Good riddance, writes columnist, that there is no longer a trace in his town of abortionist Steven Brigham

 

By Dave Andrusko

Abortionist Steven Brigham

Abortionist Steven Brigham

The last post we ran on abortionist Steven Brigham was at the end of January. There is no abortionist that NRL News and NRL News Today has written more about than Brigham, who for decades has constantly battled attempts to have his medical license yanked in various states or to have it reinstated.

That particular post was the second of two based on a 10,00 word profile of Brigham written for the New Yorker by Eyal Press. Turns out that Press’s lengthy examination of Brigham’s notorious history was seen by Pat Howard, a columnist for the Erie (Pennsylvania) Times-News.

Forget for a moment Howard’s explanation for the likes of Brigham. Howard wants to blame it on “stigma” which, along with physicians not having first-hand acquaintance with abortion prior to its nationwide legalization in 1973 and therefore (he writes) unwilling to become abortionists, “created opportunities for the likes of Brigham, doctors willing or even inclined to exploit the margins.”

More important is Howard’s pride—I think that is the appropriate word—that his city caught onto Brigham quickly. The hook for his weekend story was the Press profile and “An uneventful tax sale in December of three condominiums in a Peach Street medical building,” which (Howard wrote) “erased the final traces of the abortion clinic operated there by Steven Brigham, M.D.”

There were three other condos as well that housed Brigham’s American Women’s Services in the downtown Professional Building. All had been “dormant since 2007, when the clinic closed for the last time because of a chronic problem with recruiting willing doctors with clean enough records,” Howard wrote. “By then even people supportive of women having access to abortion in Erie knew Brigham and company weren’t the answer.”

Brigham has abortion clinics seemingly everywhere on the east coast. He opened his Erie abortion clinic in the fall of 2003.

Howard makes more of the opposition from the organized abortion industry than is warranted, but it is true that eventually even they understood that women could be in grave danger if they entered any of his abortion clinics.

But in several senses what happened in Erie was not unusual for Brigham.

“Brigham wasn’t even allowed to perform abortions at his own clinic. In order to end an investigation into one of his other clinics, he had agreed in 1992 to permanently put his Pennsylvania medical license on inactive status and never try to restore it.

“The cloud lingered. Brigham’s clinic shut down the next summer after it fired one doctor for being improperly licensed and another with some trouble on his record quit or was fired. The Pennsylvania Board of Medicine revoked the first physician’s license a couple of years later for unprofessional conduct and negligence of an ‘egregious nature.’”

Another familiar feature of Brigham’s abortion clinic in Erie was its on-again, off-again presence. Howard writes

“American Women’s Services remained shuttered for months, starting a lengthy cycle in which it would reopen and then close for extended periods while searching for an abortionist willing to work there. The clinic and the furor over its presence finally settled into an ultimately permanent stasis in 2007.”

To his credit, Howard connects what happened in Erie with Brigham’s larger pattern of questionable (to put it mildly) behavior.

“Just a couple of weeks after workers cleared equipment and furnishings from the former clinic late in 2011 [the one that had been shuttered], Maryland authorities charged Brigham with 10 counts of murder in the deaths of late-term fetuses whose remains were discovered during a raid on a storefront linked to Brigham. Those charges were withdrawn not long after that because of gaps in the chain of evidence.”

Howard ends: “good riddance.”

Amen to that!