Number of Late-term Abortion Facilities in the USA May Surprise You

By Cheryl Sullenger

Washington, D.C. — When Marist polled the American public on the subject of late-term abortion in November 2015, the results were striking.

A full 81% of Americans support banning abortion after the first trimester of pregnancy. Even among those who identify themselves as “pro-choice,” two-thirds oppose second and third trimester abortions to the extent that they agree they should be illegal.

Clearly, based on the unpopularity of late-term abortions, one might conclude that the number of abortion facilities that conduct these abortion procedures would be very small.

However, according to a survey conducted by Operation Rescue in December 2015 through January 2016, the actual number might be surprising.

First, however, it is important to clarify terms.

A human pregnancy lasts 40 weeks. A baby in the womb is considered to be full-term at 37 weeks.

The first trimester of pregnancy extends through the first 12 weeks of gestation. Surgical abortion facilities often classify first trimester abortions as those done through the end of 13 weeks. Surgical abortions within this time frame can be done using a one-day procedure.

Abortions done after this time usually require a two day procedure or more depending on the size of the pre-born baby. (Read a description of the late-term Induction Abortion method.)

The term “late-term abortion” can refer to all second and third trimester abortions, but since there is currently a Congressional effort to ban abortion after 20 weeks, references here to “late term abortion facilities” will mean those that conduct abortions at 20 weeks of pregnancy and later.

Surgical Abortion Facilities

In the United States, as of this writing, there are 511 active surgical abortion facilities.

Of those, 162 surgical abortion clinics conduct abortions at 20 weeks gestation or later. Out of the 162 late-term facilities, 122 facilities, about 76%, will not provide abortions after 24 weeks.

Despite research that shows viability may occur as early as 22 weeks, abortion businesses consider viability at 24 weeks of pregnancy. There are 40 abortion facilities in America that openly do abortions at 24 weeks or later.

It may be surprising to know that the vast majority of abortion facilities that offer abortions at 20 weeks or later are not affiliated with Planned Parenthood. Only 18 out of 162 late-term facilities are Planned Parenthood facilities. The remainder, 144 facilities, are independent or have other affiliations.
Late-term by Week
Five abortion facilities openly conduct abortions throughout all nine months of pregnancy. These extreme late-term abortion facilities include:

Southwestern Women’s Options in Albuquerque, New Mexico
Pro-Choice Medical Center in Beverly Hills, California
Boulder Abortion Clinic in Boulder, Colorado
Germantown Reproductive Health Services in Germantown, Maryland
Women’s Med Center in Kettering, Ohio, a suburb of Dayton

Late-term by Affiliation

Since abortion risks to women increase for each week of pregnancy it is important to note that all five of these facilities are not equipped to deal with those consequences, which are all-too frequently life-threatening in nature.

Thus, late-term abortions pose a grave public safety risk to women in this country, who often don’t find out until they are on a gurney in the back of an ambulance just how dangerous late-term abortions can be.

But the risks only increase when the abortionists operate under the radar – some illegally — quietly doing late-term abortions that are not publicly advertised.

Such was the case with Kermit Gosnell, a West Philadelphia abortionist who quietly conducted illegal late-term abortions throughout the evening and into the early morning hours, unbeknownst to the general public, at his “House of Horrors” abortion facility. Gosnell was caught and convicted not only of illegal late-term abortions, but also three counts of first degree murder for “snipping” the necks of babies born alive during late-term abortions.

But Gosnell certainly is not the only abortionist to play fast and loose with the legal limits on late-term abortions.

Steven Chase Brigham made a practice of committing illegal late-term abortions. He used a bi-state abortion scheme in an attempt to circumvent gestational limits on abortion in his home state of New Jersey. This dangerous behavior cost him medical licenses in New York and later in New Jersey, but that hasn’t stopped New Jersey residents from spotting him at his clinics on abortion days. Is Brigham still conducting abortions illegally? It would not be surprising to find out that he was.

Also known for illegal late-term abortions is James Scott Pendergraft IV, who was caught by Operation Rescue operating a bi-state late-term abortion scheme similar to Brigham’s, but with a twist. Pendergraft, who lives in Florida, advertised that he would fly to Maryland where he would oversee the injection of late-term babies with a drug called Digoxin to stop their hearts. He was then willing to send women home while dangerously still carrying their dead babies, which could then be “delivered” at a local hospital of their choice.

