Virginia Excuses Troubled Brigham Abortion Mill, 6 Others from Meeting Safety Laws

By Cheryl Sullenger

Virginia Beach, VA – A troubled abortion facility whose owner is so disreputable that even the head of the National Abortion Federation thinks he should be shut down, has been granted a variance by the Virginia Health Department allowing it to avoid compliance with new minimum facility safety standards.

In fact, the owner of Virginia Women’s Wellness, the notorious New Jersey abortionist Steven Chase Brigham, lost his last medical license last week when the New Jersey Board of Medical Examiners voted to revoke his license due to a pattern of deception and dangerous, abusive practices that have characterized his 30-year abortion career.

Now, because New Jersey does not allow unlicensed practitioners to operate medical facilities, Brigham has 90 days to divest himself of ownership in the eight abortion facilities he operates in New Jersey or shut them down.

Brigham was previously ordered never again have anything to do with abortion facilities in Pennsylvania after he continued to operate substandard facilities long after that that state revoked his medical license. Last year, the state of Maryland shut down his four abortion offices in that state after discovering a slew of violations that endangered patients, including the death of Maria Santiago at his seedy abortion mill that was run out of a residential condo complex. Brigham’s New York medical license was revoked in 1994 and Florida followed suit in 1996.

“If Brigham is unfit to operate abortion facilities in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, and Maryland, he certainly isn’t fit to operate in Virginia or any other state,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue, which has worked for over ten years to expose Brigham’s abortion abuses and bring him to justice. “Yet, Virginia’s current radical pro-abortion administration is not only allowing Brigham’s two abortion clinics stay open in that state, but has issued one of them a variance that excuses it from complying with minimum safety standards. It’s just unbelievable that state authorities could be that irresponsible with women’s lives.”

All this comes as Virginia pro-life groups are expressing outrage over a letter from Attorney General Mark R. Herring to Dr. Marissa J. Levine, commissioner of the Virginia Department of Health, stating the opinion that abortion facilities need not report suspected sexual abuse to child welfare or law enforcement officials when girls as young as 13 are brought to the clinics for abortions.

In addition to undermining reporting laws that once offered a layer of safety to underage girls who are the subjects of abuse, Levine has been busy undermining safety rules put in place at abortion facilities that were meant to protect women from substandard and dangerous abortion practices.

On August 1, Levine issued the variances to Brigham’s Virginia Women’s Wellness and six other abortion businesses, exempting them from compliance with facility requirements that include having hallways wide enough to accommodate gurneys in the very likely event of a medical emergency. The clinics – none of which possess stellar safety records – have until April 30, 2015, to comply.

During each of the three inspections conducted at that facility since May, 2012, numerous health and safety violations were repeatedly discovered. In fact, during the most recent licensing inspection conducted at Virginia Women’s Wellness on March 19, 2014, 33 pages of violations were discovered – many of which were repeat offenses.

Violations found at Brigham’s Virginia Women’s Wellness include:

• Failure to disclose facility ownership.
• Failure to conduct criminal background checks on employees.
• Failure to provide patients with contact information where complaints may be filed.
• Improper handling and cleaning/sterilizing of dirty surgical equipment.
• Failure to change gloves between handling a “dirty” suction machine jar containing bloody aborted baby remains and handling a clean one.
• Four out of five recovery room recliners were noticeably dirty and broken.
• Tears were found in patient examination tables.
• Failure to properly maintain patient monitoring equipment.
• Failure to follow manufacturer’s instructions for administration of controlled substances.
• Failure to ensure that injectable drugs were mixed and labeled in accordance with regulations.
• Failure to develop a required quality assurance program.
• In 13 of 13 abortion records inspected, all patient records failed to note specific drugs administered in the local anesthetic.
• Shoddy record-keeping is multiple areas.
• Failure to track complaints.
• Leaky ceiling and hallway strewn with trash.
• Water damage and mold in the walls.
• Failure to provide patients with prescription pain medications.
• Improper infection control practices.
• Lack of glove-wearing.
• General dirt in the procedure rooms.
• Improper drug handling.
• No written discharge criteria.
• Tears on the procedure table.

