ELKTON, Maryland, November 28, 2011 (OperationRescue.org) – Operation Rescue has learned that abortionists Steven Chase Brigham and Nicola Irene Riley have been charged with murder related to the deaths of viable babies at an illegal secret abortion clinic that the pair operated in Elkton, Maryland.
Brigham is currently in the custody at the Camden County Jail in New Jersey and Riley was arrested and Riley is currently in the custody of the Salt Lake County Jail in Utah. Both are awaiting extradition to Maryland.
Brigham was charged with five counts of first-degree murder and five counts of second-degree murder. Riley was charged with one count of first-degree murder and one count of second-degree murder. The charges are the result of a Grand Jury investigation. (UPDATE: in addition, Brigham and Riley were each charged with one count of conspiracy to commit murder.)
While late-term abortions are not illegal in Maryland, those who kill viable babies killed in the commission of crimes can be charged with murder in that state.
Brigham operated a secret late-term abortion clinic in Elkton, Maryland, even though he had no license to practice in that state. He hired Riley to do late-term abortions there and at his abortion clinic in Baltimore. Brigham would start the late-term abortions at his office in New Jersey, then caravan the laboring women to Elkton where the abortions would be completed. The clandestine abortion scheme was discovered after a woman suffered a life-threatening botched abortion in August, 2010. When police raided the Elkton abortion clinic, they discovered the remains of 35 aborted baby, one of which was 33 weeks gestation. (Read more about this.)
Operation Rescue immediately organized grassroots efforts calling for charges against Brigham and Riley and worked behind the scenes to ensure that the case moved forward. Operation Rescue dug deeper and discovered that Riley had lied about her criminal background to gain licensure in three states. At the time of their arrests, Brigham and Riley were banned from doing abortions in any state.
“We have worked for over a year to make sure Brigham and Riley were brought to justice. We kept the story in the public eye, and followed up with police and prosecutors. This is a victory for the pro-life movement,” said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman.