BALTIMORE – In early August, three women, each of them more than four months pregnant, sought abortions from Dr. Steven Brigham at his clinic in New Jersey. Instead of turning them down, authorities said, Brigham used a novel scheme to take advantage of the disparities in state abortion laws.

He started the late-term abortions in New Jersey, where he wasn’t permitted to perform them, and finished them a day later in Maryland, where the law is more permissive, authorities said. One of the abortions, however, didn’t go as planned, and Maryland officials ordered Brigham, 54, to stop practicing medicine in the state. Police raided his offices and yanked two of his colleagues’ licenses in Maryland, and New Jersey authorities are also seeking to take his license away.

Brigham’s license has been suspended or revoked in several states, but he has managed to continue operating more than a dozen clinics. The new allegations stunned even those familiar with his notorious reputation.

“His record is the most egregious one I know of in the field,” said Vicki Saporta, president of the National Abortion Federation, an association of abortion providers, which has been warning authorities about Brigham’s practices since the mid-1990s.

New Jersey permits all licensed doctors to perform abortions for fetuses 14 weeks and younger, but Brigham and his clinics lacked the certification needed to perform a different procedure that’s used for later-term fetuses.

Maryland law is more flexible. Licensed physicians can perform abortions at any time before the fetus is deemed capable of surviving outside the womb, and abortions of viable fetuses are permitted to protect the life or health of the mother or if the fetus has serious genetic abnormalities. Doctors generally consider fetuses to be viable starting around 23 weeks.

While it’s common for late-term abortions to be performed over two days, documents show that Brigham didn’t even tell his patients they’d be going to his clinic in Elkton, Md., about 60 miles away. He simply led a caravan of vehicles, instructing patients or their relatives to follow him, documents show.

Brigham graduated from Columbia University medical school in 1986. He’s the owner of American Women’s Services Inc. – which is headquartered in Voorhees, N.J., about 10 miles east of Philadelphia – and has 16 abortion clinics in New Jersey, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia.