NEWS RELEASE


March 8, 2002

Two different stories from abortionist Steven C. Brigham
Next demonstration at 1611 Peach Street - 1:30 PM - 2:30 PM Saturday


Buffalo, New York has been getting acquainted with abortion provider Dr. Steven Chase Brigham these last few days, after word got out sometime last week that Brigham had purchased a 5000+ square foot building in Tonawanda, New York.

Although he is already running abortion ads in the Buffalo area Verizon and Talking Phone Book Yellow Pages (Buffalo News, March 3, 2002), Brigham seems to be trying to disguise the fact that he plans to open another abortion facility. Published reports from Buffalo indicate that Brigham is continuing to follow a long established pattern of misleading people about the nature of the services that his next "medical facility" is going to offer. The following two excerpts from the Buffalo News suggest that whether or not Brigham will decide to offer abortions is very much an open question.

Meanwhile, Dr. Steven C. Brigham of New Jersey, whose company recently purchased a building at 3834 Delaware Ave., said Monday that opposition may force him to back away from plans to provide abortion services at the Town of Tonawanda site. Instead, he may offer family practice, wellness services and dermatology, services… (Buffalo News, March 5, 2002)

Recently, Brigham has said that local opposition - based in part on the clinic's nearness to a cluster of Catholic churches and schools - may force him to back away from plans for abortion services and focus instead on family practice, wellness services and dermatology. (Editorial of the Buffalo News, March 7, 2002)

While Brigham was sounding very undecided about whether or not to provide the abortions he is already advertising in the Buffalo Yellow Pages-because of concerns about possible opposition-he was telling the Erie Times-News that he is "definitely" going to carry out abortions in Erie. (Erie Times-News, March 5, 2002) This is ironic, because in an earlier interview, Brigham told the Times-News, in reference to his plans for Erie, "I've never had resistance this intense." (Erie Times-News, November 8, 2000)

Brigham was surprised to hear, in November 2000, that although his Erie offices had remained vacant for an entire year, people continued to picket outside the building. In fact, after 28 months, people are still picketing the building, at least twice a week. And they will continue to do so.

When Brigham purchased his office suites in Erie, he had an agreement, he said, with "a non-profit company, a group of feminist women" who were going to run the new abortion facility. But only a little more than two weeks after Brigham's plans had become known to the community, the women backed out because of the public outcry that was already taking place. (Morning News, December 15, 1999)

Earlier, on November 2, Brigham said, "…I am getting calls and hearing about religious leaders coming out in opposition. Erie does seem to be different than some of these larger metropolitan areas." (Morning News, November 3, 1999)

In fact, at a news conference on November 3, 1999, a group of religious leaders from across a wide denominational spectrum spoke out against Brigham's plan to open an abortion facility in Erie. Speakers at the event included Rev. Stephen E. Morse, a Presbyterian minister and president of Inter-Church Ministries of Erie County (150 churches); Bishop Donald W. Trautman of the Erie Catholic Diocese; Bishop Paul E. Sprint of the Northwestern Pennsylvania Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America; and Rev. Tim Brown, a pastor at First Assembly of God, one of the largest churches in the Erie area. (Morning News, November 3, 1999)

Demonstrations began on Friday, October 29, 1999, on short notice, with 65 people participating. The next day, 165 turned out. Since then, demonstrations have taken place at least twice every week. Over 250 have taken place to date. Well over 600 people have helped with the demonstrations at various times. Visitors from other locales sometimes marvel at the many enthusiastic expressions of support our demonstrators receive from passing motorists. And in addition to the demonstrations organized by People for Life, which are very inclusive and designed draw support from the widest possible cross section of the community, other groups, religious groups in particular, have gatherings of their own. One group, for instance, gathers every Saturday morning to say the Rosary.

Since those first days in the fall of 1999, opposition to an abortion facility in Erie has continued, expanded, and diversified. The demonstrations do not tell the whole story. The community has responded in a variety of ways.

· The Thomas More Society, a lawyer's group, came out in opposition to the abortion facility, publishing a large ad in the Erie Times-News on January 27, 2000.

· Signatures from those opposed to an abortion facility were requested, and with very little effort, nearly 25,000 were collected in a matter of weeks.

· Thousands of "No Abortion Mill!" bumper stickers were, and are still being, distributed.

· On a Saturday in April 2000, a group of People for Life volunteers traveled to State College, PA to participate in a demonstration in front of Brigham's operational abortion facility at that location.

· A sidewalk counseling training seminar was held on May 27, 2000 for those interested in learning how to offer help and how to present alternatives to abortion to women who are entering an abortion facility. Two instructors were brought in from Chicago. Fifty people attended, and many more expressed regrets that other commitments prevented them from attending on that occasion.

· In July of 2000, People for Life began leasing an office suite that is only about twenty feet from what would be the entrance to Brigham's abortion facility. People for Life volunteers now have continuous access to the building's hallways, stairwells, and elevators.

