By Dave Andrusko
It should come as no surprise–abortionist Steven Brigham is reportedly back in court for the umpteenth time–but somehow it still staggers the imagination.
We have written dozens of stories about Brigham over the years, a man whose list of states that he has lost his license to practice medicine in is almost as long as your arm.
In our last post, we reported that on October 8, the 16-member New Jersey Board of Medical Examiners had permanently revoked his license, having “voted unanimously that Brigham had engaged in professional misconduct, dishonesty and misrepresentations, and repeated acts of negligence, based on the records.”
But Susan Livio of the New Jersey Star-Ledger reported that Brigham filed an appeal last December 24 and that (according to Brigham’s attorney Joseph Gorrell), a fall trial in the appellate division is anticipated.
“Dr. Brigham believes a great injustice has been done and he is attempting to remedy that injustice,” Gorrell told Livio earlier last week.
Which is clearly not how the board of medical examiners saw it.
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,” according to Marie McCullough of the Philadelphia Inquirer. (He was subsequently ordered to pay $560,000 in court costs.)
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 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 five 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.
Lacking a license, Brigham was forced by state law to “divest himself from the American Women’s Services clinics he owned in Elizabeth, Mount Laurel, Paramus, Phillipsburg, Toms River, Woodbridge and Voorhees,” Livio wrote.
“Brigham’s attorney Joseph Gorrell of Roseland said his client late last year submitted a letter on Brigham’s behalf confirming he had sold his interest in the clinics,” she continued. “Vikram H. Kaji, an obstetrician and gynecologist and the medical director for American Women’s Services has assumed ownership, according to the state Health Department.”
The brutal irony in Kaji assuming ownership was impossible to miss.
Citing public records, Livio wrote
In May 2013, an investigation revealed “numerous alleged deficiencies and board violations” in his role as medical director. After admitting he had suffered a mild stroke affecting his memory and eyesight, the board required he undergo a “neuropsychological evaluation, and any other medical or diagnostic testing and monitoring which may be required to evaluate whether (his) continued practice may jeopardize the public’s safety and welfare,” according to the board’s order.
In what seems an almost inevitable conclusion, Neal Buccino, a spokesman for the state Division of Consumer Affairs which oversees the board of medical examiners, told Livio that the board “had not placed restrictions on Kaji’s practice.”
As we reported last year, citing McCullough, Brigham’ American Women’s Services still has two abortion clinics in Virginia and one in Florida (with four others “appear to be operating in Maryland” ).