of Maryland suspended her medical license after a botched late-term abortion exposed her part in Brigham’s illegal scheme to circumvent abortion laws in two states. She is also accused of aiding and abetting the unlicensed practice of medicine by helping Brigham do abortions at a secret late-term abortion clinic in Elkton, Maryland, where Brigham has no medical license. Brigham’s New Jersey medical license has since been suspended for illegally starting abortions as late as 36 weeks at his Voorhees, New Jersey office, then transporting his patients across state lines to Maryland where the abortions were completed.

Earlier in life, Riley appeared to have a bright future ahead of her. She attended the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in 1987. She was commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Army and posted to Ft. Carson, Colorado.

In June, 1991, two soldiers under her command were convicted of credit card fraud and criminal impersonation. Riley admits she knew about the criminal activity, but did not report it in a timely manner. The delay was long enough for authorities to charge as an accessory, but it is unclear just how deeply she was actually involved in the scam.

Riley pled “no contest” and was sentenced to serve one year at the Ft. Leavenworth military prison after which she received a dishonorable discharge from the Army.
After her discharge, Riley eventually returned to school and obtained a medical degree from the University of Utah in 2002.

Operation Rescue received a redacted copy of Riley’s Utah medical license application from the Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing through an open records request. The 37-page document reveals that Riley submitted her application for a medical license in Utah on June 10, 2004, and was granted a license on July 14 of that same year.

Transcripts show that Riley failed the United States Medical Licensing Examination Step 1 three times, finally passing with only five points to spare in 2002 after nearly two years of trying. It took her an additional 15 months to pass steps two and three.

Translating her scores into letter grades, she would have passed with a D grade overall.

In 2004, Riley passed her Utah Controlled Substances Law and General Law exam, with just two points above a failing score.

“In Riley, we are looking at a convicted felon who barely is qualified to practice medicine,” said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman. “It is not surprising that she became an abortionist. She may have not have possessed the competency for any higher calling.”

In fact, Riley appears to have gone directly into the abortion business upon licensure. She told the Maryland Board of Physicians that she trained with abortionists for a year after her licensure before taking a position as Medical Director at SMP Family Medicine, PC, where she worked under the radar for the past five years doing abortions up to 14 weeks gestation.

Rest of story here

Abortionist admits removing an arm, a leg, and some soft tissue “at the secret [abortion] clinic ”

Posted in Abortion, abortion clinic safety, Abortion Clinic Worders, Abortion complication, Abortion death, Abortion injury, Abortionist, Late term abortion, Outrage, pro-choice, Pro-choice law breakers, pro-choice violence, Steven Chase Brigham, Violence against women with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 13, 2010 by saynsumthn

Botched Abortion Nightmare: ‘I wish I never heard of them’
• Written by Operation Rescue
• Posted September 13, 2010

Details emerge of a secret criminal plot to commit illegal late-term abortions in New Jersey and Maryland

She is only eighteen, but she is lucky to be alive. The ordeal that nearly cost her life began in early August. D.B., as records identify her, was on a popular brand of birth control pills that limited the number of periods, so she was unaware that the pills had failed until her pregnancy was advanced. On August 9, 2010, D.B. went to American Women’s Center in Voorhees, New Jersey, and discovered she was 21.5 weeks pregnant.

What happened next led to a dramatic abortion clinic raid, the suspension of the medical licenses of three abortionists, and launched investigations that span four states. News of the discovery of a multi-state illegal late-term abortion scheme has shaken the abortion industry to its crumbling foundations.

Authorities believe that if D.B. had not suffered her terribly botched abortion, the dangerous late-term abortion ring would still be one of the abortion cartel’s dirtiest of secrets.
Documents paint a shocking picture

Operation Rescue received 302 pages of documents from the State of New Jersey on September 9, 2010, through an open records request. The documents tell a shocking story of a well-planned conspiracy to circumvent abortion laws, evade discovery of the unlicensed practice of medicine, and deceive women and authorities who have long suspected illegal activity at the chain of clinics operated by troubled abortionist Stephen Chase Brigham.

