Abortionist Involved in Patient Death Receives Inadequate Discipline to Protect the Public

By Cheryl Sullenger

Baltimore, MD — It was during an inspection conducted by the Maryland Department of Health on February 20, 2013, when it was discovered that patient Maria Santiago, 38, died during a 13-week abortion at the run-down Associates in OB/GYN Care, located on Baltimore’s Cheverly Road – shockingly situated inside a residential condominium complex.

Three Maryland abortionists who worked at the seedy Baltimore clinic owned by the notorious late-term abortionist Steven Chase Brigham have received further discipline, but disturbingly, the one directly responsible for the abortion-related fatality has received the lightest sanctions.

The abortionists Iris Dominy, Michael Basco, and Mansour Panah, were each involved in Brigham’s Baltimore Associates in OB/GYN Care abortion operation, which, along with three other affiliates, were closed last year by the state due to repeated violations that endangered the safety of women.

Maria Santiago’s Death

Abortionist Iris Dominy told a State inspector that the sedated Santiago had slept throughout her abortion. According to the deficiency report issued after the inspection, Dominy completed the abortion on the sleeping woman, then left the room. An unqualified worker was left alone with the patient. That worker occupied herself with filling out paperwork while the patient remained on the abortion table.

Sometime later, the worker called for a second employee to help her dress the unconscious Santiago and move her to the recovery area. The second worker noticed that Santiago was pale and not breathing. Dominy was notified and returned to the procedure room where she sat the unconscious Santiago up and began a “sternum rub” instead of standard Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation. No one at the clinic, including Dominy, had current CPR certification. A crash cart in the hallway was not used and the defibrillator was broken.

Police report taken at the time of Santiago’s death. Click to view full document.

Operation Rescue recently obtained documents showing that on October 15, 2013, the Maryland Board of Physicians (MDBP) issued only a reprimand to Dominy for negligence that resulted in Santiago’s death. Dominy was placed on probation only until 16 hours of continuing education classes in sedation and monitoring can be taken and verified. Dominy is also prohibited from administering sedation until the Board issues its specific approval, but is otherwise able to continue practicing medicine.

“Considering that Dominy’s negligence cost one woman her life, a simple reprimand is completely inadequate. This just sends the message to abortion abusers that if they kill a woman during an abortion, it’s no big deal,” said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman. “But on the other hand, it is more discipline than LeRoy Carhart received for inflicting a fatal 33-week abortion on Jennifer Morbelli last year in Germantown. It is troubling how the Maryland Board of Physicians seems to shrug off abortion-related deaths as if the lives of these women mean nothing.”

Meanwhile, Dominy’s two associates fared somewhat worse with the MDBP.

Panah’s License Suspended

Mansour Panah served as the Medical Director for Brigham’s now-shuttered Maryland abortion clinics and oversaw patient care. Initially, Panah’s medical license was suspended upon discovery of the dangerous conditions at Associates in OB/GYN Care, but his license was later reinstated. It was only when Panah failed to appear at his disciplinary hearing held on October 25, 2013, that the MDBP determined that the “public health, safety, or welfare imperatively required” that Panah’s license be summarily suspended — for the third time in his career — according to records recently obtained by Operation Rescue.

Basco Barred in Four States

Documents acquired recently by Operation Rescue show that third abortionist, Michael Basco, who also worked for Brigham’s Associates in OB/GYN Care in Maryland, has had his medical licenses suspended in California, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. pending the outcome of charges filed against him by the MDBP in July 2013. Operation Rescue had discovered that Basco was continuing to do abortions in Washington, D.C. after his Maryland license suspension and immediately notified D.C.’s medical board of Basco’s Maryland charges.

Basco’s license in Maryland remains under suspension pending a final disposition of his case. Basco is accused of operating in conditions that violated health and safety standards and for allowing an unlicensed, unqualified worker to administer abortion drugs outside Basco’s presence to a woman he had never seen. After the abortion drugs were administered, Basco discovered the woman was 22 weeks pregnant with twins. Even though her abortion had already started, he refused to continue the procedure and essentially turned her adrift without any plan of action. The woman later submitted to a surgical abortion at another clinic unrelated to Brigham’s abortion business.

