Pro-Lifers Urge Lock Down on Shady Abortion Docs

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Pro-life advocates hope the recent national attention on abortion doctors will spotlight unsafe practices, and eventually put an end to them.

This week in Massachusetts, Dr. Rapin Osathanondh was sentenced in the 2007 death of his 22-year-old abortion patient Laura Smith.

Also in Maryland, authorities are investigating Dr. Steven Brigham, who's botched abortion required an 18-year-old woman to undergo emergency surgery to repair ruptured bowels and a torn uterus.

Pro-life group Operation Rescue obtained official documents that suggest Brigham used his clinics in New Jersey to initiate abortions on patients and then took them into Maryland to complete the procedure. Pro-life advocates want criminal charges filed against him.

Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life, spoke with CBN News about the case against Brigham.  Click here for her comments.

Questions about Brigham's abortion practices date back to 1993, when the state of New York revoked his license after he botched two late-term abortions.

Florida officials also revoked his license and Pennsylvania state authorities shut down his clinics. Still, he managed to own the American Women's Services group, with abortion offices in New Jersey, Maryland, and Virginia.

New Jersey authorities may take his license away after the latest ordeal.

Records show Brigham transported the 18-year-old patient from one of his clinics in New Jersey to another in Maryland, where late-term abortion laws are more relaxed. The patient was 21-weeks pregnant. His associate, Dr. Nicola Riley, told authorities what went wrong.

"[She] testified under deposition that she first pulled an arm and then she pulled a leg off and then pulled the woman's bowel and then spent two hours trying to repair that situation," Operation Rescue President Troy Newman said.

Operation Rescue is pressuring Maryland authorities to take stronger action.

"We're seeing abortionists being convicted, we're seeing them go to jail," Newman said. "We're seeing them have to face enormous fines and that is sending a call throughout the rest of the abortion industry that when you botch an abortion, when you kill a woman, we're going to hold you legally accountable for this."

The National Abortion Federation is also condemning Brigham and supports the investigation of his practices. But the group maintains that the abortion industry has an outstanding safety record and that more regulations aren't necessary.

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