Four Maryland abortion clinics shut down, licenses of three abortionists suspended

By Dave Andrusko

A woman died at the Baltimore Clinic operated by Associates in OB/GYN which is located in this complex.

A woman died at the Baltimore Clinic operated by Associates in OB/GYN which is located in this complex.

Four Maryland abortion clinics operated by Associates in OB/GYN Care have again been shut down and the licenses of three abortionists have been suspended, including one whose patient died, according to documents filed online by the state Office of Health Care Quality and the Maryland Board of Physicians. The three abortionists are Iris Dominy, Michael Basco, and Mansour Panah.

On February 13 Dominy, aborted 38-year-old Maria Santiago. After the abortion “the awake but ‘still very drowsy’ woman was left in the care of an unlicensed medical assistant, during which time she experienced cardiopulmonary arrest,” according to the Associated Press’s Ben Nuckols.

The report from the Office of Health Care Quality said that neither Dominy nor the assistant used an automated external defibrillator on the patient (a week later regulators found it didn’t work), although Dominy attempted CPR. Regulators also found that the employees of the abortion clinic in Baltimore had not been trained how to use the machine. Ms. Santiago died later at a hospital.

The abortion clinics—located in Baltimore, Cheverly, Frederick ,and Silver Spring, Maryland– were initially shut down in March. After being reopened, they were again shuttered in early May.

That followed an investigation by the Office of Health Care Quality following an anonymous complaint about the Baltimore abortion clinic.

“The investigation found that it was common practice to administer the drug Misoprostol to induce an abortion in patients 11 weeks or more pregnant even if the patient has not been seen by a doctor and there was no physician at the clinic,” the Sun’s Andrea K. Walker reported last month. The other abortion clinics owned by OB/GYN Care were looked into and their licenses were pulled as well.

Indeed, Dominy’s medical license was suspended not because of Ms. Santiago’s death but because unlicensed employees at the clinic were dispensing misoprostol. “State investigators found the woman’s death raised questions about whether doctors at the clinic could handle an abortion that goes wrong, although the conclusion was that the woman’s death ‘was caused by underlying conditions and not the abortion,’” Walker reported.

A story in the Daily Mail filled in some the details of Ms. Santiago’s death. “Santiago’s death certificate showed she died from Severe Pulminary Edema, Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome, and Hypoxia Brain Injury. It is unknown how long she went without breathing. Inspectors found staff failed to provide proper post-anesthesia care and observation.”

OB/GYN Care, which operates the four abortion clinics, is “a limited-liability corporation, and affiliated with American Women’s Services, the New Jersey company controlled by Dr. Steven Brigham, an abortion provider whose license has been suspended or revoked in five states,” Nuckols reported. “Brigham lost his New Jersey medical license in 2010 after regulators discovered an arrangement under which he would begin second- and third-trimester abortions in New Jersey, and then have the patients drive themselves to Maryland the next day to complete the procedures.”

Brigham “was charged with murder for late-term abortions allegedly performed [in Elkton, Maryland], although the charges were later dropped,” according to the AP. To be specific, he was originally charged with five counts of first-degree murder and other charges. (See http://nrlc.cc/11kkhO5 and http://nrlc.cc/15OGmJB.)

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An attorney who represents Associates in OB/GYN Care, told the Associated Press Brigham is not the owner of the clinics or the LLC, but Vicki Saporta, president of the National Abortion Federation, “said it was common knowledge among providers that the Maryland clinics belong to Brigham.”

The licenses of abortionists Michael Basco and Mansour Panah were also pulled. As NRL News Today reported last month (“More suspensions for string of Maryland abortion clinics”), on May 4, an unlicensed employee at the Baltimore facility performed an ultrasound that revealed the woman was carrying more than one baby.

The employee gave the woman misoprostol, after which Basco arrived and concluded she needed a surgical abortion because the multiple babies had made her uterus larger. According to Nuckols, referring to the online documents, “Basco told the patient she would have to go elsewhere for a surgical abortion.”

The regulators were told by Basco and other OB/GYN Care staff that, regardless of whether an abortionist was present, it was standard procedure in the clinics for patients to be given misoprostol at 11 weeks gestation or later.

Panah, the medical director of the abortion clinics, was responsible for patient care at the time of Santiago’s death. “He previously had his license suspended by the board in 1988 for sexual contact with three patients and again in 1995 for sexual conduct with another patient,” the Daily Mail reported.

“In 2011, he was placed on two years of probation by the board for failing to meet appropriate standards for delivery of quality medical and surgical care,” the AP reported.

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