The documents were related to a New Jersey complaint against Brigham filed on September 8, 2010, that demanded the suspension of his medical license after D.B.’s serious late-term abortion injuries caught the attention of the police as well as physicians at Johns Hopkins Medical center where D.B. was eventually treated. Brigham has since agreed to a suspension effective September 15, to give him more time to present his case to the New Jersey State Board of Medical Examiners, (NJBME), at its scheduled meeting on October 13, 2010.

Brigham’s need to evade the law
The time-line of events actually began in January, 2010, when 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. (See D.B. AWS Record, p. 30) 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.

New Jersey law states that abortions can only be done up to 14 weeks at clinics not licensed as ambulatory surgical centers or hospitals. (N.J.A.C. § 13:35-4.2) The upper limit for any abortion in New Jersey is 18 weeks gestation. Brigham’s clinics are not licensed as ambulatory surgical centers, but that did not stop him from beginning abortion procedures there on women as late in their pregnancies as 36 weeks, according to his own records. (See Elkton Patient Logs)

According to interviews conducted by the Maryland Board of Physicians, (MDBP), with those involved in D.B.’s abortion, Brigham would, in spite of the law, see women who were beyond 14 weeks at his Voorhees, NJ clinic, where he would inject digoxin into the baby’s heart in order to initiate fetal demise, (in other words, kill the baby), then insert laminaria, thin sticks of seaweed that slowly expand to begin the cervical dilation process. He would also prescribe medications there. The women would be told to report to the Voorhees clinic the following morning where they would be taken to another undisclosed location for the completion of their abortions.

In June, 2010, suspecting illegal late abortions were being done by Brigham in Voorhees, the New Jersey Deputy Attorney General sent Brigham a list of questions that were was supposed to be answered in writing under oath. Brigham sent back a letter dated June 30, 2010, asking for additional time, but also addressing the question of late abortions. He wrote:
I looked briefly at the Demand and it appears that you may have the false impression that late-term abortions are being done by us in an office setting in New Jersey. This portion of your Demand I can directly answer now in this letter. We are not performing any abortions beyond 14 weeks in an office setting in New Jersey.

However, the documents supplied to patients and signed by them clearly show that abortions as late as 36 weeks are being started by Brigham in New Jersey.

Post-Laminaria Insertion Instructions given to patient D.B. in New Jersey clearly state, “You have just completed the first step of your abortion procedure…Remember that your abortion really begins when the laminaria is inserted into your cervix.” (D.B. AWS Record, pg. 21)

Brigham is charged with lying to the New Jersey Attorney General’s office about his late-term abortion activity in New Jersey. (See Pleadings, Count IV, p. 14)

We’re not in New Jersey anymore
Once the late-term women gathered at the Voorhees on the second day of their abortion procedure, they are assigned places in a caravan by Brigham, then led in their private vehicles to the Elkton facility where they are locked down for the remainder of their abortion.

Such was the case on August 13, the day of D.B.’s abortion. D.B., who was accompanied by her mother and boyfriend, was under the impression she was going to a clinic in Baltimore and was surprised to find herself in Elkton. In the caravan were some of Brigham’s New Jersey clinic workers, which were transported to Elkton to assist with the abortions. Other clinic workers from his Pennsylvania operations also met them in Elkton. It appears that there were no Maryland residents working at the Elkton clinic.

When they arrived at Elkton, the patients along with their accompanying family members were separated and placed into cubicles, or “booths” where they waited for the conclusion of the abortions. One of the other girls seemed to be in more pain than D.B. and the third abortion patient, so they took her first. Records show that this woman aborted twins that were 25 weeks gestation.