But what Pendergraft never told his patients was that he was not licensed to practice in Maryland. While the Maryland Board of Physicians broke up Pendergraft’s illegal late-term operation and put his accomplice, Harold O. Alexander, on a short suspension, it didn’t stop Pendergraft or Alexander from conducting late-term abortions illegally.

Pendergraft was arrested in October, 2015, in South Carolina – when he is also unlicensed – operating an illegal rolling abortion business out of his vehicle. Authorities discovered drugs and bloody surgical instruments in his possession that were caked with fetal tissue. His criminal case is pending.

Meanwhile, Operation Rescue has confirmed that Alexander continues to do late-term abortions through 26 weeks even though the Maryland Board of Physicians filed an Administrative Complaint against him for this illicit practice in July, 2015, and is seeking to revoke his medical license in that state.

From this we can conclude that there are an unknown number of abortionists in American who offer late-term abortions in secret and perhaps illegally at great risk to the lives of women and their babies that the laws of our nation should protect.

While the public soundly rejects late-term abortions, the number of late-term abortion facilities that openly commit such barbaric procedures certainly does not reflect that sentiment. Worse yet is the fact that the number of known late-term facilities is low compared to what actually transpires in the shadows of the secretive American abortion industry.

This problem is a case in point for a Federal ban on late-term abortions, tight abortion restrictions, greater oversight of abortion facilities, and strict enforcement of abortion laws.

On Tuesday, March 15, 2016, the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee is conducting a hearing on entitled “Late-Term Abortion: Protecting Babies Born Alive and Capable of Pain.” That testimony will be of great interest to those of us who work to expose late-term abortion abuses and halt that grisly practice as we move toward the goal of building an abortion-free America.

View the live stream beginning at 10:00 a.m. Eastern on March 15 of the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on late-term abortions.

Note: Karen Myers contributed to this report.

Temporary Memorial Set at Gosnell Babies’ Unmarked Grave Site

Formal memorial and dedication of permanent marker set for September 25

gosnell babiesgravesite
By Cheryl Sullenger

Philadelphia, PA – Since the trial of convicted murder Kermit Gosnell in May of 2013, Rev. Patrick Mahoney of the Christian Defense Coalition has made several attempts to secure the remains for burial of 47 aborted babies discovered at Gosnell’s West Philadelphia “House of Horrors” abortion clinic. For months, those remains had languished in storage in the Coroner’s office.

Each request to bury the babies was denied.

Last week, Mahoney had again sought the release of the remains for burial when he inadvertently discovered that the babies’ bodies had been unceremoniously cremated and buried in an unmarked grave at Laurel Hill Cemetery by the City of Philadelphia on September 12, 2013.

On Wednesday, June 10, Mahoney gathered with about 40 pro-life supporters to place flowers, a temporary marker, and 47 white crosses at the grave site. The group then briefly memorialized the babies that were at the heart of a sensational murder trial that revealed shocking details of shoddy abortions done by untrained, unlicensed staff in squalid conditions at a run-down brick office building located at 3801 Lancaster.

gosnellbabiesmarkerGosnell and the unlicensed abortionists that worked for him quietly conducted illegal late-term abortions in which it was routine for the babies to be born alive. Gosnell would then stab the babies in the backs of their necks with scissors and sever their spinal cords in a process he referred to as “snipping.”

Gosnell was caught only when authorities raided his clinic, thinking he was operating an illegal pill mill. It was then they discovered the truth behind Gosnell’s macabre abortion business — along with jars lining a shelf that contained the severed limbs of aborted babies.

Steven Massof was one of Gosnell’s unlicensed workers who posed as a doctor and conducted late-term abortions illegally. During Gosnell’s trial, Massof testified that during busy times, the women were given drugs to induce contractions all at once. Massof told the court that “it would rain fetuses. Fetuses and blood all over the place. . .I felt like a firemen in hell. I couldn’t put out all the fires.”

City officials told reporters they were simply following protocol when they cremated and buried the “unclaimed” remains without notice. However, Mahoney refuted that notion.

