NJ Board of Medical Examiners permanently revokes notorious abortionist’s medical license


By Dave Andrusko

Abortionist Steven Brigham

Abortionist Steven Brigham

The list of states that abortionist Steven Brigham has lost his right to practice medicine in is practically as long as your arm. At the same time the 57-year-old Brigham has been able to continue practicing in New Jersey, the key to his multistate abortion business, American Women’s Services, even though his license was suspended four years ago by the New Jersey Board of Medical Examiners.

Yesterday the 16-member board of examiners lowered the boom, brushing aside Brigham’s insistence that he was “misunderstood in multiple ways” and “To revoke my license would be to give in to the forces of hate”—pro-lifers. “You know I am a good doctor,” he said, presumably with a straight face.

Not so, said the 16 board members. They “voted unanimously that Brigham had engaged in professional misconduct, dishonesty and misrepresentations, and repeated acts of negligence, based on the records,” according to the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Marie McCullough.

The board cited Brigham for a bistate abortion practice where he would induce “fetal demise” in New Jersey but deliver the dead baby in Maryland.

“It ordered him to pay a $140,000 penalty and as-yet-unspecified costs of prosecution, even though Brigham revealed that he is in dire financial straits from IRS liens imposed on him for not paying employee taxes,” McCullough reported Other accounts suggest court costs could exceed a half-million dollars.

In prior stories, NRL News Today explained why Brigham would start the abortion in one state and complete it in another. His Voorhees, NJ abortion clinic was not licensed or equipped to perform late-term abortions. “In addition,” McCullough wrote, “New Jersey requires that such risky surgeries be performed by an obstetrician-gynecologist, and Brigham, a general practitioner, was not credentialed to do them.”

As they had during a 19-day trial before Administrative Law Judge Jeff Masin, Brigham and his lawyer, Joseph M. Gorrell, argued that although Brigham did not have a license to practice medicine in Maryland, he had been consulting at the Elkton abortion clinic, which is allowed under Maryland law.

They maintained that the clinic was run by George Shepard, a licensed OB/GYN, hired by Brigham. Shepard was 87, partially disabled by a stroke, and had never performed a late-term abortion.

Jeri Warhaftig, deputy attorney general, who had tangled with Brigham before, said Brigham was in charge and Shepherd was “just shoe-horned into the process…His presence was clearly not necessary.”

The whole scheme came to light four years ago when an 18-year-old woman, 21½ weeks pregnant, almost died. From his office in Voorhees, Brigham inserted Laminaria to expand her cervix and administered a shot of Digoxin to cause “fetal demise.” She was instructed to drive to a super-secret abortion clinic in Elkton, Maryland, where the baby would be surgically removed.

According to Baltimore Sun reporter Peter Hermann

“After the woman suffered a ruptured uterus, state officials said [Brigham’s worker, Nicola] Riley put the patient in Brigham’s rented Chevrolet Malibu and drove her Union Hospital in Elkton. The board said she sat in slumped in a wheelchair, nearly unconscious, outside the emergency room, while Riley argued with hospital staff, demanding their identities before treating the woman.

“The woman was flown that day to Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore for more treatment. State officials said Riley then returned to his clinic in Elkton to perform another abortion. The injured woman survived.”

The doctor who performed emergency surgery on the teenager in a Baltimore hospital went to the Elkton police.

This led authorities to search his 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.

Warhaftig reminded the Board of Examiners that Brigham was accused of the same scheme in the mid-1990 with New York being the state where the abortion was completed. According to McCullough

“New York revoked his license after several patients were seriously injured. The case led New Jersey to suspend Brigham’s license, but after a lengthy prosecution, a New Jersey administrative law judge restored Brigham’s medical privileges and the Medical Examiners Board agreed.

“Warhaftig also asked the board to consider that Brigham gave up his medical license in Pennsylvania in 1992 amid an investigation.

“He also lost his license in California and Florida because of fallout from the New York revocation.”

As NRL News Today previously reported, citing his history of hiring unqualified medical employees, in 2010 Pennsylvania barred Brigham from owning clinics. However, as McCullough explained, “He evaded that ruling for several years by putting his Pennsylvania clinics under a company owned by his mother.”

Brigham can appeal the decision to the Appellate Division of Superior Court, which would seem probable. While his American Women’s Services still has two abortion clinics in Virginia and one in Florida (with four others “appear to be operating in Maryland”), without his New Jersey license he will lose his eight abortion clinics there.

While Brigham told the New Jersey Board of Medical Examiners, “I have a passion for women’s rights,” Warhaftig said he was anything but.

“He breached patients’ trust in his flimflam scheme,” she said.

Although the board’s decision would seem to be very close to what Judge Masin’s recommended in August, in fact they went further.

“Although both the board and Masin said Brigham should lose his license, Masin said it was for practicing in Maryland unlawfully,” wrote Susan Livio of the New Jersey Star-Ledger. “The board, however, found the doctor had practiced without a license and commenced abortion in his office by causing fetal demise with the medication.”