Saturday, September 04, 2010

Bad Boy Brigham in trouble again

Doctor's four-state abortion business under investigation:

Abortionist Steven Chase Brigham isn't one to let technicalities stand in the way of business. He runs a chain of 15 abortion mills, under the name "American Women's Services. Many of these mills are operated in states in which he is not permitted to practice medicine. His latest trick? Initiating late abortions at his New Jersey facilities (which aren't licensed to do abortions past 14 weeks), then having all the patient drive in a caravan to Maryland, where two doctors under his direction finish the abortions.

Three weeks ago, one of these women was seriously injured. "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."

When police raided Brigham's Elkton facility, they siezed 35 "late-term fetuses and fetal parts". Maryland authorities are still trying to locate medical records for some of Brigham's patients.

The two abortionists Brigham hired to finish up abortions in Maryland are also in trouble: George Shepard Jr. (an Ob/Gyn from Delaware that Brigham hired in 2009 as a part-time Medical Director), and Nicola I. Riley (pictured), a newly-licensed family practitioner who flies in from Utah every other week. Shepard's license has been suspended for "unprofessional conduct and ... helping Brigham flout credentialing requirements."

Reportedly it was Riley who initiated the abortion that sent Brigham's house of cards tumbling to the ground. It all started on August 12, when an 18-year-old patient I'll call Meg, went to Brigham's flagship mill in Voorhees, New Jersey. She was 21 weeks pregnant. Brigham inserted laminaria to dilate her cervix so the baby could be pulled out later. Meg returned the next day, expecting to be transported to Philadelphia to finish the abortion. Instead, Brigham instructed Meg and his other abortion patients to caravan in their own cars to another location, which turned out to be the Elkton, Maryland facility.

There, Riley administered anesthesia, under Brigham's direction. During the abortion, she lacerated Meg's uterus, bowel, and vagina. Riley told Meg's mother and boyfriend what had happened, but rather than call an ambulance, proposed pushing Meg two blocks to the hospital in a wheelchair. Brigham ended up transporting Meg himself, in a rented car, accompanied by Riley. Both Brigham and Riley were evasive about "who they were, what had happened, and from where they had come."

Meg's injuries were so severe that he had to be flown to Johns Hopkins. Riley, meanwhile, returned to the facility to perform another abortion, leaving other physicians to attend to her gravely wounded patient.

The patient later filed a police complaint, leading to the August 17 raid that found frozen fetuses indicating ages up to 36 weeks. A doctor at Johns Hopkins complained to the medical board.

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.

Click here for local video news coverage of the story.

  • In the Matter of Steven Chase Brigham, M.D.: A cease and desist order by the Maryland State Board of Physicians. It notes that Brigham was never licensed to practice medicine in Maryland, but that nevertheless he has been performing two or three "procedures" in Elkton on each of two visits per week for several months, perhaps longer.

  • Order for Summary Suspension of License to Practice Medicine: Maryland medical board document. In addition to the information shared from the Inquirer article, this document notes that Riley had no hospital privileges in Maryland. She knew that Brigham wasn't licensed to practice in Maryland when she went to work for him. She knew that Brigham would start the abortions in Voorhees, killing the fetus with a digoxin injection and inserting the laminaria; he would then caravan the patients to Maryland for Riley to remove the dead fetuses. Before Meg joined the car caravan to Maryland, she was given medication to cause contractions. Meg's injuries included having a portion of her intestines pulled into her vagina through the hole in her uterus. Fetal parts had also been pushed through the hole into her abdomen. Meg had gone unconscious in Brigham's facility after being given medications; she recovered after she'd been transported, only semi-conscious, to the hospital. Clinic staff stuffed her into her clothing before she was transported.

    On August 18, the police found 35 late term fetuses, ranging from 20 to 36 weeks, along with portions of Meg's fetus, in a freezer at Brigham's facility. They were unable to locate Meg's medical record, nor were they able to find records for the mothers of 33 of the 35 frozen fetuses.

  • In the Matter of George Shepard Jr. M.D.: Maryland medical board document. Like Riley, Shepard has no hospital privileges in Maryland. Shepard, who is disabled, was transported by a facility employee on the days he worked there. He kept the drugs stocked and monitored the recovery room. Like Riley, Shepard was fully aware that Brigham would start the abortions in New Jersey by killing the fetuses with a digoxin injection, inserting laminaria to dilate the cervix, and administering drugs to induce contractions. Shepard indicated to the medical board that Brigham performed both first-trimester and second-trimester abortions himself at the facility.

  • In this post I looked at errors in estimating gestational age, and the possible survival rates for late term babies if they were delivered live rather than aborted. By injecting the babies with digoxin the day before, Brigham was not merely softening the tissues for easier removal; he was eliminating the "risk" of a live birth. Given the margin of error in even a properly performed ultrasound, the babies found in Brigham's freezer -- again, ranging in noted gestational age from 20 to 36 weeks -- could just as likely been in the 22 - 38 week range. A 22 week baby has about a 10% chance of survival if delivered live, so even the youngest of the freezer babies could possibly have survived if Brigham hadn't stabbed it in the heart with Digoxin. The older baby could have actually been a full-term, 38-week baby. Even if this baby was only a 34 week baby, he or she would still have had nearly 100% chance of survival, were it not for Brigham's syringe full of Digoxin. Just a bit of food for thought.

    Lilliput said...


    Where is OC ranting now? Why didn't they put the "doc" in jail? Were there any other doctors and centres these women could have gone to?

    Christina Dunigan said...

    There are a metric buttload of abortion facilities to choose from in that area. Philly and Camden are across the Delaware from each other, and both cities and their suburbs are a major stomping grounds for abortionists of all stripes.

    Sadly, there aren't as many pregnancy help centers in that area -- or if there are, they aren't as easy to find. Still, there is plenty of help available: This page lists quite a few services in the Philadelphia area.

    The saddest thing is that if you google "abortion help" the very first thing that comes up is -- American Women's Services. Yup, Brigham. And just read this:

    American Women's Services is dedicated to providing expert, high quality women's reproductive health services in a professional, caring, and compassionate manner. Our abortion services are provided in private practice office settings to assure confidentiality and individual support for each woman.

    American Women's Services has been caring for women since 1979. We are able to provide the best care available because of the extensive knowledge and experience in women's reproductive health care that our doctors, health care teams and administration bring to their work.

    American Women's Services physicians are widely recognized for their distinction in their chosen field, garnering national presence on syndicated programming (newspapers, radio and television programs) distributed throughout the country.

    You can call us toll-free, at 1-888-ABORTION , 24 hours a day to speak with one of our professionals who can answer your questions and make an appointment for you.

    We accept most insurance plans & HMOs including, but not limited to, Aetna, Anthem, AmeriHealth, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, CareFirst, Cigna, Great-West, Keystone East, NJ Medicaid, National Capital PPO, Oxford Freedom Plan, UniCare, and United Healthcare.

    To use your Insurance:

    Please contact our Call Center at 800-501-9162, someone is there to assist you 24 hours a day/7 days of the week.
    Our Insurance Department will verify your insurance coverage for you, including your benefits.
    Once your Insurance Company verified your coverage, then we will contact you within 2 business days to review your coverage.
    To ensure insurance coverage and usage of your insurance, please schedule your appointment 2 days prior to your targeted appointment date.

    Christina Dunigan said...

    I clicked on "Employment". Listen to this posting for physicians:

    Lucrative opportunity for Physician with progressive pro-choice women’s centers. No on-call responsibility. Any specialty will be considered. All MDs/ODs welcome (including GPs, FMGs and residents). No experience necessary, we will train. Flexible Schedules to accommodate your needs. Great opportunity for MDs in private practice who wish to supplement their incomes, or for doctors seeking a Full-time lucrative opportunity.

    No on-call. Full-time or Part-time. Any specialty. FMGs welcome. Residents welcome. Board eligibility not required. General Practitioners welcome. No experience necessary, we will train. Must be willing to learn. Must have an active license to practice medicine. Must be pro-choice and respectful of women.

    Life for Everyone! said...

    The whole situation sounds like a bunch of crooks running around in circles trying to cover their mishaps. Sound strangely like the three stooges, running this patient here and that patient there. My God this is what pro-choice people put their trust in to, these nuts!

    Katie said...

    This is so horrifying. And yet this is the kind of thing pro-aborts fight to keep in place! They deify abortionists to the point that no matter how corrupt and dangerous they are, they'll never question them.

    As hard as it is for me to fathom abortion at any stage of pregnancy, I'm completely blown away by these abortions done weeks from delivery. I'm 35 weeks pregnant, and I just can not understand how anyone , no matter how "pro-choice" they are, could do that. How can you argue it's okay because it's a worthless clump of cells when you can feel the baby kicking and rolling and even hiccuping inside of you??? How detached from reality do you have to be to go through with that? I just can't comprehend it.