“Anything less that total revocation of his medical license is unacceptable and would leave women’s lives at risk,” said Newman.

Ineffectual Reprimand

With the license suspensions of Panah and Basco, it is ironic that the abortionist directly responsible for the death of Maria Santiago, Iris Dominy, remains the only one of Brigham’s former Maryland abortionists that can still practice medicine.

Factor in that late-term abortionist LeRoy Carhart received no discipline whatsoever from the MDBP after his abandonment of Jennifer Morbelli delayed her access to emergency medical care, and it is easy to conclude that killing abortion patients is not a serious matter in Maryland. This does not sit well with Operation Rescue’s Newman.

“It doesn’t make sense that one abortionist who failed to show up for a hearing is considered more of a public threat than abortionists who are responsible for killing women. It sends the wrong message to abortion cartel and lacks any deterrent value,” said Newman. “The Board has created a climate that guarantees more women will die from abortions in Maryland, and that runs counter to the duty of the Board to protect the public – not dangerous abortionists.”

Head of the Snake

Adding to the injustice is the fact that Dominy, Panah and Basco’s employer, Steven Chase Brigham, has completely escaped accountability for his fatal abortion business in Maryland. Since Brigham has never been licensed in Maryland, he is outside the MDBP’s authority to discipline.

In 2010, Brigham was caught operating an illegal, secret late-term abortion clinic in Elkton, Maryland, after a patient nearly died from a perforated uterus and pulled bowel during a late-term abortion that had been illegal started in New Jersey and continued in Maryland. The MDBP issued Brigham a letter ordering him to cease and desist the unlicensed practice of medicine in Maryland. He was later charged with murder after police raided his Elkton clinic and discovered the bodies of 35 late-term aborted babies stored in a blood-soaked freezer. Regrettably, those charges were soon dropped after an expert witness withdrew from the case.

The MDBP did revoke the license of Brigham’s Elkton associate, Nicola Riley, but that decision was not enough to convince her home state of Utah to take similar action. Riley continues to practice in Utah today.

Brigham once held licenses in California, Florida, Georgia, Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey. His New York license was revoked in 1994 after a series of horrifically botched abortions, and he either surrendered the remaining licenses (except in his home state of New Jersey) under threat of revocation or allowed them to expire. In New Jersey, Brigham’s sole remaining medical license remains under suspension. He faces multiple charges related to illegal abortions and deception, having submitted phony malpractice insurance documents to the state when in fact he was operating illegally without insurance.

But it is doubtful that even license revocation would end Brigham’s abortion career or close his clinics.

“Brigham has been able to successfully navigate within shadowy regulatory gaps to keep his shoddy abortion chain open and exploiting vulnerable women even though he no longer holds an active medical license in any state,” said Newman. “He does it through a series of shell companies operated in the names of his relatives. Brigham and the motley crew of abortionists Brigham employs have proven to be the bottom of the barrel, even among abortion providers. There is no way any of his abortion clinics should be allowed to stay open. The fact that they are shows how effectively he is able to manipulate the system, even while under the burden of a mountain of legal troubles.”

While some states are starting to see through Brigham’s scams, he continues to operate a chain of 9 abortion clinics in New Jersey and Virginia. All abortion clinics even remotely related to him were shut down by authorities in Maryland and Pennsylvania. Nearly all the abortionists Brigham has had working for him have their own sordid histories of discipline, as detailed previously by Operation Rescue in an article published in November 2010.

Regulators Fall Short

However, often the reach of regulatory agencies falls short. In those cases, new laws with stiff criminal penalties may be the only solution to protecting the public. Abortionists that have had medical licenses revoked should not be allowed to hold interests in abortion businesses. Abortionists who operate illegally or deceptively should be jailed. Those who injure or kill patients should not be given second, third, and fourth chances. Licenses should be revoked and criminal penalties imposed in order to ensure that more women do not die. Enforcement duties should be turned over to the offices of local criminal prosecutors more often.

