Last week, we let you know of our position on Steven Brigham, an abortion provider accused of serious misconduct in several East Coast states. Based on important feedback we received from our supporters, we wanted to provide more background of the situation and why we felt it necessary to release our statement.
We at NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia work every day to ensure that women have access to the courageous abortion providers who often must overcome threats and intimidation to care for their patients. This work includes advocating for best practices in the provision of abortion services in order to ensure women’s health and safety.
Dr. Brigham has consistently failed to meet standards established by the National Abortion Federation (NAF) and various state medical licensing boards. NAF had also issued warnings about Dr. Brigham with several state agencies for years before action was taken. We agree with NAF when it said, “These repeated disciplinary actions make it evident that Brigham operates outside recognized standards for quality abortion care.” Dr. Brigham’s website lists two Virginia office locations. Thus, it was necessary to let Virginians know that a physician with such a deplorable record should not be associated with our community.
Here is a quick summary of recent events. Over the summer, the Pennsylvania Department of Health ordered him to shut down his offices there and banned him from owning any other abortion clinics in the state. In September of this year, according to The Associated Press, Maryland’s “Board of Physicians ordered Dr. Steven Brigham to stop practicing medicine without a license in Maryland.” Just over a month later, on October 13, the New Jersey Board of Medical Examiners, after a nearly nine-hour hearing, temporarily suspended Mr. Brigham’s medical license in that state. His medical license has now been temporarily suspended, relinquished, or revoked in five states.
We at NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia are dedicated to fighting for continued and improved access to the highest standard of abortion care for the women of Virginia. We are also obligated to call attention to any potentially detrimental or unsafe practices or providers. We will not support anything less than the safest and highest level of abortion care for the women of the Commonwealth.
In regards to our previous alert, we wished to affirm our support for continued excellence in women’s reproductive health care, not to pre-judge Mr. Brigham’s guilt or innocence of any charges. Mr. Brigham, like any person accused of wrongdoing, is entitled to due process under state and federal laws. NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia supports a continued thorough and fair review of the allegations against Mr. Brigham. The allegations against Mr. Brigham are incredibly serious and, if true, evidence a disregard for women’s health that we at NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia find unacceptable. We take this matter very seriously. It is no secret that anti-choice lawmakers in our Commonwealth could use infractions to attack the courageous abortion providers who operate under the highest standards of care.
While we recognize that Mr. Brigham’s alleged conduct is the exception among physicians, not the rule, we nonetheless felt compelled to affirm our commitment to ensuring that abortion remains one of the safest medical procedures performed in the Commonwealth and nationwide.
For questions or how to talk with you friends about this issue, feel free to contact us. Thank you supporting and protecting the highest standard of abortion care in Virginia every day.