Analysis

Abortion patient sues facility that botched her abortion, leaving her future fertility in question

ambulance, abortion facility, planned parenthood, abortion

A young woman who was injured as a result of a botched abortion at age 18 is suing the abortion facility responsible — a facility with ties to one of the most dangerous abortionists in the country.

According to Operation Rescue, Capital Women’s Services has connections to Stephen Chase Brigham, an abortionist who regularly scams state medical boards by using other abortionists as a front for his abortion businesses to make it appear as if he is not involved. He does this because his license has been suspended, revoked, or relinquished in multiple states, and he is not licensed to practice medicine anywhere. Operation Rescue reported:

Our whistleblower… tipped us to the fact that an elderly Brigham employee, Myron Rose, was conducting surgical and chemical abortions at Capital Women’s Services.

While the facility tried to deny its association with Brigham, Operation Rescue successfully documented that connection. This was important to do because Brigham’s practices are well-documented to be deceptive and harmful. Those practices include hiring incompetent abortionists and dangerously cutting corners on abortion protocols.

A copy of a leaked e-mail from the Operations Manager of Brigham’s American Women’s Services, a multi-state abortion chain operated by Brigham, was obtained by Operation Rescue. It discussed Rose’s schedule in D.C. and at two known Brigham-operated chemical abortion facilities operating in Maryland at that time. This information was further confirmed by Capital Women’s Services’ own website that listed Rose as its Medical Director. (Rose has since passed away.)

Operation Rescue also spoke to the property manager at the building that leased to the abortion business. He confirmed that Steven Brigham had negotiated the lease for Capital Women’s Services at the Georgia Avenue address.

We later documented one other important point, with the help of pro-life activist Lauren Handy. Brigham was operating the facility under the auspices of United Health Group, LLC, a shady company whose mailing address is a postal box at a UPS Store in Cherry Hill, New Jersey.

Last month, a lawsuit was filed against Capital Women’s Services by Markeisha Hemsley for $30 million after Hemsley suffered a horrifically botched abortion in 2018. Hemsley was 20 weeks pregnant at the time and accompanied to the abortion facility by her mother, where they paid nearly $1500.

READ: Autopsy: Woman died from botched abortion at Alabama’s most prolific abortion business

According to the lawsuit, Hemsley was given no counseling, no explanation of how the abortion would be committed, and no information about who would be committing the abortion. She was given two misoprostol pills to be taken an hour apart, which she was told would begin the process of softening her cervix. While misoprostol is typically used for chemical abortions, it is sometimes used in this manner; however, the dosage given was incorrect, and for not nearly a long enough period of time. Second-trimester abortions typically take two to three days due to a need for increased dilation, yet Capital Women’s Services seemed intent on rushing through Hemsley’s abortion as quickly as possible.

After being taken to a room, Hemsley met nurse Khalilah Jefferson. Jefferson entered the room wearing a white lab coat and never introduced herself, which led Hemsley to believe that she was a doctor. Jefferson then gave Hemsley ketamine and midazolam, drugs used for conscious sedation. This caused Hemsley to quickly begin vomiting.

From that time, Hemsley became drowsy and numb but aware of what was happening. Jefferson began forcibly dilating Hemsley’s cervix using mechanical dilators, which the lawsuit points out are insufficient, and the reason why late-term abortions often take several days for greater dilation. Typically, an abortionist will insert laminaria, seaweed sticks that absorb liquid and slowly dilate the cervix, and requires the patient to return after one or two days. This was not the case for Hemsley.

 

After insufficiently dilating Hemsley’s cervix, Jefferson then began using a suction cannula, even though at 20 weeks, the preborn baby is too large to fit through the cannula’s tubing. Hemsley began to feel more of what was happening, experienced excruciating pain, and began bleeding heavily. She heard Jefferson repeatedly say, “I missed it.” It was likely that Jefferson was referring to the calvarium, or skull. Jefferson had perforated Hemsley’s uterus and pushed the baby’s head through the tear into Hemsley’s abdomen.

At that point, Jefferson left and told Hemsley’s mother that they needed to go to her “other office” where they had better equipment to see what had been left behind. She never suggested calling an ambulance or noted that Hemsley might need to go to the hospital.

Hemsley was placed into the backseat of Jefferson’s BMW along with other abortion staffers — potentially abortionist Nicola Riley — and drove Hemsley from Washington, D.C. across the border into Maryland. While in the backseat, Hemsley was said to be screaming in pain, and begged to be taken to the hospital. Jefferson reportedly responded by shouting at her to shut up and turning up the radio volume to drown her out.

When they arrived at Moore OB/GYN in Maryland, Jefferson again attempted to continue the D&E abortion, even as Hemsley begged her to stop, saying she thought she was going to die. Instead, Jefferson tried to use forceps to remove the calvarium from Hemsley’s abdomen — an extremely dangerous maneuver, considering Hemsley’s uterus was already perforated. Hemsley’s mother, upon hearing her daughter’s screams, came into the room and saw Jefferson standing in front of Hemsley holding bloody forceps. It was only then that Jefferson said Hemsley needed to go to the hospital.

Then, Jefferson told Hemsley’s mother not to disclose their location to 911, to which Hemsley’s mother refused. So Jefferson allegedly stole the mother’s phone and pretended to be Hemsley’s mother, repeatedly referring to Hemsley as “my daughter.” She then made Hemsley and her mother go downstairs and wait on the curb for the ambulance, even as Hemsley drifted in and out of consciousness, unable to stand on her own.

Before the EMTs could care for Hemsley, Jefferson intercepted them and lied about what had happened, saying the abortion had taken place solely at Moore OB/GYN. She further claimed the calvarium was stuck in her cervix, not her abdomen. When Hemsley finally arrived at the hospital, doctors found a three-inch tear in her uterus, blood in her peritoneal cavity, and the baby’s skull in her abdomen. Hemsley had to undergo emergency surgery, and her ability to have children in the future is unknown. She spent four days in the hospital.

Abortionist Stephen Brigham is unfortunately known for hiring incompetent, dangerous staff, and for his keeping his facilities in disgusting and unsafe condition. A raid on one of his Maryland facilities found the bodies of 35 late-term aborted babies in the freezer, including one believed to be 36 weeks gestation. He worked with Vikram Kaji, a registered sex offender, to keep the abortion businesses out of Brigham’s name. He was also known for his illegal schemes, falsifying patient logs to claim another abortionist committed the abortions when Brigham himself did. Brigham was known for illegally starting abortions in New Jersey and then completing them in New York to get around various state laws. He is responsible for the death of at least one patient, Maria Santiago, who suffered a cardiac arrest — no one at the facility had been monitoring her, and when her condition was discovered, no one knew how to use a defibrillator. Even if they did, the one in the facility did not work. Brigham has also been arrested and charged with first and second-degree murder for committing five illegal late-term abortions on viable babies. Yet despite all this, Brigham is still occasionally seen entering abortion facilities in different states, like Florida.

What happened to Hemsley was inexcusable, and she deserves justice. But more so, her lawsuit can hopefully bring a permanent end to an abortionist who is an ongoing danger to women across the country.

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