Maryland Orders New Jersey Doctor To Stop Performing Illegal Late-Term Abortions
One horrible doctor’s late-term abortions are reviving the abortion debate and drawing attention to Maryland’s abortion law, which is not as restrictive as neighboring states such as New Jersey and Pennsylvania. In those states, unlike in Maryland, the law requires that later abortions be performed at a surgical center or hospital, and not at a doctor’s office.
The Philadelphia Inquirer has an article that begins,
Three weeks ago, physician Steven Brigham led a car caravan of patients from his Voorhees, NJ abortion clinic to his facility in Elkton, Md. After one of the patients was critically injured during her surgery [in Elkton,MD], Brigham put the semiconscious, bleeding woman into the back of a rented Chevrolet Malibu and drove her to a nearby hospital emergency room rather than call an ambulance.
The botched abortion resulted in the eighteen-year-old girl suffering a ruptured uterus and other serious internal injuries. During their investigation of the incident, the local police found a freezer with dozens late term fetuses at the clinic.
Apparently, it was the practice for Steven Brigham to initiate late-term abortions in New Jersey, even though such abortions are banned there, and then send his patients across state lines to finish the procedure. Brigham, according to reports, would start the first phase of the abortion — dilation of the patient’s cervix — and then make the patient drive, on their own, to a state with looser abortion laws such as Maryland. It seems Dr. Brigham thought he had discovered a loophole in New Jersey’s abortion law.
Besides the fact that starting an abortion in one state, then finsihing it in another is obviously risky to the patient’s health, Dr. Brigham is not licensed as a physician or anything else in Maryland. And as a consequence, Maryland has ordered Dr. Brigham to cease and desist this practice and summarily suspended the other doctors in his practice. You don’t have to be a doctor or a lawyer to understand that this is bad medicine. This whole scenario brings to mind back-alley abortions.
On a positive note, both supporters and opponents of abortion rights’ are united in making sure the doctors responsible for critically injuring the teenager are punished.
Unfortunately, the media is already blaming the situation on Maryland’s less restrictive abortion law. The Baltimore Sun states: “Maryland’s more relaxed standard appears to explain why Steven C. Brigham, a doctor with a checkered disciplinary history, initiated abortions for the 18-year-old and other patients in New Jersey, then had them travel to Elkton in a [group] to complete the procedures.” Really? Isn’t it just as likely that this whole situation was caused by New Jersey’s restrictions?