Florida Seeks to Revoke Abortionist’s License After Felony Drug Convictions; He Goes into Marijuana Business

By Cheryl Sullenger

Tallahassee, FL – Operation Rescue has been informed by the Department of Health that a complaint it filed against abortionist James Scott Pendergraft IV has resulted in an Administrative Complaint that could result in the permanent revocation of his Florida medical license or other discipline.

The Administrative Complaint alleges that when Pendergraft pleaded guilty to ten felony charges of possession to distribute controlled substances in the State of South Carolina on October 16, 2017, he triggered a violation a Florida statute that states such a felony conviction is grounds for discipline in Florida.

Pendergraft was arrested on October 5, 2015, during a routine traffic stop near Spartanburg, South Carolina, after Sheriff’s Deputies found in his possession surgical implements that were covered in blood and human tissue from abortions he had illegally performed throughout South Carolina. He was also in the possession of illegal narcotics, such as marijuana, LSD, and drugs used to sedate women for abortions. Pendergraft held no medical license in South Carolina.

He was initially charged with five counts of illegal possession with intent to distribute. A grand jury later added an additional five counts.

In a letter to Cheryl Sullenger dated April 24, 2018, which accompanied a copy of the Administrative Complaint, she was advised that a Probable Cause Panel of the Department of Health found that probable cause exists to believe Pendergraft violated Florida statutes and qualified for disciplinary action. This determination was made after it reviewed her complaint along with the investigative report and the recommendation prepared by the Department of Health.

Pendergraft has had his Florida medical license suspended at least five times. It is currently under indefinite suspension, but that hasn’t stopped Pendergraft from profiting from his abortion businesses and illegal out-of-state abortion and drug operations.

Operation Rescue earlier reported that the Florida Department of Health has revoked the abortion facility licenses of four of Pendergraft’s abortion businesses based on his felony convictions in South Carolina.

Of those four, Pendergraft continued to operate two facilities either illegally or under questionable legality. After Operation Rescue reported that the Fort Lauderdale Women’s Center continued to do abortions illegally after its facility license was revoked and that a complaint was filed by Broward Right to Life, the facility finally shut down.

Now, ironically, Pendergraft has been converting some of his abortion facilities in marijuana distribution clinics — the very thing that earned him a felony conviction in South Carolina.

Michelle Herzog, an Orlando area pro-life activist, says that Pendergraft’s Fort Lauderdale location and his former Orlando EPOC abortion facility, both still owned by Pendergraft, are being converted to medicinal marijuana clinics under the name “Green Relief.” The website lists the physician at these marijuana clinics as Frank Rodriguez, who also currently serves as the primary abortionist at the Center of Orlando for Women and Women’s Center of Hyde Park, located in Tampa – both “former” Pendergraft abortion clinics.

The strong connections between the abortion businesses and medicinal marijuana clinics points to the very real possibility that Pendergraft is still in practical control of both businesses, which would be a violation of Board order for him to divest himself from the abortion businesses.

“We don’t want to see another license suspension for Pendergraft. He has proven that he has no respect for the law or the rules that apply to the practice of medicine in Florida. Repeated suspensions have done nothing to cause him to amend his ways. In fact, they have only made him more devious. This time, his license must be permanently revoked,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue.

Pendergraft has a long and sordid history of violations and malpractice cases.

Operation Rescue has caught Pendergraft operating outside the law before. He was ordered to cease and desist his illegal late-term abortion racket that he once conducted in Maryland, where he was unlicensed. His accomplice, abortionist Harold O. Alexander, had medical license was temporarily suspended as a result and later permanently revoked.

Operation Rescue also published a video taken by Herzog showing Pendergraft sneaking in the back door of his now-closed EPOC abortion mill in Orlando. According to Herzog, the waiting room was full of abortion patients and there was no other doctor present at the facility, leading her to believe he was about to commit abortions while he was prohibited from doing so by the Florida Medical Board. Herzog called the police, but Pendergraft bolted out the back door and fled the scene before police could arrive.

In 2011, Pendergraft was ordered to pay a judgment of nearly $37 million in a malpractice case that involved a horrific medication abortion inflicted on a woman who was 22.3 weeks into her pregnancy. Medication abortions of the type she received are not recommended after 7-9 weeks of pregnancy. She birthed an extremely premature infant, who survived with serious physical and developmental issues. Pendergraft has dodged efforts by that family to collect on the judgment.

He has also dodged paying over $120,000 in fines owed to the Florida Board of Medicine.

