Calls needed to urge Health Department to enforce closure order
Allentown, PA – An abortionist whose state medical license was surrendered in 1992 has been ordered by the Pennsylvania Department of Health (PDH) to close his four abortion clinics that are currently operating in that state.
Operation Rescue has confirmed that the abortion clinics have indeed snubbed the Health Department order and remain open and taking patients – a move that could endanger the safety of women.
The Department of Health ordered troubled abortionist Steven Chase Brigham to close his clinics that operate under the banner of American Medical Associates. The clinics are located in Allentown, Erie, Pittsburgh, and State College. Even though he has not been licensed in Pennsylvania since 1992, he continues to control the clinics there.
The clinics were ordered to close after Health Department officials determined that they repeatedly and intentionally hired unlicensed abortionists and clinic workers, in violation of Pennsylvania law.
"Brigham isn't the only abortionist who maintains the practice of hiring unlicensed workers. Based on our research into the shoddy practices of the abortion cartel, few of them actually have the proper staffing with the proper credentials. The practice is epidemic and puts the lives of women in grave danger," said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman. "Brigham is just one who has been caught."
Currently there is some confusion over whether the PDH can actually close Brigham's Pennsylvania abortion clinics, and what the next steps are in the event that the order is enforced.
Brigham had transferred ownership of the clinics to an elderly woman in Ohio in order to avoid the closures. However, Robert Torres, Deputy Secretary at the Department of Health ruled that any transfer of permission to run the abortion clinics "would be void."
A Philadelphia Inquirer story published July 21, 2010, indicated that Brigham, who operates 15 abortion clinics in four states, could be forced to close all of his clinics due to an IRS tax lien for failure to pay payroll taxes totaling $234,536 between 2002 and 2006. Requests for collection of the unpaid taxes have been ignored.
Brigham has been on the wrong side of the law throughout his entire 24-year career. He voluntarily retired his medical license in Pennsylvania while under investigation just six years after graduating from Columbia University's College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1986. Since then four other states have barred him from practicing medicine including New York, California, Florida, and Georgia. He served 120 days in jail in 1998 for Medicaid fraud.
Brigham lost his New York license after lacerating the cervix, uterine artery and uterus of a 20-year old patient and taking hours to realize it. The patient eventually suffered an emergency hysterectomy in what the Heath Department described as a 'life-threatening' incident in which Brigham did not seem to understand the severity of the situation.
A New Jersey judge ordered Brigham to stop advertising his abortions as "painless" and "safe."
Even the National Abortion Federation had thrown Brigham under the bus, issuing a statement agreeing with the Pennsylvania order to close his clinics.
"When the NAF won't have you, you know it's bad, since the NAF runs some of the nastiest, most dangerous abortion clinics in the country," said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman. OR's national headquarters is housed in a building that once served as an NAF-approved abortion clinic. Documentation of the filthy and unsafe conditions that met with NAF approval can be viewed here.
Yet, despite his problems, Brigham continues to operate clinics in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia. He holds a current medical license only in New Jersey, where he has also been disciplined.
Operation Rescue is asking the public to urge the PDH to immediately enforce their order and close Brigham's four Pennsylvania abortion clinics. Please contact the Secretary Pennsylvania Department of Health, Everette James, at 717-787-6436.