Abortionist tried to bribe Marian Blue Wave volunteers praying at abortion clinic

The abortion mill in Phillipsburg, NJ, located about 60 miles from New York City, was once owned by one of the most notorious abortionists in America.

Marian Blue Wave volunteers gather around a statue of the Blessed Mother in Three Bridges, New Jersey. Marian Blue Wave participants in the U.S. and 31 countries around the world commit to pray one Holy Rosary per week for the intention of closing Planned Parenthood and ending all abortions. (Photo courtesy of Marian Blue Wave)

As Catholics from the pro-life group Marian Blue Wave knelt in prayer before a New Jersey abortion clinic, the front door swung open and the late-term abortionist emerged and demanded to know who was paying them to constantly appear before the facility. 

“They look at him kind of dumbfounded and they tell him they’re not being paid to be there, they are there of their own accord and they are praying that the place shuts down,” said Katie Brown, director of the Virginia-based Marian Blue Wave, a program of the American Life League (ALL). “He looks at these women and he’s like, ‘I don’t care who’s paying you or what, but I will personally pay each of you $100 to never come back to this abortion facility.’ Then he hastily turns around and goes back into the clinic.”

The stunning scene took place over the summer in front of American Women’s Services in Phillipsburg, a city in western New Jersey about 60 miles from New York City. The abortion mill was previously owned by notorious late-term abortionist Steven Chase Brigham, whom Operation Rescue once dubbed the “worst abortionist in America” after Kermit Gosnell. It is one of nine abortion clinics in New Jersey under the American Women’s Services banner.

After being stripped of his medical license in 2014, Brigham ostensibly transferred ownership of American Women’s Services to his medical director, Dr. Vikram H. Kaji, who was convicted by the New Jersey state medical board in 1993 for having “improper sexual contact” with a young girl at his clinic and giving improper breast and rectal exams to two women. The New Jersey attorney general’s office alleged that the sale to Kaji for $0 was a “sham” and in reality Brigham retained full control of the abortion clinics. In 2019, Kaji was declared incompetent to practice medicine and gave up his medical license. Kaji sold American Women’s Services to Dr. Richard Howard Blum for $1 in June 2019, according to sale documents obtained by Operation Rescue.

Brown said the Marian Blue Wave volunteers had been praying to learn the identity of the current late-term abortionist in Phillipsburg. Not long after, he appeared at the front door and made his cash offer; however, they did not learn his name.

“The fact that he offered to pay these women to leave the abortion facility proves not only that the power of prayer is definitely at work, but it’s affecting his business to the point that he had to come out himself and tell these women to get off the property or he would even pay them to get off the property,” Brown said in an interview with Catholic World Report. “It’s an incredible story. It’s the first time I’ve heard anything like that before.”

The prayer volunteers plan to redouble efforts to pray for the abortionist in hopes of a conversion that would lead him to close the abortion clinic, Brown said. They have no plans to stop praying the Rosary in front of the clinic in downtown Phillipsburg. The cash offer showed their prayerful presence was causing the ownership some heartburn, she said. “…Hopefully it’s driving women away to find better options, but also maybe it’s going to touch the heart of this abortionist,” she said.

“Not only is there power in prayer but there is power in persistence and we’re going to be back next week,” Brown said. “It’s great that they had that one small victory with getting the abortionist come out and be frustrated, but they’re just going to keep coming back. Hopefully with the persistence and the power of prayer this site will close down eventually.”

Former clinic owner often confronted

Joan Fasanello, executive director of the pro-life apostolate Life Choices in Phillipsburg, said she had not heard about the recent incident with the unnamed abortionist, but it did not surprise her. Late-term abortionist Brigham used to come out front of the abortion clinic often to banter with the pro-life sidewalk counselors. He seemed to enjoy trying to shock them with his statements, she said.

“He once carried out a book on natural selection, a textbook, nobody carries that around. He’s carrying that around and he says to me, ‘Do you know who performs the most abortions in the world?’ ” Fasanello said in an interview. “I knew where he was going. I said, ‘Why don’t you tell me,’ and he said, ‘God,’ because of miscarriages, is what he was implying. And I said, ‘That’s exactly why we’re here and praying for you, because only God should decide who lives or dies.’ ”

Brigham lost his New Jersey medical license in 2014 for performing illegal abortions in Maryland. Authorities alleged he would induce women up to 30 weeks pregnant into active labor in New Jersey, then transport them to a secret location in Maryland, where the abortion would be completed. Brigham was stripped of his medical license in numerous other states, including Pennsylvania, New York and Florida. The New Jersey State Board of Medical Examiners concluded Brigham was guilty of professional misconduct, negligence, dishonesty and misrepresentation.