“We came for months after months, seeking these children in love. They were not unclaimed. They were wanted, they were desired, they had meaning and purpose. And so even though we are thankful they are not still in the morgue, it is deeply troubling . . . not making this a more public affair,” Mahoney told the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Now plans are underway for a formal memorial service set for September 25 during events surrounding Pope Francis’ visit to Philadelphia. The Pope has even been invited to the service.

The Christian Defense Coalition and Operation Rescue are also raising money for a proper grave marker that will stand as a memorial to the babies who died and a warning to future generations not to repeat the mistakes of the past.

“It was a corrupt political climate that created Kermit Gosnell, the murderer. A radical pro-abortion administration encouraged authorities to turn a blind eye to reports of squalor, shoddy abortions, and two patient deaths,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue. “As a result, Gosnell’s clinic degenerated into the depths of perversity, costing the lives of hundreds of viable babies that the law should have protected as well as the lives of at least two patients. The world need to know the truth about where unrestricted abortion has led us, so we do not allow those horrors to continue.”

Operation Rescue’s Cheryl Sullenger reported extensively from the courtroom during the Gosnell murder trial and gave America a window into the proceedings when no other national media would. Her exclusive reports can be read at

View photos of Gosnell’s victims (Caution: Graphic)

Gosnell Post Script: How They Were Sentenced

The last of the Kermit Gosnell co-defendants were sentenced in June, 2014, putting an end to the Philadelphia abortion “House of Horrors” murder saga. Below is a list of charges for which they were found guilty and the sentences they received.

A list of each defendant’s original charges can be seen here.

The full archive of original reports from Operation Rescue related to the Gosnell abortion/murder case can be viewed here.


Found Guilty at Trial: Jury found him guilty of 3 counts of First Degree Murder, 21 felony counts of illegal abortions beyond the 24 week limit, 211 counts of misdemeanor counts of violating the 24-hour informed consent law, numerous conspiracy and corrupt organization charges. In addition, he was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the death of abortion patient Karnamaya Mongar. He also pled guilty to Federal charges of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, including oxycodone, alprazolam, and codeine; distribution and aiding and abetting the distribution of oxycodone; and maintaining a place for the illegal distribution of controlled substances.

Sentence: Three consecutive life terms in State prison without the possibility of parole. Gosnell gave up his right to appeal the verdicts in exchange for not receiving the death penalty. Gosnell also was sentenced to an additional 30 years in prison on the Federal drug charges.


Plea Bargain: Pled guilty to Murder in the Third Degree and agreed to cooperate with the prosecution in exchange for sentencing leniency. She testified against Gosnell at his trial.

Sentence: Time served (28 months) and 3 years of probation.


Plea Bargain: Pled guilty to 2 counts of third degree murder, distribution of a controlled substance, and conspiracy. She agreed to cooperate with the prosecution in exchange for sentencing leniency. She testified against Gosnell at his trial but did so less than enthusiastically.

Sentence: 2 1/2 years in prison, which was less than prosecutors had wanted.


Plea Bargain: Pled guilty to two counts of third degree murder and agreed to cooperate with the prosecution in exchange for sentencing leniency. He testified against Gosnell at his trial.

Sentence: 6-12 years in prison.


Plea Bargain: Pled guilty to third-degree murder and other charges, admitting that she administered some of the overdose of Demerol that killed abortion patient Karnamaya Mongar. She also admitted to participating in a cover-up by lying about what happened and destroying files. During her court testimony for the prosecution, West denied ever having done anything wrong.

Sentence: 5-10 years in prison.

PEARL GOSNELL (Kermit Gosnell’s wife)

Pled Guilty: Illegal late-term abortions, racketeering, and conspiracy. She turned against her husband to save herself, but did not testify against him at his trial.

Sentenced: 7-23 months in prison.


Found Guilty at Trial:
Guilty of numerous crimes, including conspiracy, participation in a corrupt organization, and two counts of theft by deception.

Sentence: 6-23 months of house arrest, 2 years of probation, and 100 hours of community service.

ELIZABETH HAMPTON (Pearl Gosnell’s foster sister)

Plea Bargain: Pled guilty to perjury. Agreed to testify against Gosnell in exchange for sentencing leniency.

Sentence: 1 year probation.


Plea Bargain: Pled guilty to sustaining a corrupt organization and other offenses.

Sentence: 30 months of probation.


Charges Dropped: Joe’s single charge of conspiracy was dropped. She never testified at Gosnell’s trial.

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