Nicola Riley
At about 11:00 a.m., D.B. was called back to the procedure room for her abortion. There, Brigham introduced her to Nicola Irene Riley, an African-American abortionist from Salt Lake City, Utah, that had recently been hired by Brigham. Riley’s first day on the job had been July 30, 2010, when she received training in third-trimester abortions on a woman who records show was 33 weeks pregnant. Riley reluctantly described that abortion as a “partial delivery.” The day of D.B.’s abortion was only Riley’s second day of work at Elkton. (MDBP Interview with Riley, p. 7)

Riley had been doing abortions for five years at another low-key abortion clinic in Salt Lake City known as SMP Family Medicine and Homecare, P.A., having been trained to do abortions through 20 weeks by experienced abortionists Colorado and Salt Lake City. She had agreed to work for Brigham every other weekend. She would spend Fridays in Elkton and Saturdays at the Baltimore and Frederick locations. Riley was trying to establish herself in Virginia, where she has family, in advance of a permanent move to the East Coast for the purpose of attempting to regain custody of her children.

In fact, it was D.B.’s impression that Brigham was training Riley on the day of her abortion. In her interview with the MDBP there was the following exchange:
Q. …Now when you walked into the exam room, Dr. Brigham was in there?
A. Mm-hmm
Q. Okay, did he say anything to you?
A. He introduced me to Dr. Reilly [sic]
Q. Okay. So, he just said this is Dr. Reilly?
A. Mm-hmm
Q. Did he say what Dr. Reilly was going to be doing?
A. No.
Q. Okay.
A. But it seemed like he was training her.
Q. Okay. Why did it seem like that to you?
A. Because she went to put in my anesthesia and he just like was telling her what to do.
Q . Okay.
A. And I was like nervous. I did not go to sleep right away.

While Brigham stroked D.B.’s shoulders in an attempt to calm her, Riley injected her with additional medication then proceeded with the D&E dismemberment abortion on her 22 week old baby.

But the patient’s mother, identified in documents only as C.B., began to think something was wrong. She estimates that D.B. had been in the procedure room about 2 hours. C.B. was disturbed by her daughter’s screams of pain. She told the MDBP, “Well, I kept hearing her [D.B.] screaming and hollering. And then – I mean, it did take long. It took like two hours, I think…But all I kept hearing was her screaming and hollering. And I told the lady that worked there, I can’t stand this. I got to leave out. So I kept going out to the hall, you know, to the other part of the building, you know, in front… Because, you know, I didn’t want to hear her [screaming] – and why is she screaming now because they put her to sleep.” (See MDBP Interview-CB)

Meanwhile, in the procedure room, Riley had begun the abortion procedure. She admits she remembers removing an arm, a leg, and some soft tissue. As she was going in to search for the cranium, Riley discovered what appeared to be a bowel in D.B.’s birth canal. Brigham confirmed that the tissue was likely a bowel. The abortionist had perforated D.B.’s uterus, shoved the remains of baby into her abdominal cavity, and pulled out part of her bowel through her vagina.

Time line problems and other discrepancies

There is a discrepancy in the time line and in accounts of the events that happened next.

C.B. claims that D.B. began her procedure at about 11:00 a.m. and that it lasted for about two hours. At that point, Riley came out and told C.B. that her daughter had complications and needed to be taken to the nearby hospital. Riley had placed D.B. into a wheelchair with her legs up and had intended to push her the two blocks to the emergency room. C.B. said that she 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 where records show that they arrived at 1:39 p.m.

Riley first told the MDBP that she began the abortion around 11:00 a.m. but changed her story to 12:00 p.m. after the interviewer confronted her with the time of arrival recorded by Union Hospital. Riley recorded in D.B.’s medical record at the clinic, that she started the abortion at 1:00 pm. She told the MDBP that she was only 10-15 minutes into the abortion when she discovered the apparent complication, stopped immediately, and got her patient to the hospital within 10 minutes. (See MDBP Interview-Riley)

It is impossible that Riley’s confused account of the time line and C.B.’s account could both be true. Riley’s account changes three times, while C.B. and D.B. both have similar stories, making their version the most credible.