“Brigham is the kind of man that never seems to learn his lesson from traditional discipline, except how to avoid getting caught the next time. In a lot of ways, ineffective discipline has only made him sneakier and more dangerous,” said Newman. “He has trained his associates to be just as negligent and crooked as he is. A good long stint in jail for him and his cohorts, such as Dominy, Panah, and Basco, who have engaged in gross abortion abuses resulting in patient injury or death, may be the only way to stop their incompetent and dangerous abortion practices from inflicting more human misery on the world.”

Abortionist Riley Reprimanded While Brigham Draws More Charges for Botched Abortion in Maryland

By Cheryl Sullenger

Salt Lake City, Utah – Abortionist Nicola Riley had been issued a public reprimand and ordered to pay a penalty of $5,000 for unprofessional conduct related to a botched abortion at a secret late-term abortion clinic in Elkton, Maryland, operated by the disgraced abortionist Steven Chase Brigham.

Meanwhile in New Jersey, Brigham has drawn more charges after an interview with the woman who was injured revealed in an interview that she did not sue Brigham for her botched abortion because he did not have the required malpractice insurance. This prompted New Jersey Deputy Attorney General Jeri L. Warhaftig to investigate further. She discovered that the insurance certificate Brigham submitted was for a sham company in the Bahamas that had shut down when the proprietor was convicted of insurance fraud and other crimes. She also found that the receipt he offered as proof of current payment was a fake and that Brigham has not carried the mandatory malpractice insurance since 2006.

In Utah, the Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing (DOPL) issued its final order against Riley on November 25, 2013, after reviewing the final order from Maryland revoking her medical license in that state. Riley was further ordered to “submit an essay describing how she will modify her practice to ensure that any facility in which she practices has an appropriate [emergency] contingency plan.”

DOPL further ordered that the $5,000 penalty be stayed pending the outcome of her Maryland license revocation appeal, which is currently progressing through the system.

Previously, DOPL sanctioned Riley for lying about a previous felony conviction while serving in the military to gain admittance to medical school and licensure in Utah. She was ordered to pay a fine of $10,000 and was restricted from conducting abortions pending the outcome of the Maryland case.

Operation Rescue first discovered Riley’s misrepresentations about her criminal past and obtained her military records through a FOIA request that proved it.

The most recent order makes no mention of restricting her abortion practices, leading to concerns that she may return to the abortion industry.

“I find it shocking that anyone would allow Riley to practice medicine in any form after lying to multiple medical boards, engaging in illegal late-term abortions, nearly killing a woman, then using the worst possible judgment that further delayed emergency care,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue. “I doubt if an essay on the subject of emergency contingencies will do much to protect the public from her brand of quackery.”

In September, 2010, Riley was working for Brigham doing second and third trimester abortions in Elkton. Brigham would illegally induce labor in the women at his headquarters in Voorhees, New Jersey, then would lead a caravan of laboring women down to a secret facility in Elkton, Maryland, where he was training Riley to complete the riskier late-term procedures.

However, Brigham was legally allowed only to abortion up to 14 weeks. To make matters worse, Brigham was never licensed to practice medicine in Maryland.

During an abortion on patient D.B., as she is referred to in legal documents, Riley perforated her uterus and pulled out part of her bowel.

Records state that Riley waited 90 minutes after inflicting the injury before transporting the patient down the block to a nearby hospital via Brigham’s private vehicle. Riley had considered placing the woman, with her bowel hanging out her vagina, into a wheelchair and pushing her down the sidewalk to the hospital ER. She refused to call an ambulance, even though the women’s condition was serious.

Unbelievably, DOPL found nothing wrong with transporting a patient in her precarious condition via private vehicle, noting that “if a patients s [sic] condition is too critical to wait for ambulance service in a rural or remote area, the use of a private car might well be the best option.” (Emphasis added.)

