The headline was, to put it mildly, understated: “Pa. probing controversial abortion clinic in Phila.”
What may be going on in Pennsylvania, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Marie McCullough, is that one of the most notorious abortionists in all of North America– Steven Brigham—may have “opened a new clinic in Pennsylvania, even though the state has barred him from doing so, and even though abortion clinics are being scrutinized under a recently enacted state law.”
So who is Steven Brigham? In her story published Wednesday McCullough outlined his track record:
Public records show that Brigham, 57, has a two-decade history of battling medical boards, regulators, the IRS, landlords, creditors, and, most recently, criminal prosecutors in Maryland.
Not long after he got his Pennsylvania medical license, he gave it up in a 1992 agreement with the state. He later lost his medical privileges in New York, Florida, and California.
He is now in hearings before an administrative judge in New Jersey, fighting for his last license. Three years ago, New Jersey suspended it when he was caught – after a critically injured patient went to the police – doing what he was disciplined for in the mid-1990s: starting late-term abortions in New Jersey and finishing them in another state.
McCullough’s story connects the dots. Even though the evidence is “circumstantial,” there is evidence to suggest that Integrity Family Health is part of Brigham’s empire. (More about that in a moment.)
Pro-abortionists, who sat on their hands while convicted murderer Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell went unchecked for 17 years, are simultaneously patting themselves on the back for alerting authorities to the possible connection and insisting that because Brigham may have (yet again) gamed the system, the law passed in Pennsylvania to regulate and upgrade the requirements of abortion clinics only served to “limit women’s opportunities for good health care,” according to state Rep. Michelle Brownlee (D-Philadelphia) in an interview with the pro-abortion site RH Reality Check.org.
It’s noteworthy that Gosnell’s Women’s Medical Society operated in Brownlee’s district and that (hardly surprising) Brownlee opposed the requirement that all free standing abortion clinics be treated as ambulatory surgical facilities.
McCullough’s very thorough, very thoughtful piece on Brigham can be read in its entirety here. To understand the rest of the story, you need to know that although Brigham has experienced many setbacks, he continues to operate a number of abortion clinics in several states. McCullough writes
Although the enterprise has 11 clinics in New Jersey, Virginia, and Florida, five facilities in Maryland – including the secret one – have been shuttered by that state. In Pennsylvania, where Brigham formerly had four clinics, the state last year ordered the closure of the remaining two, in Pittsburgh and Allentown.
According to the story, staff members at Philadelphia Women’s Center abortion clinic received a call from a patient. They Googled the name “and found a newspaper article about Brigham’s Maryland clinics that mentioned ‘Integrity Health in Pennsylvania.’”
After a series of phone calls they found that appointments were being made for Integrity Family Health through Brigham’s multistate abortion company, American Women’s Services. After hearing a recorded message and other details, they called state health officials.
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Regulators in Pennsylvania “seized the chance last year to shut him down for ‘infrastructure failures,’ legally defined as an event that could seriously compromise patient safety,” McCullough writes. “Specifically, the Allentown clinic lost its lease, and the obstetrician-gynecologist serving both Pittsburgh and Allentown quit.”
State Health Department Deputy Secretary Anna Marie Sossong wrote to Brigham in April 2012 and “ordered Brigham to let the public know the clinics were gone, including changing his website.”
How did Brigham respond? According to McCullough
American Women’s Services’ website says those clinics are ‘temporarily closed.’ Brigham is fighting to reopen them.
In legal papers, Brigham’s lawyer says the clinics did have an ob-gyn on staff: Vikram Kaji, 77.
Not mentioned is the fact that Brigham was sanctioned in the 1990s for employing Kaji while the ob-gyn’s Pennsylvania license was suspended for sexually abusing patients.
Reprinted with permission from NRLC