Abortionist Steven Brigham lied about having medical malpractice insurance, New Jersey prosecutor charges


By Dave Andrusko

Abortionist Steven Brigham

Abortionist Steven Brigham

It seems like never a month (sometimes even a week) goes by that prosecutors or medical authorities aren’t undertaking some action against one of the most notorious abortionists in the United States, Steven Brigham.

Last week Micaiah Bilger, education direction for the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation, posted that Pennsylvania shut down the Integrity Family Health abortion facility in Northeast Philadelphia because of its links to Brigham, whose license has been suspended in multiple states.

“The state found evidence that the facility failed to report affiliations with Brigham when it completed the official Abortion Facility Registration form,” Bilger wrote. “Had these affiliations been disclosed, the Department of Health would not have approved the opening of the facility.”

Three years ago New Jersey suspected Brigham’s medical license because he endangered and deceived patients. He is trying to get it back. However, The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Marie McCullough, who has done some of the best reporting on Brigham, reported yesterday that New Jersey prosecutors have submitted sworn testimony that he lied during that 2010 suspension hearing when he claimed he was covered by medical malpractice insurance.

“They allege that not only did he stop carrying required liability insurance around 2006, but last month produced a phony insurance policy when forced to back up the statement,” McCullough reported (see www.philly.com/philly/news/nation_world/20131204_Abortion_provider_lied_about_insurance__N_J__prosecutors_say.html).

New Jersey Deputy Attorney General Jeri L. Warhaftig wrote that Brigham “produced a fraudulent receipt for payment for a policy issued by” a sham company, McCullough reported.

McCullough pointed out the almost eerily similarities to what took place in the mid-1990s– the appeal process, the present charges, and the prosecutor who is the same.

Like any story involving Brigham, the story is hugely complex, representing, in McCullough’s description, the “latest twist in Brigham’s 20-year, multistate history of trouble with regulators, the IRS, landlords, creditors, and law enforcement agencies.”

In New Jersey clinics abortions after 14 weeks are supposed to be performed at a licensed ambulatory facility or a hospital. Brigham’s clinic was not licensed as such a facility, and he lacked both hospital admitting privileges and obstetrical training in the state.

So what Brigham did was induce the baby’s death in New Jersey but deliver the child in another state. This multi-state practice only came to light—then as now, according to McCullough—when women were seriously hurt.

In this case, an 18-year-old woman who was 21 weeks pregnant, almost died after an abortion in which her uterus ruptured and her bowel was injured. According to the AP, “[A]nd rather than call 911, Brigham and [co-worker, Nicola] Riley drove her to a nearby hospital, where both were uncooperative and Brigham refused to give his name, authorities said.”

This led authorities to search Brigham’s American Woman’s Services abortion clinic which “revealed a freezer with 35 late-term fetuses inside, including one believed to have been aborted at 36 weeks, authorities said,” the AP reported.

In 2010 the New Jersey Board of Medical Examiners suspended his license. The Board concluded, “Dr. Brigham has consistently and repetitively engaged in manipulative and deceptive behavior designed to circumvent the requirements of the board’s termination of pregnancy regulation and to eviscerate the protections that those regulations seek to afford to New Jersey patients.”

Brigham, then as now, appealed his suspension. McCullough wrote

“In the 1990s, his appeal succeeded. This time, a different judge must consider new factors, including evidence that Brigham was extracting the fetuses in Maryland, where he never had a medical license. Also, his Elkton clinic was a clandestine operation, unregistered and unknown to the state. The storefront facility had no sign and even patients were not told where it was until the day they drove there for surgery.

“Last month, one of those patients – a New Jersey woman who was critically injured when her surgery went awry in Elkton – testified before the administrative judge that she had dropped her malpractice lawsuit against Brigham because her lawyer discovered he had no malpractice insurance.

“That prompted Warhaftig to do more investigating, which led to submission of the amended charges against Brigham.”

Warhaftig is seeking the permanent revocation of Brigham’s license.

Brigham’s American Women’s Services still has abortion clinics in New Jersey, Virginia, and Florida, although sanctions have forced him to shut down in Maryland and Pennsylvania.

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