ALBANY, January 9, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – According to the Times-Union, New York officials may have ignored evidence that Dr. Steven Brigham, an abortionist charged with murder in the state of Maryland, had committed similar crimes in New York.
The news service reports that investigators had evidence that Dr. Mark Binder was performing illegal late term abortions at Brigham’s American Women’s Services Clinic in Colonie, New York, where 17 frozen fetuses were discovered in 1996.
John Meekins, a former NY assistant attorney general who was involved in the case, says that the details that were uncovered about Binder and Brigham were “nasty.”
According to Meekins, one clinic worker testified that she had been told to use a scale which would falsely make more developed aborted babies appear to be under 24 weeks gestation. He also said that an undertaker who picked up a baby’s body from the clinic had described the baby as “fully developed.”
A state Health Department report contained similar allegations made by former lab technicians, patients, and a physician assistant.
Despite this, Meekins, who headed a Medicaid fraud unit, was told by his supervisors to pursue only charges of Medicaid fraud against Brigham.
“We were forbidden to do anything without their approval,” he said.
Meekins claims that he was pressured against pursuing abortion-related charges by Albany Democrats, including an unidentified judge who was reported to have “ties to the Colonie clinic’s landlord.”
“The landlord kept telling me how close they were,” Meekins told the Times-Union, adding that the judge also “paid me a visit.”
Meekins also said that whenever he wanted to meet with then-District Attorney Sol Greenberg, he was told that Greenberg wasn’t available, and “was at Democratic Party headquarters.”
Binder was eventually sentenced to 40 days in jail for refusing to turn over clinic medical records, and later to 6 months after he fled the country during a pending fraud case.
Brigham, who owned and operated another clinic in Nanuet along with the Colonie clinic despite having had his New York license revoked, was convicted of two misdemeanor tax charges and sentenced to 120 days in jail.
The abortionist is now facing murder charges in Maryland for late term abortions performed at a secret clinic in Elkton. He is being prosecuted under Maryland’s fetal homicide law, which allows the state to charge a person with murder for killing a viable baby in the course of committing a crime.
The failure of New York authorities to charge Meekins and Brigham with abortion related charges despite clear evidence of violations, is reminiscent of the similar failure of Pennsylvania authorities in relation to “House of Horrors” clinic owner Kermit Gosnell, who stands accused of murdering seven newborn babies and one former client.
A Grand Jury report released in January of last year specifically faulted the Pennsylvania Department of Health and Department of State, both of which ignored repeated complaints from physicians, lawyers hired by Gosnell’s patients, and the Delaware County medical examiner.
As the grand jury report noted, the oversight problem arose after the strongly pro-life Pennsylvania Gov. Robert Casey gave up his seat to abortion advocate Tom Ridge in 1995.
“With the change of administration from Governor Casey to Governor Ridge, officials concluded that inspections would be ‘putting a barrier up to women’ seeking abortions. Better to leave clinics to do as they pleased, even though, as Gosnell proved, that meant both women and babies would pay,” said the grand jury.
After news of the abominable practices and conditions of Gosnell’s clinic broke Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett said that the failure of authorities to follow through on complaints about Gosnell “doesn’t even rise to the level of government run amok. It was government not running at all. To call this unacceptable doesn’t say enough. It’s despicable.”