“It makes no sense whatsoever to allow a facility whose safety deficiencies are actually endangering women to be further excused from upgrading their facility to meet minimum safety standards. But we are not talking about common sense. We are talking about abortion politics, and that accounts for the lack of concern for the lives and health of women,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue.

Virginia’s Gov. Terry McAlliuff, a Democrat with a radical pro-abortion agenda for whom Levine works, has vowed to repeal Virginia’s abortion clinic standards – a move that will keep the likes of Steven Brigham and other dangerous abortion providers in business despite the deplorable conditions and shoddy practices.

In fact, Virginia’s Department of Health has recently added to their website guidelines that encourage and assist abortion facilities in applying for variances.

“McAlliuff has created a political climate that protects abortion businesses even if they are proven to hurt women. This is the same kind of political obstructionism that was strongly denounced in a scathing Philadelphia grand jury report as having allowed now-convicted murder Kermit Gosnell to flourish at his Philadelphia ‘House of Horrors.’ These people will protect abortion businesses at any cost, including women’s lives,” said Newman.

Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams recommended that employees that ignored complaints and horrific conditions at Gosnell’s abortion facility should be fired. Not having learned from tragedy in Pennsylvania, Virginia authorities are now engaged in covering up for their troubled abortionists.

But Virginia authorities cannot plead ignorance. Dangerous conditions at Virginia abortion facilities are well known. The six other clinics that have been granted variances are little better than Brigham’s seedy operation.

When A Capital Women’s Health was last inspected in July, 2012, 16 pages of violations were discovered, including workers who neglected to wash their hands. [Variance]

Amethyst Health Center for Women was inspected in June and December of 2012, where a total of 30 pages of deficiencies were found, including serious infection control violations that went uncorrected for months. [Variance]

The Falls Church Center of PPMW was last inspected in June 2012. Inspectors discovered a poorly maintained office and 10 pages of violations, including torn abortion tables that made sanitation between patients impossible. [Variance]

During two inspections of the Richmond Center for Women, conducted in May 2012 and March 2013, a total of 39 pages of violations were recorded, including dried blood on rusty abortion tables and recovery room recliners. [Variance]

Peninsula Medical Center for Women was last inspected in May, 2012, during which 31 pages of violations were discovered, including a dangerously ill-maintained suction machine used every day for abortions. [Variance]

Roanoke Medical Center for Women was inspected in July 2012, and in February and March of 2013. Sixty-six total pages of deficiencies were discovered, including cross contamination violations and the inability to disinfect items between patients. [Variance]

More abortion clinics have applied for variances, including Brigham’s Virginia Health Group in Fairfax.

A full eye-opening report on Virginia facilities that have sought variances was published by Operation Rescue on September 16, 2014, showed a shocking lack of compliance and a disturbing unwillingness to correct violations.

“Commissioner Levine has displayed scandalously bad judgment by issuing variances to Virginia abortion facilities that all have a record of substandard and dangerous conditions and practices,” said Newman. “We urge the public to speak out and demand that abortion facilities in Virginia comply with the safety laws as written before some unfortunate woman ends up on a slab in the morgue.”

TAKE ACTION!

Please contact Levine’s Director of the Office of Licensure and Certification and demand that variances issued to Virginia abortion facilities be rescinded immediately in the interest of public safety.

Erik Bodin
Office of Licensure and Certification
Voice: 804-367-2102
E-mail: Erik.Bodin@vdh.virginia.gov

Worst Abortionist in America’s Disciplinary Decision Could Take Days

UPDATE: This evening the New Jersey Board of Physicians officially revoked Steven Chase Brigham’s medical license and ordered him to pay fines totaling $150,000. He could be ordered later to pay an estimated $500,000 in court costs. More details coming soon.

By Cheryl Sullenger

Trenton, NJ – After Kermit Gosnell, he’s been called the “worst abortionist in America.”

This morning, the notorious New Jersey abortionist Steven Chase Brigham faced the New Jersey State Board of Medical Examiners at a hearing that will eventually decide whether or not his last remaining medical license will be revoked.

A woman answering the phone at the Board’s offices today told Operation Rescue that it could take “a few days” for the Board to come to a decision after today’s hearing.

“Given this man’s horrific track record, anything less than revocation is unthinkable, and would only continue to put the lives of women in jeopardy,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue.