“Pendergraft richly deserves license revocation and to have all of his abortion facilities closed. However, he should be continually watched. He has proven that he is willing to go to any lengths and break any law to profit from killing babies. He simply cannot be trusted,” said Newman.

The disciplinary case will now move on to an administrative hearing where Pendergraft will be allowed a defense, or he could reach a consent agreement with the Medical Board.

Operation Rescue will continue to monitor the progress of Pendergraft’s disciplinary case.
Read Pendergraft’s Administrative Complaint dated 4/23/2018.

Florida Revokes Four Abortion Facility Licenses, But Two Continue to Operate Illegally

By Cheryl Sullenger

Tallahassee, FL – The Florida Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) has revoked four abortion facility licenses of abortion clinics associated with criminal abortionist James Scott Pendergraft, IV.

The revocations were effective on March 27, 2018. Facilities involved were:

EPOC
Ft. Lauderdale Women’s Center
Ocala Women’s Center
Orlando Women’s Center


The revocations were made as a result of Pendergraft’s October 2017 drug convictions in South Carolina. Pendergraft and a female associate were arrested near the community of Spartanburg on October 5, 2015. At that time, Sheriff Chuck Wright stated in a press conference, “We got a guy and a girl early in the week that was a traveling abortionist. He traveled around the state of South Carolina without a medical license, with drugs and with medical tools, performing in-home abortions. So basically, we got an illegal baby killer.”

Pendergraft, who was never licensed to practice in South Carolina, was never charged with operating the illegal abortion scheme out of the back of his van.

However, Pendergraft pled guilty on to ten criminal Felony and Misdemeanor counts including Possession of a Controlled Substance, Possession of Marijuana and LSD, Possession and Distribution Prescription Drugs without a Prescription, and Manufacture and Possession of Schedule I & II Substances.

Those convictions disqualified him from owning or operating any medical facility in Florida.

The AHCA filed suit to close Pendergraft’s abortion facilities. Pendergraft had appealed the revocation orders, but the court ruled on March 26, 2018, that the revocations should stand.

That should have been the end of it. It wasn’t.

While it is true that two abortion facilities had previously closed, others remain open for business under dubious circumstances.

The Ocala Women’s Center voluntarily shut down in October 2015. The EPOC clinic, which is still owned by Pendergraft through his 609 Virginia Drive LLC, has been closed for some months, supposedly “for renovations.” With the recent facility license revocation, EPOC cannot legally reopen at this time.

Orlando Women’s Center name change

The Orlando Women Center, Pendergraft’s flagship abortion facility, is one of the clinics that remains open. It has undergone a name change to Center of Orlando for Women. Pendergraft has transferred ownership to Denise Williams, who is reportedly an ex-wife and the mother of two of his children.

“This transaction is most likely a change in paperwork only. I suspect that Pendergraft will still be just as involved in the abortion business as ever,” said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman, who notes that disgraced New Jersey abortionist Steven Chase Brigham employed the same tactic to keep his abortion businesses open after his medical license was revoked. Brigham, who could be in competition with Pendergraft for the title of “America’s Most Deceptive Abortionist,” remains involved with his businesses to this day.

The new Center of Orlando for Women applied for an abortion facility license and was granted it despite the involvement long-time Pendergraft employee Megan Clemente, who currently serves as clinic administrator.

But another major issue involves the designated medical director. The Center of Orlando for Women’s license application lists troubled abortionist Randall Whitney, a long-time associate of Pendergraft’s. However, Whitney’s medical license is currently under indefinite suspension for improperly prescribing controlled substances, making it legally impossible for him to serve in that capacity. Whitney also has a history of criminal patient abuse.

Ft. Lauderdale Women’s Center illegally operating?

The Fort Lauderdale Women’s Center’s license was revoked on March 27, 2018, and no ownership transfers are on record. Nevertheless, the abortion facility continues to conduct abortions – apparently illegally.

A complaint against the facility was filed on April 7, 2018, by Broward Right to Life, which says at least 34 abortions have taken place at the unlicensed facility between March 27 and April 7.

The complaint lists Planned Parenthood abortionist and part-time Pendergraft associate Harvey C. Roth as being on duty during the alleged illegal abortions. Roth appears to be related to the notorious Michigan “Trunk Abortionist” Michael Roth, according to research done by Michigan pro-life activist Lynn Mills. Michael Roth was convicted last year of three counts of larceny for stealing drugs and medical equipment for use in his illegal home abortion scheme after the stolen goods and the remains of aborted babies were discovered in his vehicle’s trunk following a traffic accident.

An investigation into the Fort Lauderdale Women’s Center is currently underway.

