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.”

Baltimore Abortion Facility Caught Operating Without a License & Violating Patient Privacy Laws

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By Cheryl Sullenger

Baltimore, MD – Even though Baltimore’s Hillcrest Clinic was temporarily closed in February 2016, a group a pro-life supporters continued their routine vigil outside the abortion facility. One activist happened to notice papers blowing down the sidewalk from the nearby commercial dumpster that was a sign renovations were in progress. Being a good citizen, she retrieved the litter of paperwork so she could return it to the dumpster.

But as she causally glanced at the documents, she became alarmed by what she saw.

The papers were medical records from patients who had received abortions.

There were names, addresses, and even a copy of a woman’s photo identification card – all blowing down the sidewalk for anyone to find. When she looked inside the dumpster, she found “buckets” of medical records strewn amongst the broken pieces of office furniture, ceiling tiles, and miscellaneous debris deposited by contractors working on the remodel.

The activist, who asked that she not be identified, was concerned that privacy laws such as the Health Insurance Portability Accountability Act (HIPAA) were being broken, and that the abortion business had committed a breach of trust. She put the medical records back in the dumpster then took photographs to document the incident.

On the advice of Operation Rescue, a complaint along with her photos was filed with the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH). Then, she waited to see what would happen next.

Reason for Concern

The Hillcrest Clinic first opened in 1973, soon after the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision decriminalized abortions in all 50 states, and claims to be the first legal abortion facility to ever open in Baltimore. While Hillcrest is affiliated with the National Abortion Federation, that hasn’t made it safe by any means. Over the years, there have been a slew of medical malpractice suits and disciplinary actions against its abortionists.

EarlMcLeodFor example, in 1999, Hillcrest abortionist Earl McLeod was working for Potomac Family Planning Center in Rockville when one of his abortion patients, 27-year old Jennifer Halner, died from complications to anesthesia that were exacerbated by negligence, including a lack of patient monitoring, emergency drugs, and equipment.

When it was discovered that Halner had suffered cardiac arrest, the anesthesiologist working with McLeod grabbed an undersized pediatric BVM oxygen mask and began bagging her. If this sounds familiar it should. The same thing happened to another abortion patient, Lakisha Wilson, in Cleveland, Ohio, in 2014. She also died.

McLeod was placed on probation for three years and ordered to maintain emergency equipment at his abortion facility, including adult sized oxygen masks and a defibrillator.

Despite the safety issues, it wasn’t until 2013, when Maryland first began requiring abortion facilities to be licensed in the wake of the Steven Brigham illegal late-term abortion scandal, that the Hillcrest Clinic received its first inspection.

Of course, violations were found, including:

• Lack of procedures for dealing with safety issues, such as fires or mechanical hazards.
• Failure to train nine employees in patient transfer procedures.
• Improper labeling and storage of drugs.
• Failure to record discharge diagnosis in patient files.
• Failure to ensure proper sterilization of surgical instruments.

Once a plan of correction was submitted, the matter was considered closed and an ambulatory surgical facility license was issued to the Hillcrest Clinic, allowing it to conduct surgical abortions.

There is no record that any other inspection was done over the next three years.

Operation Rescue has been informed that the Hillcrest Clinic shut down for renovations on February 1, 2016, when it was apparently taken over by Potomac Family Planning Center – the same business where McLeod killed Jennifer Halner. It is believed that this was when the ambulatory surgical facility license that was initially issued to Hillcrest in 2013 was terminated.

It was just under three weeks later that private abortion patient medical records were found blowing out of the dumpster and down the street.

No License

On April 14, 2016, the Maryland Department of Health Care Quality issued a letter to the pro-life complainant noting that the Hillcrest Clinic had been inspected and that her allegations were in fact substantiated.

But there was a catch.

“However, since the [Hillcrest Clinic] was not licensed by our office at the time of the complaint investigation, we were unable to cite any deficiencies. Our Office did notify the Maryland Board of Physicians and the Office of Civil Rights of our findings,” the letter stated.

