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N.J. Medical Board Revokes Doctor's License Over Unlawful Abortion Procedures

N.J. Medical Board Revokes Doctor's License Over Unlawful Abortion Procedures

October 10, 2014 — The New Jersey Board of Medical Examiners has revoked the medical license of Steven Brigham, who was accused of avoiding state rules by starting abortions later in pregnancy for some women in New Jersey and then finishing the procedure in Maryland, NJ.com reports (Livio, NJ.com, 10/9).

Background

Brigham is the owner of American Women's Services, a chain of women's health clinics in Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Virginia. He is not licensed to practice medicine in Maryland. Over the past 18 years, his medical license has been revoked, relinquished or temporarily suspended in five states.

In 2010, New Jersey officials suspended Brigham's license (Women's Health Policy Report, 12/3/10).

For months, Brigham had been circumventing state authorities in New Jersey by taking patients across state lines to perform abortions at various stages. In one case, Brigham initiated an abortion at about 21 weeks of pregnancy at his clinic in New Jersey, then helped transport the patient 60 miles to Maryland, where a physician with limited experience in second-trimester abortions attempted to complete the procedure. There were serious complications and the woman was taken to an emergency room and required transport by medevac helicopter to another hospital (Women's Health Policy Report, 7/11).

Brigham used the process to circumvent a New Jersey rule that requires abortions to take place in a hospital or licensed health care facility after 14 weeks of pregnancy, according to the New Jersey Attorney General's Office.

Penalty Details

The New Jersey medical board found Brigham responsible for several counts of gross negligence, deception and official misconduct. As a result, Brigham has been ordered to pay $140,000 in penalties.

The board will hold another hearing, during which it will decide how much of the state's court costs Brigham must pay, which could be more than $500,000 (NJ.com, 10/9).