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Pa. Health Department Investigating Abortion Clinic for Possible Link to Unscrupulous Provider

Pa. Health Department Investigating Abortion Clinic for Possible Link to Unscrupulous Provider

November 8, 2013 — The Pennsylvania Department of Health is investigating a new Philadelphia abortion clinic after receiving tips that the facility might be operated by Stephen Brigham, a doctor who has been barred from practicing in that state and many others, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

Over the past two decades, Brigham has battled states' medical boards, the Internal Revenue Service and other authorities, including criminal prosecutors in Maryland.

The new clinic, called Integrity Family Health, was issued a permit to operate eight weeks ago after a state Department of Health initial inspection. The department then added the clinic to its online list of abortion providers in the state.

Legitimate Abortion Providers Warn State Officials

A group of abortion providers has raised concern that the clinic might be linked to Brigham. Staff members at the Philadelphia Women's Center began investigating Integrity Family Health online after receiving a phone call from a patient about the facility. They found a news article indicating that the clinic might be affiliated with one of Brigham's clinics in Maryland.

The employees then found that the toll-free number for American Women's Services -- a multi-state company owned by Brigham -- allowed users to make appointments, check prices and get directions for Integrity Family Health. The employees alerted the state's health department of their findings.

Comments

State health department spokesperson Aimee Tysarczyck in an email said that investigators are looking into the clinic.

Jen Boulanger, communications director at Philadelphia Women's Center, said, "Here we have someone who had his medical license revoked in several states, and was told never to operate again in Pennsylvania, allegedly opening a facility in Philadelphia." She added. "This, despite the massive amount of time and money Pennsylvania has spent enacting some of the most stringent abortion regulations in the country."

Joseph Gorrell, an attorney for Brigham, declined a request to comment (McCullough, Philadelphia Inquirer, 11/6).