Horrific Malpractice! Unlicensed Abortionist Still Operating
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - The case of former Pennsylvania doctor Kermit Gosnell, who was convicted of murdering three infants born alive during abortion procedures, has raised new questions about the practices of abortion providers.
One of the latest cases involves a doctor with a long track record, Dr. Steven Brigham, who currently manages two clinics in Virginia.
History of Malpractice
Records show that Brigham's license has been suspended, revoked, or allowed to lapse multiple times in several states.
The New York Health Department disciplined Brigham for botching a late-term abortion.
According to an article in The New Yorker, the woman, who was 26 weeks pregnant at the time, bled for three hours before she was finally taken to an emergency room.
The state of New Jersey suspended Brigham's license in 2010 after the state board of examiners concluded that his clinic provided grossly negligent care to five patients.
In 2011, Brigham faced multiple murder charges after authorities in Maryland found dozens of late-term aborted fetuses inside a freezer at one of his facilities.
Investigators later dropped the murder charges.
Today Brigham is doing business in the state of Virginia at American Women's Services in Fairfax and at the Virginia Women's Wellness Center located in Virginia Beach.
Erik Bodin, director of Licensure and Certification for the Virginia Health Department, told CBN News the department is aware of the issues Brigham has had in other states.
"We have confirmed he is not a licensed practitioner, so he is not practicing medicine in Virginia," he said.
"There's nothing in the regulations that dictates who can and cannot own a facility of any type so that's where we are with that," he added.
CBN News tried to contact Brigham for comment but he did not return our calls.
Victoria Cobb, with the Family Foundation, has been pushing to get Brigham's clinics in the state shut down.
"We know the track record of his license being suspended and revoked in almost every state he's ever practiced in," she told CBN News.
"When inspections started coming up here in Virginia of his clinics we get very concerned," she explained.
A March 2014 inspection of Brigham's Virginia Beach clinic found that in January alone, 18 out of 44 women visiting the center faced complications.
Discrepancies included improper hygiene and unsanitary injection practices.
CBN News asked Bodin about the Health Department's plans to address problems highlighted in the inspection report.
"The way the regulations are written is that when we do an inspection and we find and identify certain problems, the facility, whether it's an abortion facility again or any other type of facility that we regulate, they're given an opportunity to fix those issues," he responded.
But some examples of problems found at Brigham's clinics go beyond those types of issues. Medical professionals from Brigham's past have pointed out discrepancies.
In an interview with The New Yorker, an emergency room doctor named Dr. Robert Atlas said the complications were horrendous.
"The types of complications that we saw coming from them were so much worse, major perforations to the uterine arteries, defects in the uterus that we couldn't repair," he said. "I had to do three or four hysterectomies."
"I was scared for the patients," Atlas said.
Cobb said the battle is all about the safety of women. It's a debate that's recently been heating up across the commonwealth.
In 2013, the Virginia Board of Health approved hospital-like rules for abortion clinics.
In May, newly elected Gov. Terry McAuliffe ordered a review of the new restrictions on abortion clinics.
McAuliffe had promised during his race for governor that he would undo the clinic regulations that were passed under his predecessor, Gov. Bob McDonnell.
Pro-lifers in the state say it's an issue that puts women's health at risk.
Virginia Delegate Ben Cline, R-Amherst, has been fighting for better rules to make abortion clinics in the state safer.
Shutting Down Brigham
He also wants to see Brigham's abortion facilities shut down.
"It's very frustrating that in spite of his horrible history that this man is allowed to operate abortion clinics in Virginia," he said.
"You would think that Virginia health officials would want to keep him out of the commonwealth and keep him from operating these kinds of clinics around the commonwealth," he told CBN News.
In the meantime, Cobb said she will keep sounding the alarm about the horrors of Dr. Brigham in the hopes that he and any others like him will be put out of business.