PatientNameonDocument

To date, there has been no word from the Board of Physicians or the Office of Civil Rights on the patient privacy violations.

Yet, the admission that the Hillcrest Clinic was not licensed for abortions at the time of the inspection is an important one. The abortion facility did not apply for a new ambulatory surgical facility license until April 12.

On April 19, it was discovered that the Hillcrest Clinic had reopened for business. Operation Rescue confirmed that the abortion facility was providing surgical abortions four days per week. A check of the DHMH’s listing of licensed abortion facilities showed no listing for the Hillcrest Clinic.

A local Maryland activist confirmed with a phone call to the Maryland Department of Health Care Quality on May 2, that the Hillcrest Clinic had indeed applied for a new ambulatory facility license, but that the application had not yet been approved.

Without an ambulatory surgical facility license, Hillcrest Clinic cannot legally conduct surgical abortions. That means since at least April 19, 2016, it was conducting surgical abortions in violation of the law.

Operation Rescue has filed a complaint with the Department of Health Care Quality seeking the shut-down of the unlicensed abortion business.

“Hillcrest is operating an illegal abortion facility in Maryland right now, yet the Department of Health Care Quality doesn’t seem to care,” said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman. “Abortion regulations aren’t just for show. They are there to make it harder for abortionists to kill people. That’s why its so important that the laws are enforced and tough penalties are assessed when violations are found. What good are those regulations if they are not enforced? This places the lives of women at risk from shoddy, substandard abortion businesses that are allowed to operate outside the law.”

The Hillcrest Clinic certainly isn’t the first illegal abortion facility operating in Maryland. Operation Rescue recently reported on another abortionist, Harold O. Alexander, who was caught conducting late-night surgical abortions at his unlicensed facility in Forestville. Operation Rescue submitted documentation to the DHMH only to be notified that its complaint was being buried in Alexander’s extensive disciplinary file without action.

“There are major problems at the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, which oversees the Board of Physicians and the Department of Health Care Quality. It is knowingly allowing unlicensed surgical abortion facilities to operate in that state in violation of their own regulations,” said Newman. “Its unwillingness to enforce the law is placing the lives of women at risk. It is time for new leadership within the entire bureaucratic structure of the DHMH. Someone should be fired, if not prosecuted for this dereliction of duty.”

Caught on Video: Abortionist Attacks Girlfriend During Forced Abortion Attempt

Abortionist Eric Yahav is accused of attempting to force his girlfriend to abort their baby, then beat her when she wouldn’t.

By Cheryl Sullenger

Cherry Hill, New Jersey — When is a woman most at risk of suffering domestic violence? When she is pregnant, especially if she is resisting pressure to abort a baby she wants to keep. Operation Rescue has documented one such case, but with a twist. The accused abuser is an abortionist.

A Pennsylvania abortionist, Eric Yahav, who was involved in an illegal abortion business owned by Steven Chase Brigham that was closed by the State in 2013, has been accused by his pregnant girlfriend of subjecting her to physical violence and attempting to force her to abort their baby.

The pregnant woman, who we will call “Mary” to protect her identity, contacted Operation Rescue in early December and begged for help.

“I feel like no one will help me. He has all the money, power, and status . . . This man is making a lot of money performing abortions. How can he be trusted to protect a woman who feels forced into abortion when he didn’t respect me, pregnant with his baby, enough not to hurt me,” Mary wrote in an e-mail. “I have lost everything because of him.”

She expressed that she lived in fear of Yahav’s abusive behavior. This fear was compounded when those she went to for help dismissed her concerns and took his word over hers simply because he a doctor.

Operation Rescue advised her to go to the police and to move her and her son from a previous relationship to a safe location. Mary and her young son have since moved out of the Yahav home to an undisclosed location for their safety.

Mary applied for and received a protective order against Yahav on December 11, 2015. At the time when the protective order was issued, Mary was 20 weeks pregnant.

Protective Order-Yahav 12112015

“We have filed complaints against Yahav’s medical licenses and are demanding a full investigation into this abusive and dangerous situation,” said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman. “The allegations of violence against this woman must be taken very seriously. If true, he belongs behind bars!”