 Fasanello said she often encountered women as they were leaving the abortion clinic in Phillipsburg to travel to another location. “We would see women really far along, in agony,” she said. “They’re obviously in labor. Getting in cars from out of state and driving off, and telling (us) that they were told they have to go to another office a few hours away.”

Fasanello recalled one woman about five months pregnant who left the abortion clinic after the start of the abortion and came to Life Choices. “She was crying and talking to me and she told me she wanted to stop the procedure and they told her it was not possible,” Fasanello said. “We got her to go to a local hospital,” Fasanello said. “They were able to change everything and she carried almost to term.”

Life Choices, an apostolate under the patronage of Our Lady of Guadalupe, has three locations in Phillipsburg, a health clinic, a daycare center and home for pregnant women, and a location for ongoing help, including diapers, clothing, cribs, strollers, mentoring and scholarships. “It’s like a constant baby shower is the way I like to explain it,” Fasanello said.

“We can provide them with all kinds of help. Just about any issue that the woman might present, we can explain how we can assist her,” Fasanello said. “Mostly they’re coming because it’s something they are afraid to handle. So by having those resources for them and encouragement, a lot of times that’s enough.”

There were 48,111 abortions in New Jersey in 2017, according to the Guttmacher Institute, an abortion advocacy group. New Jersey ranks third in the United States for the number of abortions per 1,000 women of reproductive age. Thirty-two percent of all pregnancies in New Jersey end in abortion, ranking second only to the District of Columbia, at 37 percent. 

The Charlotte Lozier Institute estimated total abortions increased 6.8 percent from 2017 to 2018, based on State of New Jersey data. New Jersey does not require abortions performed outside hospitals or ambulatory care facilities to be reported. The state has 76 abortion facilities, including 41 abortion clinics, according to Guttmacher.

Marian Blue Wave Director Katie Brown shows an early version of the group’s prayer map at the March for Life in 2020. The apostolate has grown despite the challenges of COVID-19, she says. (Photo courtesy of Marian Blue Wave)

Launched on feast of Our Lady of the Rosary

Marian Blue Wave was launched on Oct. 7, 2019, the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary. The group is dedicated to joining the Rosary prayers of people around the world for the closing of Planned Parenthood and other abortion clinics, and for an end to all abortions. Marian Blue Wave was inspired by the words of Bishop Joseph E. Strickland of Tyler, Texas, who said in reaction to liberal abortion laws enacted in New York that the nation should “pray and work for a Marian blue wave.” Bishop Strickland has endorsed the Marian Blue Wave apostolate.

“We ask Catholics and Christians to sign up to say one Rosary a week for the specific intention of ending all abortion and shutting down all Planned Parenthood facilities,” Brown said. “We have people signed up all over the country but also in 31 different countries around the world. We have groups that will either meet in churches or sometimes they will go out in front of a Planned Parenthood facility. Most of our people pray at home.”

Marian Blue Wave’s focus is not on politics or lobbying, but using the tools of spiritual warfare to end abortion, Brown said. The group has an online map showing Zip Code locations of its volunteers, alongside locations of abortion clinics.

“We thought the best way to bring people to realize that this is a fight in faith is to go through the Blessed Mother. That’s where the roots of this program are, is bringing back the faith aspect into ending abortion and shutting down Planned Parenthood,” Brown said. “This is a fight against evil. Our most powerful weapon against evil is the Rosary. If we’re going to fight a spiritual battle, we need spiritual weapons. That’s where the Rosary comes in.”

While some Marian Blue Wave volunteers pray in front of abortion clinics, many pray in churches and in their homes. That fact helped Marian Blue Wave grow even through the uncertainties of COVID-19. “That’s something that has really helped us,” Brown said. “You don’t have to go in front of a Planned Parenthood facility or an abortion facility to pray the Rosary. You can do that from anywhere as long as your intention is for the Blessed Mother to help shut down Planned Parenthood facilities and to end abortion. That has helped us growing during these difficult times the past couple years.”

Marian focus is unique

Brown, the granddaughter of American Life League founder Judie Brown, said the total Marian nature of the apostolate makes the group unique. “Hopefully this program is something that she (the BVM) can use to change the hearts of mothers and families everywhere, to see their true dignity and sanctity of life in that preborn child,” Brown said. “I think it might be the first program that really relies on the Blessed Mother to end abortion and shut down Planned Parenthood. It’s definitely unique in that fact. We’re hoping she will lead mothers to choose life, through her motherly intuition into guiding people that way.”