However, Maryland Board of Physicians documents obtained by Operation Rescue show that Brigham’s secret Elkton abortion clinic was only one block away from Union Hospital’s Emergency Room.

After taking the woman to the hospital, Brigham and Riley behaved suspiciously, stating they were from the “secret late-term abortion clinic in town.” Alarmed, the hospital staff notified the police. The patient was transported via Life Flight to Baltimore for emergency surgery to save her life. The surgeon who treated her reported Riley and Brigham to the Maryland Board of Physicians.

Police later raided the Elkton facility and discovered the bodies of 35 late-term babies stored in a blood-smeared freezer. Brigham and Riley were arrested on murder charges in related to the aborted baby remains and extradited to Cecil County, Maryland, where their charges were eventually dropped after an expert witness withdrew from the case.

D.B. eventually sued Riley for malpractice and reached an undisclosed settlement.

Riley’s Maryland medical license was first suspended and later revoked based upon her lies about her criminal past and her unprofessional conduct in delaying emergency care for her botched abortion victim. In addition, Riley was forced to surrender her medical license after the medical board there discovered she had lied on her license application there as well.

Maryland issued a cease and desist order against Brigham, lacking the jurisdiction to take more serious measures due to his lack of Maryland licensure. However, in New Jersey Brigham faces several counts of negligence and unprofessional behavior that could cost him the only medical license he has left. Brigham’s licenses in at least six other states were either revoked or surrendered under threat of revocation.

Brigham has a long history of ignoring or outright breaking the law beginning shortly after he was fist licensed to practice in 1986. He did a stint in jail in 1998 for billing fraud. Just last month, years after Brigham was ordered not to have anything to do with abortion businesses in Pennsylvania, Integrity Family Health abortion clinic ordered to close after it was discovered that it had deceptively concealed ties to him.

Even if Brigham’s license is permanently revoked at a hearing expected sometimes next year, it is doubtful that it would put him out of the abortion business. He continues to operate abortion clinics in New Jersey, Virginia, and Florida with shoddy abortionists who have little better records than he.

“The fact that authorities continue to allow dangerous abortionists like Brigham and Riley to exploit the system is appalling and places the lives of women in continual danger. It is clear both are proven liars and habitual law-breakers. Even the abortion groups who traditionally defend even the most heinous acts of abortionists understand how dangerous Brigham is and have publicly thrown him under the bus. If these groups can see how bad he is, it should be obvious to authorities in every state he is doing business. Pro-life groups in states where Brigham mills operate should be forwarding news articles and documents related to his every misdeed to medical boards and state attorneys general demanding legal action to close his clinics,” said Newman. “Brigham and Riley simply do not respond to traditional forms of discipline. The only way to ensure that they are not out there victimizing people is to lock them up. Somehow, even though Utah has given Riley what amounts to a slap on the wrist, we hope that New Jersey can find a way to put Brigham out of business and behind bars where he belongs.”

Brigham Illegally Opens Abortion Mill in Philadelphia in Defiance State Order

Abortionist Eric Kfir Yahav may be aiding and abetting illegal abortions

By Cheryl Sullenger

Philadelphia, PA – Operating just slightly below the radar, the notorious scofflaw New Jersey abortionist Steven Chase Brigham, has opened an abortion clinic in Philadelphia despite having been ordered by the state never to do so.

The new abortion clinic, Integrity Family Health, located at 9622 Bustleton Avenue in Philadelphia, was discovered by the staff of another area abortion clinic when a patient mentioned it to them. During a quick Internet search, they discovered the connections to Brigham and reported the clinic to the authorities, who are now investigating it.

Operation Rescue has conducted its own preliminary investigation of Integrity Family Health and has confirmed connections to Brigham through the abortionist who is working there.

An appointment was made at Integrity Family Health by an undercover operative working with Operation Rescue, who discovered that an abortionist named Eric Kfir Yahav is employed by the clinic and is doing abortions there. Because Brigham is banned from having any interest in abortion clinics in Pennsylvania, Yahav may be aiding and abetting in the commission of illegal abortions.

