An abortion facility in Virginia — where inspectors found numerous health violations, prompting an order of suspension — has withdrawn its request for a hearing, leaving the suspension in place for the time being. The Virginia Health Group, located in Fairfax, is owned by Steven Brigham (pictured), who has a long history of operating questionable and dangerous facilities.
In April, Live Action News reported that state investigators found 26 specific deficiencies, including failures to sterilize medical equipment, follow hand-washing protocols, properly store medical records, get rid of expired medications, and more.
According to a report in the Richmond-Times Dispatch, this withdrawal by the abortion center was likely initiated so that they can continue to operate…
By putting off the hearing, the clinic can continue to operate and provide services other than abortions because its case for reinstatement is considered pending. Several board members on Thursday expressed concern that the situation not be allowed to remain unresolved.
An exchange detailed in the state’s 52-page deficiency report reveals that the abortion facility had little internal oversight. When surveyors arrived at the facility looking for its administrator, they were told that no one was currently in charge and that the director of operations (whose full name the staff could not recall) was in another state — New Jersey.
Virginia Health Group’s Director of Operations was later identified by Philly.com as Kirsy Japs, who wrote in a letter to the health department that the facility disputed much of the inspection report and had “corrected many of the deficiencies,” and hoped the department would “permit us to resume seeing patients while we correct the rest.”
“Despite the 52 pages of deficiencies that we were dismayed to receive, we believe that we are not fundamentally irredeemable health-care providers,” Philly.com reports that Japs wrote.
The media outlet, which claims that Brigham has a “decades-long history of regulatory sanctions and criminal investigations stemming from substandard care,” also described one instance where a Virginia Health Group patient had to be rushed to “an emergency department” due to the kind of care Brigham’s abortion clinic offered to women:
Among the lapses described in the Virginia inspection report: sutures were unavailable to treat a patient’s cervical injury, so she had to be rushed to an emergency department to stop her prolonged bleeding; a bloodstained gown was hung on the back of a door for reuse; a staff member plunged a blocked toilet, then held a patient’s hand during a procedure without changing scrubs; patient records were found spilling out of a box stored in a bathroom.
The bloodstained gown incident occurred while one of Brigham’s employees was examining an aborted baby. From the inspection report:
On 4/5/16 the surveyor accompanied Staff #2 in the “pathology room” in order to observe the process of receipt and examination of the products of conception (POC) and handling/cleaning of surgical instruments. Staff #2 donned a yellow PPE (personal protective equipment) gown, goggles and gloves. After completing the examination, weighing and packaging of the POC, Staff #2 removed the gloves, goggles and gown. Present on the gown was blood stains. Staff #2 held up the gown and looked at it and proceeded to hang it on the back of the door for future use stating “Oh it’s not that bad”, referring to the amount of blood on the gown.
Health officials also observed that an exam room did not have a sink so staff could wash their hands. Instead, staff removed their gloves “and used hand sanitizer,” according to the report.
The report’s numerous health violations do not align with what Steven Brigham told the National Abortion Federation in 1990: “We believe women deserve the best medical care. We want to provide the best quality of care in a non-judgmental atmosphere.”
Today, despite their opposition to any form of abortion center regulations, abortion rights groups like NARAL and NAF claim to oppose Brigham’s practices, calling them “unscrupulous” and labeling the abortionist as a “bad actor.” And yet, in 2014, while attacking pro-life pregnancy centers as “fake,” the NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia Foundation referred unsuspecting women to Brigham’s Fairfax abortion facility, despite earlier reports from 2012 that the state had already published 13 pages of health violations against the center.
The abortion industry is not policing itself or protecting women. It is up to the State of Virginia to take on this role by closing this facility permanently.