Women’s Center of Hyde Park

One of Pendergraft’s abortion businesses not subject to the lawsuit is Women’s Center of Hyde Park, located in Tampa. Ownership was transferred to Denise Williams on October 28, 2010. Since then, the Women’s Center of Hyde Park has been fined seven times, primarily for failure to file termination of pregnancy reports.

However, the Women’s Center of Hyde Park is listed as one of five abortion facilities on WomensCenter.com, which boasts with verbosity about its founder, James Scott Pendergraft.



#ShutThemDown

As far as can be determined, it has just been business as usual at Pendergraft’s abortion chain since the facility license revocations were issued. The two facilities that were already closed remain shut down. The three facilities that operated prior to the revocations continue to operate today.

The two facilities that have opted to shift ownership – at least on paper – continue to be run by those close to Pendergraft, with the same staff.

The Center of Orlando For Women operates without a currently licensed medical director, and Fort Lauderdale Women’s Center appears to be operating illegally without a valid abortion facility license. Both should be shut down permanently.

“Pendergraft is one of the most deceptive and deceitful abortionists in the nation. We have long documented his illegal operations and efforts to evade the law,” said Newman. “There can be no redemption for these facilities. They will continue to operate in violation until the ACHA realized their deceptive practices and permanently prevents them from operating. Pendergraft and his cohorts have had a long run killing babies, injuring women, and operating outside the law. Enough is enough. It’s time to shut them down.”
______________

Note: Some of the documents used in this article graciously were provided by Liberty Counsel and Michele Herzog.

Complaint Moving Forward in Effort to Revoke Florida Abortionist’s Medical License

By Cheryl Sullenger

Tallahassee, FL – Operation Rescue has been notified by letter that its complaint filed against Florida abortionist James Scott Pendergraft, IV is moving forward to a Probable Cause Panel, which will decide whether a formal disciplinary action will be filed.

The complaint focused on Pendergraft’s arrest in South Carolina in 2015 for operating a “rolling abortion clinic” out of his vehicle and possession of illegal drugs, and his guilty pleas entered on October 16, 2017, on the felony drug possession charges. He was sentenced to five years of probation and fined a total of $26,342.25.

The South Carolina authorities that prosecuted Pendergraft declined to charge him with illegal abortions or practicing medicine without a license even though he has never held a medical license in that state.

“Pendergraft’s criminal conviction may now be his downfall. In truth, he belongs in prison, but license revocation and the closure of his Florida abortion facilities would be a huge victory for all who have worked and prayed that his abortion career would end,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue.

Currently, Pendergraft’s Florida medical license is under suspension for the fifth time for a variety of shoddy abortion practices, including failure to pay the Medical Board $122,000 in fines and costs.

The South Carolina felony convictions should be enough to finally revoke his license permanently.

Pendergraft continues to operate three abortion facilities in Central Florida. The Florida Department of Health revoked the facility licenses of Pendergraft’s four abortion facilities on May 5, 2017, based on his South Carolina arrests. However, three have remained open pending their appeal of the revocations and one has since closed.

Pendergraft’s remaining abortion facilities are:

• EPOC Clinic, LLC in Orlando (which has been rarely open in recent weeks).
• Ft. Lauderdale Women’s Center, LLC in Ft. Lauderdale.
• Orlando Women’s Center, LLC in Orlando.

In light of the felony convictions, and if Pendergraft’s medical license is indeed revoked, it is expected that those facilities will permanently close.

Pendergraft has been involved in a number of legal issues, including repeated alleged criminal activity over the years.

In 2012, Operation Rescue conducted an undercover investigation that discovered he was operating an illegal late-term abortion racket at an unlicensed abortion facility in Maryland with the help of abortionist Harold O. Alexander. Alexander’s medical license was temporarily suspended as a result, and was later revoked.

In 2011, a malpractice case that resulted in a multi-million dollar judgment against him. In an effort to collect on the judgement, a moving van was used to seize the contents of his Orlando Women’s Center in 2013, but he was able to reopen later with supposedly “borrowed” equipment.

In 2015, pro-life activist Michele Herzog caught Pendergraft on video sneaking into the back door of his Orlando abortion facility, apparently to do abortions even though his medical license was listed as “Delinquent” with a note that he was not permitted to practice medicine. No other abortionist was on duty and women filled the waiting room. After Herzog called the police, Pendergraft fled the scene. It was later that same year that he was arrested in South Carolina in the case that could mean the end to his abortion career.

“Pendergraft has managed to stay in business all these years despite efforts by pro-lifers and by regulators to shut him down,” said Newman. “If our complaint succeeds in accomplishing that goal, it will end the career of one of the worst abortionists in America. That would be a victory for women and a huge answer to years of prayer.”