Records show that Riley ordered one of the aids to start an I.V. on D.B. before she was transported to the hospital, (see DB AWS Record, p. 31) however, Riley told the MDBP that she started the I.V. herself which “blew out” after a few minutes. (See MDBP Interview-Riley, p. 24) Riley says she monitored D.B.’s vital signs during the drive to the hospital and that her patient remained stable. Union Hospital records indicated that D.B. arrived unmonitored and without I.V. support. Their records also indicate that an IV was established in D.B. at the hospital with no problems.

I work “at the secret clinic that performs second trimester abortions in town.”

Once at the hospital, Riley and Brigham were said to have behaved strangely. Riley identified herself as a physician “that works at secret clinic that performs second trimester abortions in town.” (See Union Hosp Records) Brigham did not identify himself and hung back from the conversations. Riley insisted that an E.R. doctor come outside and speak with her, which delayed D.B.’s care. Riley informed the E.R staff of the complication and of the medications the patient had been given, but was evasive about the time and dosage of those medications. After ten minutes at the hospital, Riley and Brigham returned to the “secret clinic” in Elkton and completed another abortion.

Meanwhile, the staff members at Union Hospital were shocked. Records indicate that the physicians were not aware of any abortion clinic operating legally in Elkton.

Union Hospital examined and evaluated D.B. and determined that the injuries she suffered were so severe that the decision was made to transport her via helicopter to Johns Hopkins Medical Center in Baltimore where she was rushed into surgery immediately upon her arrival. There, doctors removed the remains of her partially aborted baby from her abdominal cavity, removed and repaired part of her small intestine, and repaired a tear at the back of her uterus. (See Johns Hopkins Records)

Elkton Police Arrive, Brigham Flees

Someone tipped off the Elkton police, because while Riley was finishing up her last abortion of the day, an officer arrived at the clinic and asked to speak with her. After the abortion was done, Riley spoke with the police. She presented her Utah drivers license and her Maryland physician’s license card.

Police asked if any other doctors were present. When she indicated that Brigham was there as well, police asked her to go get him so they could speak with him. To her surprise, when she went to notify Brigham that police officers wanted to see him, he had already fled the building, leaving Riley to deal with the increasingly tense situation with the police.
Riley resisted showing the officers around the clinic, citing “patient privacy” concerns. Finally she consented to walk the police through the building. Of that encounter Riley told the MDBP, “It was very kind of heated, I can actually say. And I said – I told them, you have to respect the patients’ privacy.”

She gave the police the website for Brigham’s American Women’s Services and his clinic license number and told them if they wanted more information, they would have to talk to the Voorhees office.

Police Raid Elkton
Riley’s next shift at Elkton was scheduled for August 20, 2010. Riley told the MDBP that she suspected that, based on the way she was “treated” in their previous encounter, the police may attempt to “impede procedures” on August 20. She arrived for her duty shift two hours early and remained in her car reading and drinking coffee.

Riley was approached by a plain-clothes detective who asked for her identification. Before she knew it, six squad cars had blocked both entrances to the clinic, including her vehicle. Even the Elkton Chief of Police was there.

The questioned Riley about “Maryland law and illegal criminal activity” and informed her that there was an open criminal investigation. Riley indicated that she either had to have an attorney present or they needed to let her go if she was not being arrested or subpoenaed. After about ten minutes, police allowed Riley to leave the scene.

She confided with the MNBP that she was anxious to get away from the police because she knew that Brigham was already in route from Voorhees, New Jersey, to Elkton, Maryland, with a caravan that included four women who were “active” and would need to have their abortions completed. Once free from the police, Riley says she called Brigham and told him that the police were at Elkton and that the women should be diverted to Baltimore. Riley rushed to Baltimore and readied the clinic for the late-term abortions. The caravan arrived about an hour after she did, and the four late-term abortions were done.

Riley admitted she arrived at Elkton early because anticipated the equivalent of a “picket line” of police and wanted to warn Brigham if that was so.

Open murder investigation
It was not until August 24, that Riley became aware that Brigham had been served with a search warrant for the Elkton clinic when he “casually” brought it up in conversation. Riley was stunned that the basis of that warrant was a open murder investigation. Riley was upset at Brigham for ducking out during the first police encounter, then for failing to notify her of the search warrant. She considered his conduct “unprofessional.”