However, Operation Rescue was still easily able to connect Yahav with Brigham. Yahav is licensed in Pennsylvania and in New Jersey, where Brigham runs his flagship American Women’s Services chain. A website, Vitals.com, lists Yahav’s availability at 17 locations, including six of Brigham’s New Jersey abortion clinics located in Voorhees, Elizabeth, Englewood, Phillipsburg, Toms River, and Woodbridge.

“Brigham is incorrigible. He has the arrogant attitude that he is above the law. This makes him a public menace and those who work for him, like Yahav, we consider as full accomplices in Brigham’s deceptive and illegal practices,” said Troy Newman. President of Operation Rescue, which has long worked to expose Brigham’s abortion abuses.

A patient review on Vitals.com gave insight to the kind of man Yahav might be. A “1st time pregnant” patient noted on November 15, 2010 that Yahav “made me feel uncomfortable and inappropriate.” She wrote that he “Made jokes at my expense and treated as if I didn’t get it. Kind creepy. My husband said ‘pervert.’”

Brigham has a history of hiring abortionists who could be considered the “bottom of the barrel” of the medical profession. Read Operation Rescue’s exposé on them.

As is his custom, Brigham, has attempted to conceal his involvement in the Philadelphia abortion business and has learned his lesson from past lapses in that cloak of secrecy. For instance, the Integrity Family Health clinic is not listed on his American Women’s Services website as other dubious clinics have been in the past. Two Pennsylvania locations that are currently listed deceptively note that his clinics in Allentown and Pittsburgh are “temporarily closed.” In fact, both were permanently closed by the state in April 2013. The Allentown location has been taken over by CareNet and is now a pro-life office saving babies from abortion.

However, a call to the 800 number on the American Women’s Services website placed by another Operation Rescue investigator revealed that his “call center” was indeed scheduling abortion appointments for Integrity Family Health in Philadelphia.

Brigham’s Pennsylvania medical license is inactive and cannot be renewed. In July, 2010, Brigham was banned by the State of Pennsylvania from operating or controlling any abortion clinics in that state citing violations that endangered the public. Brigham circumvented the order by transferring ownership of his clinics from a company called “Integrity Health LLC” to Rose Health Services, a company said to be owned by Brigham’s mother, and continued advertising the clinics as part of his AWS chain before his final two abortion clinics were closed for good earlier this year.

Earlier this year, his three Maryland abortion clinics, also owned by “Integrity Health LLC” were also closed by that state after the discovery of the death of patient Maria Santiago, multiple health and safety violations, and the oral administration of an IV drug.

As further evidence of cloaking his connections under the “Integrity” banner, Operation Rescue obtained documents that showed he has used the name “Integrity Medical Care, LLC” for an abortion business registered in Pensacola, Florida, under his wife’s name. That abortion business is now defunct.

In December, 2010, Brigham and his associate, Nicola Riley, were arrested and jailed on murder charges after police discovered the bodies of 35 late-term babies inside a bloody freezer at a secret abortion clinic Brigham was operating in Elkton, Maryland. Police had responded to a call from a local hospital were Brigham, who had no Maryland medical license, and Riley took a patient with a severely botched late-term abortion. Brigham’s only remaining medical license in New Jersey is under suspension and in the process of being revoked over that incident. Murder charges were later dropped after an expert witness pulled out of the case.

“We will be sure to notify the Pennsylvania Medical Board of Yahav’s involvement in Brigham’s illegal Philadelphia abortion operation. Perhaps he will be more amenable to Board discipline than his boss and will leave the abortion industry of good,” said Newman. “The reality is that Brigham has long proven that laws mean nothing to him and he is immune from traditional regulatory discipline. A person like him belongs behind bars. That’s the only way to protect women from his particular brand of quackery lest they end up like Maria Santiago.”

View Brigham’s profile at AbortionDocs.org
View Yahav’s profile at AbortionDocs.org
View Integrity Family Health’s profile at AbortionDocs.org