Doctor Charged with Murder for Illegal Late-Term Abortions

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By Bianca Coombs, Christian Post Contributor
January 9, 2012|6:02 pm

One of the two abortion doctors charged with murder for a botched procedure, Nicola Riley, waived an extradition hearing in Utah Monday morning.

Her actions pave the way for her to be extradited to Maryland to face murder charges for a late term abortion she performed with Doctor Steven Brigham. During the illegal procedure, an 18-year-old patient who was 21 weeks pregnant at the time had her uterus ruptured and bowel injured.

Riley, 46, and Brigham, 55, then took the woman to a hospital where reportedly both doctors were uncooperative. Brigham even refused to give his name. Emergency room workers alerted police and an investigation was launched.

When authorities searched the Maryland clinic, they found a freezer with 35 late-term fetuses inside, including one believed to have been aborted at 36 weeks.

Brigham would begin abortions in New Jersey, and then make his patients drive to his clinic in Elkton, Maryland the next day to complete the abortions. He was taking advantage of Maryland’s more lenient abortion laws.

Brigham was never authorized to perform abortions in New Jersey after the first trimester.

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Maryland and 37 other states have a fetus law which allows for charging anyone who kills a viable fetus with murder. Riley and Brigham are the first doctors in the state to be charged under the 2005 law, reports The Baltimore Sun.

Dr. Steven Brigham of Voorhees, New Jersey was charged and arraigned on five counts of first-degree murder and five counts of second-degree murder and one count of conspiracy to commit murder for this case and others.

He was released Jan. 6 from the Cecil County Detention Facility in New Jersey after posting a $500,000 bail.

Dr. Nicola Riley of Salt Lake City, Utah has been charged with one count of first-degree murder, one count of second-degree murder, and one count of conspiracy to commit murder in the case of the illegal abortion performed on the 18-year-old. She is being held without bail in a Salt Lake City, Utah jail and should be transferred to Maryland in a few days.

Brigham and Riley’s charges are also due in part to the efforts of, Operation Rescue, a pro-life activist group. The organization filed a complaint in Elkton, Maryland, asking that criminal charges be brought against Brigham after the news about the clinic broke.

It was also Operation Rescue who discovered Riley had served a prison sentence in conjunction with lying to gain licensure in three different states.

“We actually got some open records that showed she had a criminal history,” said Cheryl Sullenger, Senior Policy adviser at Operation Rescue about Riley in an interview with The Christian Post. Sullenger said it was Operation Rescue that researched the criminal history of Riley which was not being reported by mainstream media.

According to Sullenger, Operation Rescue found that Riley led a credit card scam at Fort Leavenworth Kansas while she was in the military. She served prison time in Kansas. When she got out she lied about her record to apply to medical school.

Operation Rescue sent her records to several states where she was applying for a license and she was denied licensing.

Regarding Dr. Brigham being out on bail, Sullenger said it is unacceptable saying, “It’s like having Jack the Ripper out on bail. Would you let him out of jail?”

Sullenger said she hopes to have abortion entirely re-criminalized, particularly late-term abortions which she calls “primitive” and “barbaric.”

“This [legalized abortion] shows a civilization is failing. When killing babies is tolerated, it’s appalling. If it were animals it would be unacceptable- it would be considered animal cruelty- but when it’s abortion people tolerate it.”

Sullenger said Operation Rescue is proud of the viable fetus laws being enacted in states like Maryland.

“Now doctors are beginning to learn they cannot just do what they want,” she said.

 

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