Read the letter from the Florida Department of Health
View Pendergraft’s profile page with further documentation at AbortionDocs.org.

Illegal Abortionist Pendergraft Pleads Guilty, Sentenced to 5 Years Probation on Drug Offenses

By Cheryl Sullenger

Spartanburg, SC — Florida abortionist James Scott Pendergraft IV pled guilty to ten drug counts yesterday in a Spartanburg, South Carolina County Court stemming from his arrest during a traffic stop in 2015, in which he was caught conducting an illegal abortion business out of his vehicle and in possession of illegal drugs.

The ten criminal Felony and Misdemeanor counts include Possession of a Controlled Substance, Possession of Marijuana and LSD, Possession and Distribution Prescription Drugs without a Prescription, and Manufacture and Possession of Schedule I & II Substances.

Pendergraft was sentenced on each charge for varying amounts of jail time up to five years, but those sentences were suspended for time served. He was placed on 5 years of probation and fined a total of $26,342.25.

He was also prohibited from ever applying for a medical license in South Carolina.

Pendergraft was not charged with illegal abortions or practicing medicine without a license even though he has never held a medical license in South Carolina.

Upon his arrest on October 5, 2015, Sheriff Chuck Wright stated in a press conference, “We got a guy and a girl early in the week that was a traveling abortionist. He traveled around the state of South Carolina without a medical license, with drugs and with medical tools, performing in-home abortions. So basically, we got an illegal baby killer.”

Pendergraft operates four abortion facilities in Florida, yet his medical license is currently under suspension for the fifth time for substandard abortion practices and failing to pay the Florida Medical Board over $122,000 in fines and fees.

A felony conviction should provide ample grounds for permanent license revocation.

Pendergraft also was hit in 2011 with a malpractice judgement of $11,800,000, which creditors continue to try to collect.

Given his financial woes, paying the fines on his drug convictions may prove a difficult task.

The Florida Department of Health also revoked the facility licenses of Pendergraft’s four abortion facilities on May 5, 2017. Those facilities are:

• EPOC Clinic, LLC in Orlando.
• Ft. Lauderdale Women’s Center, LLC in Ft. Lauderdale.
• Orlando Women’s Center, LLC in Orlando.
• Ocala Women’s Center, LLC, an Ocala abortion facility that closed in 2015.

The Florida Department of Health cited Pendergraft’s arrests as the basis for the facility license revocations. However, those abortion facilities remain open pending an appeal. Pendergraft’s convictions should be enough to shut his businesses down for good, but that determination still lies in the hands of the court.

“Pendergraft truly belongs behind bars. Traditional discipline has never persuaded him to amend his criminal conduct. Even if his license is revoked and his Florida abortion businesses closed, vigilance is ever necessary, lest he take his illegal and dangerous abortions underground once again,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue.

Operation Rescue has caught Pendergraft operating outside the law before. In 2012, an undercover investigation found that he was operating an illegal late-term abortion racket at an unlicensed abortion facility in Maryland with the help of abortionist Harold O. Alexander. Alexander’s medical license was temporarily suspended as a result.

UPDATE: Trial for Abortionist Caught in Illegal Rolling Abortion Scheme Delayed Again

By Cheryl Sulleger

Spartanburg, SC – A trial in the case of Florida abortionist James Scott Pendergraft, IV, which was scheduled to begin last week, has been reset to begin the week of November 13, 2017.

Pendergraft and an accomplice were arrested on a highway near Spartanburg, South Carolina, on October 5, 2015, during a traffic stop in which Sheriff’s Deputies discovered illegal drugs and bloody, tissue-covered abortion instruments. This lead law enforcement to conclude that he was conducting an illegal abortion/drug business out of his van. Pendergraft is not licensed to practice in South Carolina.

Pendergraft was charged with 10 drug counts, including possession of sedation drugs used in abortions, LSD and marijuana.

Pendergraft’s case, which has been delayed several times already, was placed on the court docket for a jury trial beginning the week of July 24, 2017. However, the Spartanburg County Court takes the oldest cases on the week’s docket first. If the older cases take longer than expected, the newer cases are bumped to the next available space on the Court’s docket, which could be months away.

In the meantime, the State of Florida continues to battle Pendergraft’s appeal of the license revocation order for his three remaining abortion facilities. If Pendergraft is convicted in South Carolina, it is very likely that the state will prevail and his once formidable – but extremely dangerous – abortion empire will be shut down for good.

Operation Rescue will continue monitoring these cases.

Read background report for more information and links.