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.

Criminal Trial Set to Begin for Rolling Abortionist Pendergraft, While Florida Tries to Close His Clinics

By Cheryl Sullenger

Spartanburg, SC – Nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the picturesque community of Spartanburg, South Carolina, will be the sight of a criminal trial that will have implications on the future of a chain of four Central Florida abortion businesses.

James Scott Pendergraft, IV, was arrested on October 5, 2015, during a routine traffic stop. 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.

Sheriff Chuck Wright announced Pendergraft’s arrest without naming him, saying, “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.”

Operation Rescue was soon able to identify Wright’s traveling abortionist as James Scott Pendergraft, IV, a high-profile Florida abortionist license was under suspension.

Pendergraft was not licensed to practice medicine in South Carolina, a fact that would later cause serious repercussions for his Florida abortion business.

Pendergraft was charged with five drug-related crimes. An additional five drug counts were added on May 6, 2016, after a grand jury issued indictments against him.

He is scheduled for a jury trial that is set to begin later this week. If convicted, it will surely spell the end of Pendergraft’s Florida medical license.

Spartanburg Co Court Trial Roster- Week of 7-24-2017-Hilite by Cheryl Sullenger on Scribd

Meanwhile, the Florida Department of Health revoked the facility licenses of four of Pendergraft’s 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. According to Florida law, criminal arrests are disqualifying acts, meaning that even an arrest without a conviction disqualifies the person from employment that requires licensure.

Pendergraft serves as Chief Financial Officer for each facility, which is considered an employee under the law. The abortion businesses continued an employee/employer relationship with Pendergraft even though it was illegal for them to do so, and therefore grounds for revocation of their facility licenses.

Pendergraft’s facilities were given 30 days to allow for the orderly winding down of the abortion businesses. However, the revocation orders have been appealed, so the facilities have been allowed to continue operating pending the outcome of the appeal.

Florida Abortion Facility License Revocation Order 5-5-2017 by Cheryl Sullenger on Scribd

Pendergraft’s criminal conviction would likely render that appeal a moot point, and force the closure of Pendergraft’s seedy abortion chain.

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 with the help of abortionist Harold O. Alexander. Alexander’s medical license was temporarily suspended as a result.

Operation Rescue also published a video taken by Orlando pro-life activist Michele Herzog showing Pendergraft sneaking in the back door of his 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 2001, 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.

Operation Rescue will continue to monitor Pendergraft’s criminal case and his facility licensing case.

“Please join us in praying for justice and for the closure of Pendergraft’s horrible Central Florida abortion mills,” said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman. “Pendergraft belongs behind bars, and we pray a jury will put him there this week.”

She Walked into Planned Parenthood Yesterday, but She Didn’t Walk Out

By Cheryl Sullenger

Annapolis, MD – She walked into a Planned Parenthood abortion facility yesterday morning, but she didn’t walk out.

An ambulance was called on the morning of Tuesday, October 4, 2016, for a hemorrhaging patient at the Planned Parenthood clinic in Annapolis, Maryland.

Local pro-life activist Pamela Palumbo provided Operation Rescue with photos and video within minutes of the incident that showed female patient being removed from the abortion facility on a gurney. She was then transported to a nearby hospital.

A radio traffic recording made by Anne Arundel County Police, Fire and EMS was immediately obtained by Operation Rescue.

The recording revealed that units, including an ambulance, were dispatched to Planned Parenthood, located in the Mason Building on West Street in Annapolis at about 11:08 a.m. in response to a hemorrhage.

This is the second documented medical emergency at the Annapolis Planned Parenthood this year. Another woman was transported to the hospital on Tuesday, January 5, 2016. The injuries suffered by that patient are unknown due to heavily redacted 911 records.

On February 19, 2013, the Annapolis Planned Parenthood failed its initial licensing inspection after an inspector documented improper sterilization of surgical instruments in a leaky sterilization machine. The facility was granted a license anyway.

Inspectors did not return to Planned Parenthood for nearly 2½ years. In July, 2015, the facility was found by some stroke of luck to be in compliance with Surgical Abortion Facility requirements.

“I have seen so many pictures of ambulances at abortion clinics that I lost track long ago,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue. “It is time for regulators to take their jobs more seriously and protect the public from being injured, maimed, and even killed at American abortion facilities, as we have seen happen all too often. Right now, women are fodder for exploitation and harm by unscrupulous, profit-centered abortion businesses. Enough is enough!”

ambulanceppannapolis-10042016

Florida Abortionist Pendergraft Indicted By South Carolina Grand Jury on Multiple Drug Charges

Activists also witness workers moving office contents out of Pendergraft’s Ocala abortion facility, which is now permanently closed.

Pendergraftmug600

By Cheryl Sullenger

Spartanburg County, SC — According to court records, late-term abortionist James Scott Pendergraft IV has been indicted by a grand jury on a total of six drug-related charges, including what appears to be posession of LSD. The “true bill” indictments were recorded on May 6, 2016.

Pendergraft, a notorious late-term abortionist from Florida, was initially arrested on October 5, 2015, during a traffic stop in South Carolina. There, sheriff’s deputies discovered 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.

At the time of his arrest last fall, Spartanburg County Sheriff Chuck Wright told 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.”

But no charges appear to have been filed related to unlawful abortions even though Pendergraft holds no medical license in South Carolina.

Pendergraft Charges 05062016 by Cheryl Sullenger

“Pendergraft should go to jail for these serious drug charges. We pray Florida will act swiftly to shut down his four remaining abortion facilities in Florida,” said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman. “We have prayed for him to get out of the abortion business for years, and maybe a stiff jail sentence will be the thing that finally does it.”

Meanwhile, pro-life activists are reporting that Pendergraft moved out of his Ocala, Florida, abortion facility this week after suspending abortions “until further notice” last fall after his South Carolina arrest.

Ocala Moving Day

Workers were spotted by pro-life activist Ralph Enger carrying out boxes and loading the dumpster with the contents of the former abortion facility. A phone call from the facility confirmed that its closure is permanent.

According to Enger, a receptionist who answered the phone told a caller requesting services in Ocala, “I’m sorry ma’am that place is closed permanently. Ocala will not be operating any more. It is permanently closed. We are no longer in Ocala.”

Enger plans to lead a Thanksgiving prayer service outside the facility on July 2.

Pendergraft is serving the fifth suspension of his Florida medical license. Nevertheless, he continues to operate four abortion facilities in Orlando and the central Florida region.

Operation Rescue documented and reported his illegal late-term abortion operation in Maryland in 2011, which was shut down by the state.

For more on Pendergraft’s long history of abortion abuses, visit his profile at AbortionDocs.org.

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.