Brown said she believes Rosary prayers played a big role in the recent publicity of the racist and eugenicist past of Planned Parenthood, the exposing of the marketing of body parts of aborted children, the role abortion clinics play in the enabling of sex traffickers, and the ties the vaccine industry has to abortion and exploiting the deaths of aborted children for research.

“I think it really just comes back to the power of the intercession of the Blessed Mother and the power of prayer,” she said. “These things are not things that have been discovered in court or anything like that. I think these are supernatural revelations that have definitely come out of prayer. If you really want to see change, we’ve got to hold Planned Parenthood accountable for not just the murder of millions of children but also for the terrible things they’re doing to people currently.”

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About Joseph M. Hanneman 101 Articles
Joseph M. Hanneman writes from Madison, Wisconsin.


  1. There is also “The Helpers of God’s Precious Infants,” founded in 1991 by Msgr. Philip J. Reilly, with chapters in 45 states and 30 over foreign countries. Peaceful Rosaries in front of abortion clinics.

    On the power of prayer, while visiting in Seattle late in 1998 Reilly recounted this experience…

    Prayers in front of a clinic in his Manhattan didn’t seem to be working. So, he accepted an invitation to lead a similar witnessing session in front of a clinic in Las Vegas. Turns out that clinic then was closed by the state of Nevada for lack of adequate medical facilities. And, that the clinic was under the control of an umbrella organization that ran two other clinics. And, that these two clinics were also closed down for the same reason. And, that one of the two was the original clinic in Manhattan. Three for the price of one!

    Msgr. Reilly’s message: “God answers our prayers in His own time, and in His own way.”

  2. Saturation coverage of the Catholic media on abortion issue like this article perpetuates the mistaken notion taken by most ill-informed Catholics that abortion alone is the only social issue that we should care about about. The U.S. Bishops’ (some of them at least) insistence contrary to Pope Francis’s emphasis taking a broader view of life issues is also misleading designed to lead Catholics to become highly partisan during elections. “Pre-eminent” clearly does not mean “only,” which many Catholics have falsely understood. The unborn are a very convenient group to organize around because they don’t make any demands of you and they’re not morally complicated — unlike those facing the death penalty in prison, those who are sick and cannot get health care because of health care disparity, those trapped in poverty due to structural economic inequality, those suffering the ravages of the climate emergency, those victimized by systemic racial injustice, all those dying premature deaths because of these causes. You can love the unborn and advocate for them without substantially challenging your own wealth, power, or privilege, without re-imagining social structures, apologizing, or making reparations to anyone. They are, in short, the perfect people to love if you want to claim you love Jesus but actually dislike people who breathe.

    • You are sadly mistaken Sarah. So sorry you believe the lies from the left. If otherwise, you would have begun by asserting your support for the rights of the unborn before continuing with the litany of issues pro-lifers presumably do not care about. We Christians should stand in the gap for all life. I don’t know of a single person praying for an end to abortion who cares only about abortion. God bless you.

      • So sorry for you for equating the Bible and the Social Teachings of the Church as left. You must be an a malformed and misinformed rightist Catholic who takes cues from secular commentators and partisan operatives. Think and pray about your condition and seek the Holy Spirit’s deliverance.

        • Not so sure, here, that Maria M labeled the Catholic Social Teachings (CST) “as left.” Sounds more like she was referring to leftist slurs against pro-lifers focused on the direct killing of the most vulnerable.

          The conundrum, difficult to frame, is the mix in our “society” of direct sins of “commission” by abortion alongside other indirect imperfections or even (structural) sins of “omission”–the vulnerabilities you inventory (and which still leave open the means of corrective action, i.e., by the state and/or by other entities in a subsidiary/solidarity society—-part of the CST).

          In 1958 the USCCB stated it this way: “But being ‘right’ in such matters [‘racism, poverty, hunger, employment, education, housing and health care’] can never excuse a wrong choice regarding direct attacks on innocent human life. Indeed, the failure to protect and defend life in its most vulnerable stages renders suspect any claims to the ‘rightness’ of positions in other matters affecting the poorest and least powerful of the human community” (Living the Gospel of Life, no. 23).

        • Perhaps you are the one in need of prayers.

          To directly disparage millions in the pro-life cause in claiming that it costs them ‘nothing’ is to be supremely ignorant hiding behind the very convenient Bernardin method.

