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Friday September 10, 2010

New Jersey Right to Life Warned of Interstate Abortionist Caught after Severely Botched Abortion

By Kathleen Gilbert

Edited 9:49am EST 9.11.10

PISCATAWAY, New Jersey, September 10, 2010 ( – After a botched abortion in Maryland revealed the illegal interstate practice of a New Jersey abortionist, New Jersey officials have filed documents to suspend the medical license of a man whose suspicious activities New Jersey Right to Life had warned about weeks ago.

In a July 23 letter, New Jersey Right to Life executive director Marie Tasy requested that New Jersey Attorney General Paula Dow investigate Steven Chase Brigham’s six New Jersey abortion facility following news of a crackdown on Brigham’s four Pennsylvania clinics. In that state, Brigham’s business came to an abrupt end after the Pennsylvania Department of Health discovered he had repeatedly employed unlicensed medical caregivers.

But the abortionist’s latest run-in with the law came one month later, August 25, when Maryland health officials ordered him to cease his frequent practice of initiating abortions in New Jersey, telling clients to drive to Elkton, Maryland, and completing the procedures there. Brigham is not authorized to perform second or third-trimester abortions in New Jersey; however, neither is he licensed to practice medicine in Maryland.

The scheme was discovered after one such procedure, performed on an 18-year-old, resulted in the laceration of her bowel and vagina and required the bleeding patient to be flown to Johns Hopkins hospital in Baltimore. A Hopkins doctor filed a complaint against the abortionist following the incident, which New Jersey’s attorney general decried as constituting “gross negligence.” Abortionists Nicola Riley of Utah and George Shepard of Delaware also had their licenses suspended in Maryland for assisting Brigham, who Maryland officials said performed the procedures as many as four to six times per week.

Paul Loriquet, a spokesperson with the New Jersey Attorney General’s office, told Friday that Tasy’s letter had been forwarded to the New Jersey State Board of Medical Examiners. The board, he says, was “about to respond” to the Pennsylvania allegations when the Maryland case arose, prompting the attorney general’s cease and desist order. Loriquet said that Brigham has complied with the order, and that a board hearing is scheduled for October 13.

In 1996 Brigham lost his license in New York for “inexcusably bad judgment,” in the words of health officials there, following two botched late-term abortions. New Jersey also considered penalizing Brigham, but he fought the charges and won full reinstatement.

The abortionist’s record is filled with other violations, including failing to file business taxes in New York, and failing to disclose the tax trouble in Florida, where his license was banned. He was placed on probation in California, but allowed his license to lapse there as well as in Georgia, according to Operation Rescue and the Philadelphia Inquirer. New Jersey, according to OR, was the last state in which Brigham was allowed to practice medicine.

Police raiding the abortionist’s Elkton office stumbled upon a gruesome display of almost three dozen frozen fetuses, some only a few weeks away from full term.

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