Operation Rescue’s investigation reveals Brigham’s AWS abortion chain is a haven for rapist, other criminals
by Cheryl Sullenger, Senior Policy Advisor for Operation Rescue
Voorhees, New Jersey – Operation Rescue has conducted an investigation of the American Women’s Services (AWS) abortion chain operated by the notorious Steven Chase Brigham and discovered that abortionists who are working to keep AWS open during Brigham’s medical license suspension have shocking backgrounds that include criminal convictions and other problems. This information has led Operation Rescue to believe that the entire AWS chain is fraught with problems and should be shut down to protect the public.
“Brighham’s abortion business is a haven for the bottom of the barrel criminals and quacks masquerading as medical doctors, and that’s just the unvarnished truth,” said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman. “We have reviewed hundreds of pages of disciplinary documents. Every medical misfit on the east coast that has run out of options seems to have found a welcome home in Brigham’s abortion organization.”
Abortionists who continue to work for Brigham include:
• An admitted sex offender and drug abuser
• Two convicted drug violators
• A convicted income tax cheat who once paid out $3.5 million in a malpractice suit.
• An abortionist convicted of billing fraud
• Several abortionists that cannot get hospital privileges
Brigham was caught operating an illegal late-term abortion ring in August, when one of his patients suffered a seriously botched abortion at a secret abortion clinic in Elkton, Maryland, that required she be airlifted to John Hopkins Medical Center in Baltimore for emergency surgery to save her life. The abortions were started illegally in New Jersey by Brigham and finished in Maryland where Brigham holds no medical license. Other abortionists involved in Brigham’s operation, Nicola Riley of Utah and George Shepard, Jr. of Delaware, had their Maryland medical licenses suspended. (Background documentation)
Four Maryland abortion mills closed
According to his web site, Brigham continues to operate 15 abortion mills in four states even though his only remaining medical license has been suspended by the State of New Jersey.
However, an investigation by Operation Rescue into Brigham’s infamous American’s Women’s Services abortion chain has revealed that five of Brigham’s listed abortion mills are now closed, including all three of his listed Maryland offices. In addition, the off-the-radar Elkton mill, where police discovered the remains of 35 late-term aborted babies in a freezer, was closed immediately by the authorities in August. Brigham’s Cheverly abortion mill closed and moved out of its office sometime in September. The Baltimore and Frederic clinics are “not taking appointments at this time” and appear to have closed, at least for now.
“Even though these clinics remain closed, phone numbers in those locations still ring in to a central office. Women are led to believe that abortion services are available locally, when they are not. Patients are then shuttled to other clinics controlled by Brigham,” said Newman. “It is a way to draw in abortion customers from areas they no longer service. Is it dishonest? Of course it is, but dishonesty and deception are traits that have characterized Brigham’s career.”
In its October 13, 2010, ruling suspending Brigham’s medical license, the New Jersey Board of Medical Examiners recognized this pattern of deception when it stated, “Dr. Brigham has consistently and repetitively engaged in manipulative and deceptive behavior designed to circumvent the requirements of the board’s termination of pregnancy regulation and to eviscerate the protections that those regulations seek to afford to New Jersey patients.”
“We have a message for the authorities in Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Virginia: For the love of God, please close these abortion clinics!” said Newman. “As relieved as we were by the suspensions and clinic closures, the authorities really need to do more and close AWS down permanently. We knew that the suspensions would not alleviate the danger posed to the public by Brigham’s abortion mills that remain in operation right now, but what we discovered about Brigham’s current abortion staff was worse than we had imagined.”
Regec’s criminal past
In Pennsylvania, two offices in Erie and State College listed on Brigham’s ASW web site have long been closed. Brigham holds no medical license in Pennsylvania since he was forced to surrender it under a cloud of accusations in 1992. However, Operation Rescue has confirmed that two abortion clinics listed on Brigham’s web site located in Allentown and Pittsburgh, are now open for business and taking patients.
Abortionist Steven Paul Regec worked for Brigham in Pennsylvania, but significantly cut back his schedule in 2007, when he applied for licensure in South Carolina and apparently relocated there. According to local pro-life groups, that led to the closure of the State College and Erie clinics. However Regec continued to operate sporadically in Allentown. Operation Rescue has confirmed that Regec actively refers to the AWS offices in Pennsylvania from his other practices. Operation Rescue’s undercover investigators were told that Regec “may or may not” be doing abortions at the Allentown clinic.
“Usually when an abortionist doesn’t work at an office, the receptionists have no problem telling callers that. It is only when they are trying to hide something that we get the ‘may or may not’ kind of answers,” said Newman. “There is obviously something to hide.”
That something may include Regec’s criminal background.
Regec, plead guilty in 1991 to three misdemeanors: one violation of the Controlled Substance Act; and two violations of Refusal or Failure to Keep or Furnish Records. As a result, Regec’s license was suspended for four months; he paid a $10,000 fine, and served two years’ probation.
Interestingly, Regec’s South Carolina medical licensing information states that Regec has no history of holding a medical license in any other state. Operation Rescue has forwarded information about Regec’s nefarious criminal deeds and medical board discipline in Pennsylvania to the authorities in South Carolina.
In July, 2010, the Pennsylvania Department of Health told Brigham that he could no longer operate abortion clinics in Pennsylvania. Brigham then simply transferred ownership to another corporation, Rose Health Services, which is owned by an elderly woman he knew in Ohio, and the clinics continued operations without interruption.
Abortionist Richard Efram Gordon continued working at the Allentown clinic when Brigham transferred ownership. It is thought that Brigham still maintains under-the-radar connections with the Allentown and Pittsburgh mills, even though he has been banned from owning or controlling abortion clinics in Pennsylvania. For Gordon to go along with that obviously deceptive relationship shows a level of dishonesty that makes him a danger to the public.
“There is no doubt that Brigham maintains some level of involvement in the Pennsylvania clinics,” said Newman. “He has learned well over the years how to exploit the system to continue his otherwise illegal operations. All the while, women are placed in serious jeopardy from his hired abortionists whose appalling records beg the question of why they are still allowed to continue practicing.”
With the closures in Maryland and the reorganization of the Pennsylvania clinics, Brigham continues to openly and directly operate six abortion clinics in New Jersey and two in Virginia. Operation Rescue has uncovered documents that show the abortionists who work at them could well serve as inspiration for a Hollywood Halloween horror flick.
Convicted felon Gellman and his $3.5 million mistake
Abortionist Elliot Gellman currently works for Brigham at four of his New Jersey abortion clinics in Voorhees, Elizabeth, Woodbridge, and Paramus. Like Brigham, he operates dangerously without hospital privileges anywhere.
In 2002, Gellman was convicted of felony counts for repeatedly failing to file personal income taxes in New York and sentenced to three years of “conditional discharge.” As a result, his New York license was placed on probation for three years with a fine of $10,000. In 2009, Gellman was ordered by New York “never practice medicine in New York State…activate his registration…or seek to reapply for a license.”
But Gellman’s legal troubles were not confined to New York. In New Jersey, he served three years probation on his medical license for the New York income tax fraud case.
He also paid out a hefty $3.5 million settlement in August, 2006, in a malpractice case against him, according to the New Jersey Medical Board.
“Cases don’t settle for three and a half million dollars if something very serious didn’t happen. This is an indication that Gellman is a dangerous doctor with a criminal history that continues to prey on unsuspecting women,” said Newman. “His dishonesty and incompetence are incompatible with the practice of medicine where trust is everything. Gellman continues to pose a serious danger to the public.”
Convict Aalai bilks Medicaid
Abortionist Mehrdad Aalai seems to have been one of the primary abortionists in Baltimore and Cheverly, Maryland, when those clinics were in operation. It is unclear at which AWS facilities he is currently operating. He has no hospital privileges anywhere.
In October 13, 1993, Aalai was charged in Maryland with one criminal count each of Medicaid fraud, theft over $500, knowingly destroying, damaging or altering medical records, and obstruction of justice. In his defense, Aalai arrogantly argued that his fraudulent Medicaid billing did not constitute a crime of moral turpitude.
Aalai eventually pled guilty and was sentenced to three years of incarceration, which was suspended on the condition that he pay a $10,000 fine, $142,570 in restitution, and successfully serve three years of unsupervised probation. It was a slap on the wrist.
In 1994, Aalai’s Maryland medical license was revoked.
In 1996, Aalai petitioned to have his Maryland medical license reinstated. His request was granted. In 1997, his probation was terminated. However Aalai continues to be listed as a “sanctioned provider” who is barred from participating in Maryland’s Medicaid program.
No hospital will have Denis
Abortionist Frantz Denis works for Brigham at his Voorhees and Elisabeth, New Jersey locations. He maintains a medical license in New York and is listed as a certified interpreter for the Haitian Creole language. Denis also operates, like Brigham, without any hospital privileges.
Peters violates drug laws
Abortionist David Reid Peters works for Brigham at his Virginia Beach, Virginia, location.
In 2001, abortionist Peters was charged by the Virginia Board of Medicine for prescribing drugs “outside of a bona fide practitioner-patient relationship, as required by law.” He further “authorized the prescriptions without obtaining a medical or drug history, performing a comprehensive physical examination, providing information about the benefits and risks…and without initiating additional interventions and follow-up care.”
It took the Board six years to reprimand Peters for his shoddy doctoring and required that he complete continuing education courses related to the prescribing of drugs.
But Brigham’s next abortionist makes all others look like choirboys.
