Jivin J has been covering the legal woes of East Coast abortionist Steven Chase Brigham (here and here), but Brigham has in recent weeks risen to the status of  Quackery’s Quack, with authorities in 3 states now after him, and merits his own post.

The Philadelphia Inquirer has synopsized Brigham’s abortion history:

… Brigham, a physician whose medical license has been revoked, relinquished, or temporarily suspended in 5 states, is now facing regulatory and tax troubles that could jeopardize his chain of 15 abortion clinics [in 4 states – MD, NJ, PA, and VA].

Brigham’s history in detail, again per the Philadelphia Inquirer:

Brigham[‘s]… legal scrapes… go back as far as 1989 and have pitted him against medical boards, creditors, landlords, patients, and others….

Brigham graduated from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1986. By 1990, when abortion became the focus of his practice, he was licensed in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, California, Florida, and Georgia….

PA was the first setback. In a confidential 1992 settlement, Brigham agreed to permanently give up his license amid an investigation of his practice in Wyoming.

Despite this restriction, Brigham continued to own and expand his abortion business in the state.

In 1994, NY took his license, finding him guilty of “gross negligence” and “inexcusably bad judgment” involving two late-pregnancy abortions. The patients suffered life-threatening bleeding and required emergency hospital operations….

Brigham maintained offices in NY through 1995 but failed to file state business taxes, a misdemeanor for which he was sentenced to 120 days in jail and $8,188 in restitution, public records show.

In FL, Brigham lost his license for not disclosing NY’s action. CA put him on probation and ordered extra training; instead, he let his license lapse, as he did in GA.

NJ suspended Brigham’s license in 1993, citing the same botched abortions as NY, plus other charges. After 3 years of defending himself against an action by the state AG’s Office, Brigham won full reinstatement of his medical privileges.

PA’s latest disciplinary action came July 7 when Deputy Sec. of Health Robert Torres permanently banned Brigham and any corporation in which he has a controlling interest from providing abortions in the state. Torres’ order cites repeated violations of the state’s medical licensing rules….

Brigham also has to deal with the IRS. In April, it placed $234,536 in liens against him for failing to pay payroll taxes from 2002 to 2006….
With PA authorities breathing down Brigham’s sorry neck, here is the latest news, which involves Maryland and NJ. The slightly complicated backdrop is Brigham is licensed in NJ but not MD, but Brigham cannot commit late-term abortions in NJ while they can be committed in his MD office (again, where he is not licensed). So, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer, September 3:

Three weeks ago… Brigham led a car caravan of patients from his Voorhees [NJ] abortion clinic to his facility in Elkton, MD. After one of the patients was critically injured during her surgery there, Brigham put the semiconscious, bleeding woman into the back of a rented Chevrolet Malibu and drove her to a nearby hospital emergency room rather than call an ambulance….

On Aug. 25, the MD Board of Physicians ordered Brigham, 54, to stop performing abortions in that state, where he has never been licensed to practice medicine. By then police had raided Brigham’s Elkton [MD] facility – from which they said they removed 35 “late-term fetuses and fetal parts” – as well as the Voorhees [NJ] headquarters of his chain of 15 clinics, which does business as American Women’s Services.

MD authorities seek missing medical records, and are looking into Brigham’s habit of sending late-term patients across state lines after initiating their abortions in Voorhees.

Brigham’s 4 NJ clinics cannot provide abortions after the first trimester (14 weeks of pregnancy) because they do not meet state safety requirements for such risky outpatient surgeries. Brigham has for years performed the 1st phase of such abortions there – the insertion of absorbent rods that dilate the patient’s cervix over a day or more [laminaria] – and sent them to a facility in another state for the surgery. NJ law doesn’t address whether inserting dilators constitutes abortion.

The “semi-conscious bleeding woman” involves one of Brigham’s 2 hired hands, also now in trouble, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer:

MD regulators are investigating not only Brigham, but also 2 physicians he employed, the documents show.

On Tuesday, the board suspended the MD license of George Shepard Jr., a Delaware obstetrician-gynecologist hired in 2009 as a part-time medical director of Brigham’s 4 MD clinics. The board has charged Shepard with unprofessional conduct and with helping Brigham flout credentialing requirements….

On Tuesday, the MD board also suspended the license it granted less than 2 months ago to Nicola I. Riley [pictured right], a family physician who in late July began flying “from her home in Utah every other week to MD to perform abortions.” Riley did not return a call left with her mother in Utah.

It was Riley who mishandled the abortion on Aug. 13, according to the medical board documents. They provide this account:

On Aug. 12, an 18-year-old woman, 21 weeks pregnant, signed abortion consent forms at Brigham’s Voorhees [NJ] facility…. Brigham then inserted the absorbent rods that widen the cervix.

On Aug. 13, the patient returned to the Voorhees clinic, with “the understanding that she would be provided transportation to Philadelphia” for the surgical phase of the abortion.

Instead, “Dr. Brigham . . . instructed [her] and the other women who were scheduled to complete abortions to form a line of cars and follow the lead car to a location where the abortion would be performed.”

In Elkton [MD], Riley gave the patient anesthesia under Brigham’s direction and began the surgery, but cut through the patient’s uterus into the bowel and vagina.

Riley informed the patient’s mother and boyfriend of the complications, but refused to call for an ambulance. Riley “originally contemplated taking [the patient] by wheelchair to the hospital, which was about 2 blocks away.”

Brigham drove Riley and the patient to the hospital, where the 2 abortion doctors dodged questions “about who they were, what had happened, and from where they had come.”

The patient’s injuries were so complex that she had to be flown by helicopter to Johns Hopkins Hospital while Riley “returned to the Elkton office… to perform another abortion.”

A few days later, the patient complained to the Elkton police; they raided the clinic on Aug. 17, looking for the patient’s medical record. Although that couldn’t be found, police discovered frozen aborted fetuses and medical-waste records showing fetal ages up to 36 weeks. (A pregnancy is considered full-term at 38 weeks.)

On Aug. 20, Elkton police searched Brigham’s Voorhees office for medical records that would explain the fetuses.

The officers “found only 2 medical records related to the fetuses,” board documents say.

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