In Maryland, there is no legal limit on when abortions can be done. However, if a pre-born baby is past viability and his or her life is taken in an illegal act, murder charges can be brought. (Md. Criminal Law Code Ann. § 2-103) Viability, as mention previously, is generally considered to be 24 weeks gestation.

Abortion logs recovered from the Elkton clinic show that Riley was involved in an abortion on twins at 25 weeks on the day of D.B.’s abortion, and on a 33 week baby on July 30. The gestational ages of the babies aborted in Baltimore on August 20 after the police raided the Elkton clinic are unknown.

Those same logs show that between June 23 and August 13, 2010, 51 abortions were started in Voorhees, New Jersey, after the 14-week legal limit there and completed in Elkton, Maryland. Of those abortions, 15 were done on viable babies either by Brigham or at his direction.

Riley’s “Physician Independent Contractor Agreement” dated July 30, 2010, provides a pay scale for Riley’s abortion services up to 37 weeks gestation.

Based on these records, felony charges in New Jersey of illegal late-term abortions and murder charges in Maryland would be very appropriate.

But Brigham and Riley were not the only ones involved in this dangerous late-term abortion racket.

Cover for unlicensed practice of medicine
At Elkton, patients were greeted by an elderly gentleman who was purported to be the “Medical Director” for Brigham’s Maryland offices. George Shepard, Jr., 88, once did abortions for him at his Baltimore facility. Shepard claims to have a disability that makes him unable to do abortions and also prevents him from driving. Every Wednesday and Friday, Brigham’s staff would send a car and transport him from his home in Delaware to the Elkton, Maryland, clinic.

During an interview conducted by the Maryland Board of Physicians on August 19, Shepard seemed unclear as to his duties, which apparently included of signing off on orders for medications for the clinic every two or three months, monitoring the clinic’s refrigeration system, and to “make sure physicians that come in – that they do a good job.” For his time, which consisted of about eight hours per week, Shepard was paid $400.

Shepard told the Maryland Board of Medicine during a telephonic interview conducted on August 19, that he would observe Stephen Brigham doing late-term abortions at Elkton as well as training others to do them. He admitted that Brigham used Shepard’s medical and DEA license to order drugs. He understood that Brigham was not licensed in Maryland and was under the impression that he came to Elkton because New Jersey would not allow abortions after 14 or 15 weeks.

Brigham appeared to be using Shepard’s Maryland medical license to shield anyone from discovering his own lack of licensure in Maryland. All the logs and forms in Elkton indicated that Shepard was the physician of record, even though Shepard was incapable of patient care. It is clear that Shepard, even in his somewhat confused state, understood that his presence allowed others to break the law.

Because of his involvement in knowingly aiding and abetting in the unlicensed practice of medicine, Shepard’s Maryland medical license was suspended on an emergency basis on August 31, 2010, along with that of Nicola Riley. MNBP issued a cease and desist order to Brigham to immediately halt the unlicensed practice of medicine in that state. The New Jersey request for suspension of Brigham’s medical license came just eight days later.

Another record obtained from the Elkton clinic indicated that a “Dr. Woalker” [sic] was also somehow involved in patient care. That turned out to be Kimberly Walker, a young woman fresh out of medical school with an open medical license application in Maryland. Walker insists that her involvement at American Women’s Services, including the Elkton location, was on a “voluntary” basis that entailed observation only. She told the MDBP that she met Brigham in 2009 and he offered to train her to do abortions. In January, she began observing abortions done by Brigham at his Maryland clinics where he is unlicensed. She swears that she was never involved in patient care and does not know how her name ended up on the patient log. So far, the MDBP has taken no known action against Ms. Walker.

Why is this guy still in business?
Brigham has a long history of problems that span his entire medical career. Brigham lost his New York license after lacerating the cervix, uterine artery and uterus of a 20-year old patient and taking hours to realize it. The patient eventually suffered an emergency hysterectomy in what the Heath Department described as a ‘life-threatening’ incident in which Brigham did not seem to understand the severity of the situation.