          Millions of dollars are spent by those professing pro-life beliefs and hundreds of clinics help post-birth mothers every year. And those arrested in buffer zones and risk their livelihoods is ‘nothing’? To say nothing of the very real cancel-culture of social media in regard to life efforts. Again, ‘nothing’? And the ever increasing attacks on Catholic Churches with their spray- painted messages of the pro-abortion ideology and the actual physical destruction of such Churches?

          And the unborn…nothing to you?

      • Thank you Maria for so kindly and correctly answering Sarah’s comment.
        The actual story is indeed just opposite of what Sarah has stated. It is most difficult for Churches to address the killing of near 2,500 children a day because it is such a hot topic. Fear of ‘the pews emptying’ seems to be prevalent among our Bishops and Pastors in general. It is so much easier to speak for, as Sarah pointed out, “those facing the death penalty in prison, those who are sick and cannot get health care because of health care disparity, those trapped in poverty due to structural economic inequality, those suffering the ravages of the climate emergency, those victimized by systemic racial injustice,”

        Climate Change is the latest concept to be added to the others now, so that our loving ‘Social Justice’ brothers and sisters can avoid working to stop abortion.

    • Spoken like a liberal. Unborn babies are true innocents, having offended or injured no one and helpless to help themselves. They rely on our prayers and assistance for their very survival. Systemic racism is a politically popular but bogus canard which has ironically brought some economic gains to some by applying racist standards to others. Racism applied against whites or asians is STILL racism, and no less a sin. Global warming hysterics never seem to have a way to explain why the earth has gone through numerous periods of freezing ice ages and then warming, all while no such things as cars or air pollution ever existed. This reality doesnt stop the left from trying to force people back to stone age living conditions, with no oil for heating and no personal vehicles. This political talking point serves no purpose but to satisfy the power grabbing needs of the left, who are always certain THEIR way is the one and only TRUE view of an issue. As for adults who end up in jail, they are receiving the fruits of what they have sewn. Some come from disadvantaged homes, but then so do many productive citizens who did not chose the same road. I hope they see the light and mend their lives but am more in sympathy with their victims. Regarding healthcare, since American hospitals are legally obligated to treat those who show up in their emergency rooms,regardless of ability to pay, even those who have broken the law and are here illegally, I dont agree that health care disparity exists. Many are unhealthy because they chose habits such as drug and alcohol abuse which lead to even more serious health issues. Again, choices of their own. I do pray that people like this eventually find their way to a happier and more agreeable life. I have people I love who suffer from some of these afflictions. I dont think being critical of those defending innocent babies is helpful to their cause. Personal responsibility for one’s decisions does have a place in everyone’s life.

        • How do you become pro-life in your definition not being a pro-birth firsthand? There is no Life to be pro if you don’t even born. Dah.

    • Abortion is the pre-eminent issue because we must firstly and always defend the most innocent, unable to defend themselves. Because of the existence of free and easy abortion, women are abused and treated as sexual objects, motherhood scorned and male responsibilities denied, children treated as unwanted accidents and expensive commodities, and the poor as an entire class that would be better off being eradicated. Abortion influences every single moral question in the nation.

    • So all the parents and doctors and nurses and priests and nuns and attorneys and teachers and students and scientists and firefighters and builders and truck drivers and people from thousands of other walks of life who comprise the pro-life movement have never cared about a single other human being “who breathes?” That is a pretty startling observation. What about all the bills we pay for those we love? What about the thousands of material support centers we operate for women and their families who have turned away from abortion? If you’ll agree to reimburse me for all I shelled out over the decades, I’ll be glad to let you insult me again.

      On the other hand, if you want to revisit reality, and cease living in a world of caricatures, you might examine such landmark studies such as a book, published about twenty years ago, “Who Really Cares” where the author, a former liberal, destroys the myth of liberal/progressive magnanimity vs conservative alleged selfishness. In reality, those who identify as conservative give more time and money to helping the disadvantaged than those who identify as liberals, typically in ratios of ten to one to a hundred to one, depending on the activity. Even in such matters like donating blood, conservatives donate thirty times the rate of liberals. Then you might consider why YOU have a need to fantasize an abstract more-caring-than-thou attitude around a series of concerns you list whose very labels you construct to imply a monolithic understanding which demands impersonal totalitarian resolution that gets YOU off the hook from rendering personal aid to the downtrodden. Moral sloth does NOT constitute following the Gospel.

  3. Why would people praying be something an abortionist would want to stop? Because it might lead someone to choose not to have an abortion? Could there be any other reason?

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