Abortion Doctors Arrested for Murder in Maryland Challenge Law

American Women's Services clinics owner Steve Brigham, 55, and his employee Nicola Irene Riley, 46, are both doctors that allegedly performed illegal late-term abortions in Maryland and New Jersey, and now have been arrested after a 16-month investigation.

Abortion has been a controversial issue that has always divided the country by Pro-Life and Pro-Choice.  But the issue becomes much more complicated when it comes to state-by-state jurisdiction on how the abortions are performed.  Two doctors are at the beginning of a new case that challenges Maryland’s late-term abortion laws and may set a precedent for the rest of the country.

After a 16-month criminal investigation, Maryland authorities arrested the owner of American Women’s Services clinics, Steven Chase Brigham, 55, and his employee, Nicola Irene Riley, 46, for performing late-term abortions; some that began in New Jersey and were completed in Maryland.

The issue is whether the fetus is “viable” or able to live outside the mother’s womb at the time the abortion is performed.  Brigham was operating without a license in Jersey, where medical boards have said that Brigham illegally initiated abortions and completed them in Maryland because in New Jersey, late-term abortions can only be performed in a hospital or licensed ambulatory facility, according to the Reuters report.

Riley is being charged with multiple charges including one count of first degree murder. Brigham has multiple charges, but also five counts of first degree murder.   In one case, he began an abortion in New Jersey and the woman drove to Maryland to have it completed where she suffered an injured uterus and bowels.  Brigham rushed her to a hospital where she survived.

Follow the case here.

-J.C. Brooks

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