His medical licenses have been revoked in Florida and allowed to lapse under controversy in Georgia. He allowed his California license to expire under a cloud of accusations of negligence. He spent 120 days in jail in 1998 for billing fraud.

In April, Brigham was slapped with more than $234,000 in IRS liens for non-payment of payroll taxes. State tax liens to which he is subject, could amount to tens of thousands of dollars.
Brigham also voluntarily surrendered his Pennsylvania license, yet keeps a string of clinics open there. In July of this year, the Pennsylvania Department of Health ordered Brigham to cease abortions at all clinics owned by him in Pennsylvania. To circumvent the order Brigham transferred ownership of the clinics to an elderly woman in Ohio who reapplied for and was granted clinic licenses, so Brigham’s clinics never missed a day of work.

New Jersey, the last state in which Brigham was still allowed to practice medicine, showed a history of disciplinary action taken against his license there. A New Jersey judge once ordered Brigham to stop advertising his abortions as “painless” and “safe.”

Operation Rescue has reason to believe that Brigham’s transfer was in name only and that he still controls and profits from the Pennsylvania offices even though that state has done all it can to keep Brigham from conducting his abortion business there.

Brigham claims to have his own minimum standards of practice, which are supposedly “consistent with the published standards of the National Abortion Federation.” (See Riley-Brigham Contract, pgs. 4-5) But Vicki Saporta, head of the NAF told reporters that, “His record is the most egregious one I know of in the field.” Saporta has hypocritically supported the closure of Brigham’s clinics even though her own NAF mills are known to operate at similarly low standards.

Operation Rescue wants criminal charges

Operation Rescue is urging criminal charges to be filed against Brigham in New Jersey and Maryland. Authorities tell OR that their investigations are “very preliminary” and that criminal charges have not been ruled out.

“Traditional discipline simply does not work with Brigham,” said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman. “He has learned well from his many encounters with the law how to evade it and how to play the system to avoid taking any responsibility for his actions that have left a trail of human misery across America over the course of four decades. We cannot rest until this criminal is behind bars where he belongs.”

That may be of some small comfort to D.B. and her mom, who were traumatized by their encounter with Brigham and his cohorts.

At the end of her interview with the MDBP, C.B. was asked if she had any more to add about her experience with Brigham on that August Friday the 13th.

“Well, you know, that’s all I know from Friday – from what I experienced that Friday – Last Friday. But I wish I never heard of them.”

Pictures Links and more stories here

Two more doctors investigated in unlicensed abortion clinic

Posted in Abortion, abortion clinic safety, Abortion Clinic Worders, Abortion complication, Abortion injury, Abortion Regulation, Abortionist, pro-choice, Pro-choice law breakers, pro-choice violence, Steven Chase Brigham with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on September 3, 2010 by saynsumthn

Doctor’s four-state abortion business under investigation
By Marie McCullough
Inquirer Staff Writer 9/3/2010

Three weeks ago, physician Steven Brigham led a car caravan of patients from his Voorhees abortion clinic to his facility in Elkton, Md. After one of the patients was critically injured during her surgery there, Brigham put the semiconscious, bleeding woman into the back of a rented Chevrolet Malibu and drove her to a nearby hospital emergency room rather than call an ambulance.

Those details are contained in documents issued over the last 10 days by the Maryland Board of Physicians and Elkton police. The two agencies have launched a wide-ranging investigation into Brigham’s long-troubled abortion business, which he conducts in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia.

On Aug. 25, the Maryland Board of Physicians ordered Brigham, 54, to stop performing abortions in that state, where he has never been licensed to practice medicine. By then police had raided Brigham’s Elkton facility – from which they said they removed 35 “late-term fetuses and fetal parts” – as well as the Voorhees headquarters of his chain of 15 clinics, which does business as American Women’s Services.