· At about the same time, the Women's Care Center, a local pregnancy support agency, leased a large, 14 x 48 lighted billboard, only a few hundred feet from the main entrance to the Professional Building. The billboard encourages abortion minded women to contact the Women's Care Center for the help and support they need. The Women's Care Center, with seven offices in Erie County, is considered a crisis pregnancy megacenter- one of the largest in the United States. The billboard, now being managed by People for Life, will be in place two years this summer. It is expensive, $1750 a month, but because the Erie pro-life community is strong, we can confidently predict that the billboard will remain in its present location at least as long as an abortion facility in the Professional Building is a possibility.

· Last spring, People for Life began distributing pro-life literature on or near high school and college campuses in the Erie area. If or when Brigham opens in Erie, we think that this method of communication will be very helpful for generally discouraging abortion, as well as for alerting young women to any specific safety hazards and/or other problems pertaining to the abortion facility that might come to light.

If, as Brigham is suggesting to the people of Buffalo, he might open something other than an abortion facility where strong anti-abortion sentiments prevail, it is hard to believe that he will ever open an abortion facility Erie, Pennsylvania. Yet Brigham says his plans to impose such a facility on the Erie community are definite. What's going on here? Talk about opening a "medical facility" that doesn't do abortions is probably just a smokescreen. Undoubtedly, Brigham is hoping that the people in Buffalo will allow him to get his foot in the door, before they fully understand that those Yellow Page ads are there for a good (in a manner of speaking), logical reason.

Our friends in Buffalo can learn a lot from the experiences of others who have dealt with Brigham. They would not be the first to be surprised that what looked like a general medical facility suddenly turned into an plain old abortion mill when all the smoke cleared on or near opening day.

· B. Robert Joel, the landlord of Brigham's former Colonie, NY facility, said that Brigham signed a five year lease and did not disclose that the facility would offer abortions. (Express Times, December 1994; Albany Times Union, May, September 1996 and January 1997; New Jersey Express Times, September 1996)

· According to reports, Brigham did not advise his landlord that he intended to do abortions when he first opened a facility in Phillipsburg, NJ. (Star Ledger, August 1996; Courier News, August 1994)

· Brigham leased space for an abortion facility in Virginia, but before he was able to open that one, the landlord backed out of the lease, claiming that Brigham never disclosed that he was going to offer abortions. (Virginia Pilot, August 1996)

· The owner of a Wilkes-Barre office building reportedly canceled a lease with Brigham three weeks after entering into an agreement because Brigham did not disclose his plans to open an abortion facility in the building.

· On September 5, 1991, a judge ordered Brigham to stop doing abortions at his Wyomissing, PA facility. The judge ruled that Brigham concealed his intentions when he signed a lease for office space in August 1990. Brigham told the landlord that he planned to use the office for a general medical practice. (Sunday Independent, July 1990; Reading Eagle, September - October, 1991)

· The HFL Corp., which owns the building that houses Brigham's abortion facility in State College, PA, terminated its lease with Brigham on July 8, 1991 claiming that it was mislead about the nature of the medical practice when the lease was signed. An HFL vice-president said that he was told that the facility would offer gynecological services and that abortions are sometimes a necessary part of this kind of medical practice. He understood this to mean that only non-elective abortions, that is, medically necessary abortions, would ever take place. Brigham contested his eviction, and after nearly five years of legal wrangling Brigham continues to carry out abortions in the facility that his landlord says he gained access to by deception. (Centre Daily Times, July 9, 1997, November 19, 1997)

· Here in Erie, Brigham purchased a number of adjacent office suites from several different owners. According to our information, only one of the former owners knew about the plans for an abortion facility before selling to Brigham. And the one who did know knew in advance only because the sale was delayed until after Brigham's true intentions had been exposed by the local media.

____________________

The next demonstration at the 1611 Peach Street Professional Building- where, Brigham claims, he still wants to provide abortions-will take place tomorrow, Saturday, from 1:30 PM to 2:30 PM.

Established in 1973, People for Life is the Erie area affiliate of the National Right to Life Committee, Washington, DC and the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation, Harrisburg, PA. Statements excerpted from the press release may be attributed to Tim Broderick, president, People for Life.





PEOPLE FOR LIFE
1625 WEST 26TH STREET
P.O. BOX 1126
ERIE, PA 16512


814-459-1333 | pfl@peopleforlife.org | http://www.peopleforlife.org


People for Life, Inc. is an all-volunteer, non-profit, citizen's organization committed to affirming the intrinsic value of human life. People for Life is dedicated to advancing true justice by working for the protection of all innocent human lives, whatever the age, race, sex, physical condition, economic status, or place of residence (including the womb). People for Life encourages local involvement through education, political awareness, and the promotion of loving alternatives to the primitive and violent "solutions" of abortion, infanticide, and euthanasia. Together, we can create a society in which all human lives are held sacred.



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