Sex Offender Kaji
Abortionist Vikram Hiralal Kaji continues to work for Brigham at his Voorhees and Woodbridge, New Jersey, abortion mills. He has no hospital privileges.
Kaji was convicted by the New Jersey Board of Medical Examiners in 1993 for having improper sexual contact with three patients. After a lengthy relationship that involved improper sexual conduct, Kaji reportedly had sex without a condom with one young girl in the birthing center of his office during business hours. He knew his victim was vulnerable to his advances because she had been a depressed victim of child sex abuse with a history of psychiatric hospitalization. He later misperscribed drugs for her including Seconal and steroids. Kaji at first fought the charges, saying the sex was consensual, but later admitted that he had made an error in moral judgment.
Kaji was also accused of giving improper breast and rectal exams to two other women. New Jersey placed Kaji on a 1-year suspension and fined him $5,000 and ordered him to undergo psychological counseling.
The Federal Drug Enforcement Agency ordered Kaji’s license to prescribe controlled substances revoked in 1994. Also that year, Pennsylvania suspended Kaji for 36 months after learning of the New Jersey action.
The New York Medical Board was less forgiving. It revoked Kaji’s medical license for “sexual misconduct and drug abuse” in 1995, and banned him from practicing in that state.
In 2005, Marcia Carroll, the mother of one of Kaji’s underage patients, testified before the United States House of Representatives (see p. 17) regarding her daughter’s February, 2005, experience at Kaji’s New Jersey clinic. Carroll state that her daughter was “coerced, harassed and threatened” into having an abortion across state lines, in direct violation of parental consent laws, and the clinic staff never breathed a word about Kaji’s long history of sexual abuse. On the way home to Pennsylvania the 15-year-old started to cry, and she still cries herself to sleep at night. Carroll said her daughter “does suffer. She had to go to counseling for this….But she did want me to come here today and speak on her behalf. [emphasis in original] She asked me to come here for her sake and for other girls’ safety.”
In fact, it would be hard for New Jersey patients to be aware of Kaji’s history of sexual abuse since the Board’s physician look-up page excludes any derogatory information older than ten years. A search of Kaji’s New Jersey license remarkably reveals no record of discipline.
“There is no doubt in my mind that Kaji will reoffend,” said Newman. “We have seen sex offenders such as Laurence Reich, Lawson Akpulonu, Brian Finkel, and others use abortion clinics in a predatory way to access victims for abuse sometimes even after they have been caught and charged. Allowing Kaji to continue to practice is like putting a fox in the hen house. It is unconscionable and guarenteed to lead to continued abuse.”
Kaji curiously made headlines in 1989, when he offered pro-life protesters a room in his abortion clinic where they could talk to patients about their abortion decisions. However, after one visit, pro-lifers were banned from his clinic when they enraged him by showing a patient images of aborted babies and taking the woman, who changed her mind about the abortion, to a local pregnancy help center.
Why are these mills still open?
These clinics continue to operate for several reasons:
• Brigham has become adept over the years at using deception and legal loopholes to skirt the law.
• Brigham operates in four states, making is easier for his to evade laws in more restrictive states and the closing of the entire abortion chain legally difficult and complicated.
• People are generally unaware of the horrific backgrounds of the shoddy abortionists who are working at AWS, so there has been limited public outcry – until now.
• In this economic downturn, pro-life groups lack the resources needed to push this issue into the public eye and make a prosecution more probable.
Operation Rescue is committed to pursuing legal action against this dangerous chain of abortion mills in all four states in which it operates. The key to closing the chain lies in obtaining criminal charges that will put Brigham in jail for an extended period of time. Operation Rescue has reported extensively about Brigham’s accusations that he was practicing medicine without a license in Maryland and operating a secret late-term abortion mill where a botched abortion nearly cost one woman her life. We have worked with other Maryland groups to press for criminal charges against Brigham in this illegal late-term abortion scheme.
What you can do to protect women and babies from AWS abortionists
The State Attorney who would have jursdictional control over a criminal prosecution in Maryland has been non-responsive to calls for criminal charges. The good news is that he was handily defeated in November’s election. His replacement, Ellis Rollins, III, has indicated that he would will look at the case and enforce the law appropriately. Operation Rescue will be asking the public to contact the newly elected State Attorney as soon as he is sworn in to encourage him to pursue criminal charges against Brigham. With Brigham convicted and jailed, that may cause the rest of his operation to collapse. (Please sign up to receive e-mail alerts from Operation Rescue to be notified.)
Secondly, this project is huge and expensive because it requires our staff to operate in several states. Please consider making a donation to Operation Rescue today ensure we have the resources we need to continue our investigations and press for criminal charges.
Finally, please pray that Brigham will be held accountable under the law and that his chain of seedy abortion mills will permanently close.