Brigham has been accused of practicing medicine without a license in Maryland during a bi-state late-term abortion scheme he ran to avoid abortion limits in his home state of New Jersey. His nefarious practices were discovered in 2010 when he and his associate, abortionist Nicola Riley, severely botched a late-term abortion on an 18-year old patient, rupturing her uterus and pulling out part of her bowel. The majority of the baby’s body was thrust into the patient’s abdominal cavity. Brigham drove the injured patient to a nearby hospital emergency room, where his suspicious behavior prompted hospital staff to call the police.

The patient was air-lifted to a Baltimore hospital where emergency surgery was required to save her life.

Police raided Brigham’s clandestine Elkton, Maryland, abortion facility and discovered the remains of over 30 late-term babies stored in a bloody freezer. In December, 2010, Brigham and Riley were arrested and charged with murder in the deaths of 11 babies who were killed during illegal abortions. Those charges were later dropped after an expert witness for the prosecution withdrew from the case.

Nicola Riley’s Maryland medical license was revoked last year citing fraudulent and deceptive behavior.

Last October, Administrative Judge Jeff Masin heard testimony in Brigham’s disciplinary case and recommended in August that Brigham should have his last remaining medical license revoked and pay a fine of $30,000 along with other costs. Masin ruled that Brigham had engaged in a pattern of deception, engaged in illegal late-term abortions, and operated in Maryland without being licensed in that state.

Brigham has battled legal issues throughout his entire career, having had his licenses revoked in New York and Florida. He surrendered this Pennsylvania license under pressure and was ordered to never hold ownership of an abortion facility in that state again – an order he violated last year by opening an abortion facility in Philadelphia, which was soon closed by the state after pro-life activists complained.

Brigham’s abortion facilities in Maryland were also closed by the state after dangerous practices were repeatedly found, including a patient death at one of his offices he ran out of a residential condominium complex.

Despite the orders, Brigham continues to troll for abortion customers in those states. The phones for his defunct clinics still ring into his American Women’s Services central appointment line.

According to New Jersey law, unlicensed practitioners are not allowed to hold ownership in medical facilities in that state, so if Brigham’s license is finally revoked, he should be ordered to shut down his eight abortion offices in New Jersey.
It is believed that Brigham currently operates 17 abortion facilities in at least four states. Because he has been run out of one state after another, he has taken to the practice of attempting to conceal his ownership of abortion centers, five of which are so far under the radar that their whereabouts are currently unknown.

Whatever the New Jersey Board decides, it is not expected to affect the remaining abortion facilities he continues to own in Virginia, Delaware, and Florida.

“Steven Brigham is the kind of man that is not affected by traditional discipline. We strongly believe that jailing him is the only way to stop him from operating illegally and secretly, as he has done his entire career,” said Newman. “However, license revocation will ensure that he cannot ever practice again, and if he does, his old jail cell awaits him.”

Read the heavily documented story, “Botched Abortion Nightmare” to learn more about Brigham.

License Revocation Recommended for Brigham; Could Close 8 NJ Abortion Centers

Brigham’s nine other abortion facilities in Virginia, Florida, and a new one just uncovered in Delaware would not be affected by revocation of his medical license

By Cheryl Sullenger

Voorhees, NJ – Administrative Law Judge Jeff Masin has recommended that the notorious abortionist Steven Chase Brigham should have his last remaining medical license revoked and pay a fine of $30,000 along with other costs after hearing evidence that Brigham engaged in a pattern of deception, engaged in illegal late-term abortions, and operated in Maryland without being licensed in that state.

“A measure of justice may finally be coming to Brigham, who has learned from over 30 years of legal trouble very creative ways to circumvent laws that are meant to protect women from scofflaws of his ilk,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue. “It is our position, however, that Brigham is a habitual offender whose behavior cannot be amended through traditional discipline. We believe the only way to stop him from victimizing more women and their babies is to put him in prison. Until then, he will continue to find ways to run amok over the lives and health of women in other states.”

Judge Masin stated in his 86-page decision, “He has suffered license revocations. He has run afoul of the licensing authorities in New York, Pennsylvania and Florida. He has a conviction for failure to file income taxes. And here, he has demonstrated a willingness to play fast and loose with the law in Maryland.”

