HomeoldNotorious Abortionist Steven Brigham Arrested, Charged with Numerous counts of Murder

Notorious Abortionist Steven Brigham Arrested, Charged with Numerous counts of Murder

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As the result of a Maryland grand jury investigation, notorious abortionist Steven Brigham was taken into custody Wednesday, charged with five counts of first-degree murder, five counts of second-degree murder, and one count of conspiracy. He is being held in the Camden (New Jersey) County jail, awaiting extradition to Maryland, according to the Baltimore Sun.

A co-worker, Nicola Riley, charged with one count of first-degree murder and one count of second-degree murder, is in jail in Utah, the Sun reported. She is also awaiting extradition hearings.

Brigham, who has been in legal hot water for decades, has had his license pulled, suspended or relinquished in a total of five states.

“Investigators with the Elkton Police Department say they asked police in New Jersey and Utah to arrest the doctors after a Cecil County [Maryland] grand jury handed up indictments against Brigham and Riley earlier Wednesday, capping a 16-month-long investigation,” the Associated Press (AP)  reported.

The investigation began in August 2010 after a botched procedure at Brigham’s clinic in Elkton, Maryland. (He operates five abortion clinics in Maryland but has no license to practice medicine.).

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 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.

Brigham took advantage of Maryland’s very lax abortion laws. Not authorized to perform abortions in New Jersey past the first trimester (because his four abortion clinics did not meet safety standards),  regulators say he would begin abortions in New Jersey and have his patients drive themselves to Maryland to complete the abortion.

In the case of the 18-year-old woman, the abortion was begun in Brigham’s Voorhees, New Jersey, abortion clinic. The woman’s cervix was dilated,  the  Sun reported, and  she was told to drive to Maryland. According to reporter Peter Hermann

“After the woman suffered a ruptured uterus, state officials said 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 near-death of the 18-year-old led to the investigation that  “resulted in the murder case against Riley and three of the 11 murder charges against Brigham, prosecutors said,” the AP reported. “The other charges against Brigham “relate to four other illegal abortions he performed at the East High Street Clinic, prosecutors added.”


Chelsea Garcia is a political writer with a special interest in international relations and social issues. Events surrounding the war in Ukraine and the war in Israel are a major focus for political journalists. But as a former local reporter, she is also interested in national politics.

Chelsea Garcia studied media, communication and political science in Texas, USA, and learned the journalistic trade during an internship at a daily newspaper. In addition to her political writing, she is pursuing a master's degree in multimedia and writing at Texas.

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