TRENTON — A notorious abortionist that has lost his license in several states across the country, and who once faced several murder charges surrounding his late-term abortion scheme, has now also been stripped of his medical license by New Jersey officials, which likely will lead to the closure of his eight facilities in the state.
The New Jersey Board of Medical Examiners unanimously voted on Wednesday to revoke the license of Steven Brigham, 57, owner of American Women’s Services. The 16-member board rejected arguments by Brigham, who had his license suspended in the state four years ago, and instead concluded that the abortionist had engaged in unethical conduct through dishonest, deceptive and negligent practices.
“If there are members of the board who are opposed to late-term abortions, I understand. But I ask you, please, to do the best you can and do not give in to hate,” Brigham told the board during the hearings surrounding the revocation.
“[S]ee me for who I am,” he said, claiming that he had only “taken up the cause of women’s rights and women’s freedom.”
“Never fear; there are no forces of of hate here. What’s at work here is a lawful prosecution,” replied Deputy Attorney General Jeri Warhaftig.
Brigham is most not for his multi-state abortion scheme after he attempted to skirt New Jersey law, which requires that abortions over 14 weeks take place at a hospital or a licensed surgical facility. As he did not have hospital admitting privileges, Brigham started late term abortions in New Jersey by administering medication to the mother, and then asking her to drive to a “secret” late-term abortion facility across state lines into Maryland, where the child would then be removed from her body.
His scheme was uncovered in 2010 when an 18-year-old girl who was hospitalized with a ruptured uterus following a botched abortion at the Elkton, Maryland location called the police. Brigham had enlisted the assistance of abortionist Nicola Riley to perform the procedures since he was not licensed in the state.
When investigators arrived, they found 35 late-term babies in Brigham’s chest freezer, including a child believed to have been aborted at 36 weeks. The pro-life effort Campaign to Stop Stericycle also independently investigated the matter and found that the nation’s largest medical waste company, Stericycle, had serviced Brigham’s “secret” facility to assist with disposal until it was raided by authorities.
The following year after the bust, a Grand Jury leveled five counts of first-degree murder, five counts of second-degree murder and one count of conspiracy to commit murder against the abortionist. Charges were later dropped by the Maryland district attorney’s office.
But on Wednesday, the New Jersey Board of Medical Examiners concluded that Brigham’s license should be revoked in light of his actions, following the recommendations issued last month by Administrative Law Judge Jeff Masin.
“[His] past conduct is troubling,” Masin wrote 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.”
As previously reported, the Pennsylvania Health Department shut down a new Philadelphia abortion facility last year after it was discovered that it had ties to Brigham, who had been banned from doing business in the Commonwealth. Following numerous health and safety violations, Brigham surrendered his license in Pennsylvania in 1992, and in 2004, he was barred from owning or operating any abortion facilities in the Commonwealth. His Erie, Allentown, State College and Pittsburgh locations had all been closed as a result, and his eight New Jersey locations are expected to now likewise shutter following Wednesday’s decision.