Maryland authorities seek missing medical records, and are looking into Brigham’s habit of sending late-term patients across state lines after initiating their abortions in Voorhees.

Brigham’s four New Jersey clinics cannot provide abortions after the first trimester (14 weeks of pregnancy) because they do not meet state safety requirements for such risky outpatient surgeries. Brigham has for years performed the first phase of such abortions there – the insertion of absorbent rods that dilate the patient’s cervix over a day or more – and sent them to a facility in another state for the surgery. New Jersey law doesn’t address whether inserting dilators constitutes abortion.
Brigham did not return a phone message left Thursday at his Voorhees condominium.

Maryland’s action is just the latest problem for the doctor, whose medical license has been revoked, relinquished, or temporarily suspended in five states over the last 18 years.

In July, the Pennsylvania Department of Health revoked Brigham’s permission to own clinics in the state because he had repeatedly employed unlicensed caregivers; he is appealing that decision. Brigham himself cannot perform medical procedures in Pennsylvania because of a confidential 1992 agreement in which he agreed to give up his license.

Brigham also had $234,536 in federal tax liens against him in April for failing to pay payroll taxes from 2002 to 2006.

Maryland regulators are investigating not only Brigham, but also two physicians he employed, the documents show.

On Tuesday, the board suspended the Maryland license of George Shepard Jr., a Delaware obstetrician-gynecologist hired in 2009 as a part-time medical director of Brigham’s four Maryland clinics. The board has charged Shepard with unprofessional conduct and with helping Brigham flout credentialing requirements.

Shepard’s lawyer, Jason Allison of Elkton, said, “We are reviewing the allegations and . . . are confident that Dr. Shepard’s license will be reinstated.”

On Tuesday, the Maryland board also suspended the license it granted less than two months ago to Nicola I. Riley, a family physician who in late July began flying “from her home in Utah every other week to Maryland to perform abortions.” Riley did not return a call left with her mother in Utah.

It was Riley who mishandled the abortion on Aug. 13, according to the medical board documents. They provide this account:

On Aug. 12, an 18-year-old woman, 21 weeks pregnant, signed abortion consent forms at Brigham’s Voorhees facility, at 1 Alpha Ave. Brigham then inserted the absorbent rods that widen the cervix.

On Aug. 13, the patient returned to the Voorhees clinic, with “the understanding that she would be provided transportation to Philadelphia” for the surgical phase of the abortion.

Instead, “Dr. Brigham . . . instructed [her] and the other women who were scheduled to complete abortions to form a line of cars and follow the lead car to a location where the abortion would be performed.”

In Elkton, Riley gave the patient anesthesia under Brigham’s direction and began the surgery, but cut through the patient’s uterus into the bowel and vagina.
Riley informed the patient’s mother and boyfriend of the complications, but refused to call for an ambulance. Riley “originally contemplated taking [the patient] by wheelchair to the hospital, which was about two blocks away.”

Brigham drove Riley and the patient to the hospital, where the two abortion doctors dodged questions “about who they were, what had happened, and from where they had come.”

The patient’s injuries were so complex that she had to be flown by helicopter to Johns Hopkins Hospital while Riley “returned to the Elkton office . . . to perform another abortion.”

A few days later, the patient complained to the Elkton police; they raided the clinic on Aug. 17, looking for the patient’s medical record. Although that couldn’t be found, police discovered frozen aborted fetuses and medical-waste records showing fetal ages up to 36 weeks. (A pregnancy is considered full-term at 38 weeks.)

On Aug. 20, Elkton police searched Brigham’s Voorhees office for medical records that would explain the fetuses.

The officers “found only two medical records related to the fetuses,” board documents say.

Staff from the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office were on hand for the search, spokesman Paul Loriquet said. He added that he believed New Jersey’s Board of Medicine, which oversees physicians, would take action soon.

The Maryland board moved against Brigham, Shepard, and Riley after a Johns Hopkins physician filed a complaint. The physician expressed concerns that patients were being put at risk by “being transported across state lines to complete medical care,” board documents say.