Masin when on to say, “. . .However, it seems that Dr. Brigham has finally cut enough corners.”

The final decision will be made by the New Jersey Board of Physicians. If they vote to revoke Brigham’s license as recommended, he would be forced to shut down his eight New Jersey abortion facilities operating under the American Women’s Services banner since New Jersey law requires that only licensed providers can operate medical clinics.

However, Brigham’s nine other abortion facilities in Virginia, Florida, and most recently in Delaware would not be affected by revocation of his New Jersey medical license because they allow non-licensees to own abortion facilities.

Brigham sets up in Delaware

Operation Rescue confirmed this week that Brigham is secretly attempting to expand his abortion chain and recently opened an abortion facility in Wilmington, Delaware, called Premiere Ob/Gyn. A receptionist answering calls at that facility told an under-cover caller from Operation Rescue that it is part of a 17-clinic chain that included Brigham’s well-known New Jersey facilities.

Operation Rescue also suspects that he could be operating other illicit abortion facilities in other states and is concealing his ownership from authorities, as he is doing in Delaware, and attempted to do last year in Pennsylvania.

“Brigham’s secret expansion of his substandard, seedy abortion business must be stopped. It is up to the authorities in each state to take steps to shut him down in order to protect the public from his unscrupulous, corners-cutting operation that endangers the lives of women,” said Newman.

Horrific botched abortion draws police attention

The New Jersey disciplinary case stems from a 2010 incident that involved a bi-state scheme to conduct late-term abortions. Brigham’s New Jersey facilities were legally limited to abortions under 14 weeks. New Jersey law does allow for later abortions as long as they are done in a hospital setting, but Brigham holds no hospital privileges.

Instead, he concocted an elaborate bi-state abortion scheme to circumvent New Jersey abortion laws.

Brigham’s scheme involved initiating late-term abortions at his flagship abortion center in Voorhees, New Jersey. He would later caravan his abortion patients if full labor to Elkton, Maryland, where the abortions would be completed. Brigham held no medical license in Maryland.

Brigham’s scheme became public after he and his associate, Utah abortionist Nicola Riley, botched a late-term abortion so badly on an 18-year old patient at an under-the-radar abortion facility in Elkton, Maryland, that she required emergency surgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore to save her life. Due to the suspicious behavior of Brigham and Riley when they delivered the injured woman to the emergency room, physicians in Elkton and her surgeon on Baltimore reported the incident to the police and medical board respectively.

Brigham’s Elkton facility was raided by police, who discovered a blood-smeared freezer that contained the bodies of 35 late-term babies. Brigham and Riley were arrested and charged with murder, but the charges were later dropped after an expert witness that would have testified that the babies died in Maryland dropped out of the case.

Dispute over illegal abortion jurisdiction

The prosecution argued that because drugs were administered in New Jersey that caused fetal demise of babies well beyond the legal limit, that Brigham was engaged in illegal late-term abortions in that state. However, the judge did not agree and said that the abortions were illegal because the surgical portion of the abortion was done in Maryland where Brigham was not licensed.

“Victim” status

Brigham has battled legal issues throughout his entire career, having had his licenses revoked in New York and Florida. He surrendered this Pennsylvania license under pressure and was ordered to never again hold ownership of an abortion facility in that state again – an order he violated last year by opening an abortion facility in Philadelphia, which was soon closed by the state after pro-life activists complained.

Brigham continually argued that he was the victim of anti-abortion persecution, however, Deputy Attorney General Jeri Waraftig, who prosecuted Brigham twice in her career, noted in legal papers that, “His desire to create a [victim] persona . . . has blinded him to his lack of qualifications.”

“Brigham’s own pattern of dishonesty, deception, and incompetence have been the true source of all his problems. His refusal to take responsibility for his actions proves that he will continue to pose a danger to the public as long as he is allowed to participate in any way in the abortion business. We appreciate the steps New Jersey prosecutors have taken to put an end to his horrific practices, however, like a cockroach that runs for cover at the switching on of a light, Brigham will only scurry off to the next jurisdiction and continue to defy the law. I recommend that prosecutors find a way to criminally charge him, or his reign of mayhem will never end.”