Yahav, who once worked for Steven Brigham’s American Women’s Services abortion clinic chain, now works at Cherry Hill Women’s Center, a New Jersey abortion business, and at two other abortion facilities, according to Mary.

She alleged that she met Yahav during her brief employment as a nurse with disgraced New Jersey abortionist Steven Chase Brigham and began a seven-year relationship. Mary and her young son soon moved in with Yahav. However, Mary says that when she became pregnant with his child, he became abusive and demanded that she abort their baby.

Yahav-2

In her petition for a protective order against Yahav, Mary states:

Since becoming pregnant, Eric Yahav has become physically and mentally abusive because he does not want me to continue pregnancy. He works as an abortionist and over 6 weeks made 4 appointments for me to have an abortion. Each time when I refused to go he became violent and threatened to kick me and my son out of the house. He threatened if I did not have an abortion he would “make my life hell” and I could watch and see what he did to me.

Mary went on to describe the violence she was forced to endure on December 4, 2015, when he demanded that she accompany him to the abortion facility where he worked for an abortion she did not want.

I refused and he attacked me several times. He pushed me down the stairs and attempted to drag me out of the house. He slapped and kicked me. I dialed 911 and he grabbed my phone.

To back up her claims, Mary provided Operation Rescue with two explosive video clips that she took during episodes when Yahav was physically abusive and attempting to remove her from the house so he could take her for an abortion. Mary told Operation Rescue that the clips were short because he would grab her cell phone and turn it off during the attacks.

“I am afraid he will do whatever it takes to make sure I do not have this baby,” she said, adding that he has taken her car and left her without money or food in an attempt to force her into having an abortion.

Brigham-Glunt-Yahav

Once, Mary claims, Yahav took her after hours to one of the abortion offices where he works. He told the office manager she was having a miscarriage and he needed to perform a D&E, but she would not consent. At that time, Mary told Operation Rescue that she was sure she was 15 weeks, 5 days pregnant, and only got into the car because she knew the clinic was only legally permitted to do abortions to 14 weeks, 6 days.

Mary was sure the clinic staff would refuse to allow the abortion if she was beyond the legal limit so she asked for an ultrasound exam, but started to worry when the technician would not let her see the screen. Mary was told that she was only 13 weeks pregnant.

“I told her that was not possible. . .I asked again to see [the ultrasound] and she refused and I asked to leave. Things got bad in the car and at home,” Mary said.

Mary explained how again the abortion clinic staff she expected to protect her let her down. She said Yahav scheduled another abortion appointment for her at another location, but this time Mary called the clinic and told them they put her in an unsafe position. However, the clinic worker only laughed at her and did not take her seriously.

She also alleges that Yahav pushed her down stairs when she refused an abortion, slapped and kicked her, choked her, and threw a cereal bowl at her head.

Mary’s young son was also subjected to abuse by Yahav, according to her petition for a protective order. “He verbally abused and harassed by 8 year old son until he was in tears and hyperventilating,” she stated.

“If Mary’s account is true, and we have very little reason to doubt her story, has no business in a profession where vulnerable women are exposed to him. In my opinion, Eric Yahav belongs behind bars,” said Newman.

In fact, Operation Rescue noted in a November 8, 2013, article that there were red flags about Yahav, besides the fact he was running an illegal abortion operation for Steven Chase Brigham, who had been barred from owning an interest in abortion facilities in that state:

A patient review on Vitals.com gave insight to the kind of man Yahav might be. A “1st time pregnant” patient noted on November 15, 2010, that Yahav “made me feel uncomfortable and inappropriate.” She wrote that he “Made jokes at my expense and treated as if I didn’t get it. Kind creepy. My husband said ‘pervert.’”

Mary expressed that she is concerned that if Yahav would treat her and her son as he has, he may also be abusive to his patients.

“I am afraid if he does this to me, what is he capable of doing to another woman that feels pressured to have an abortion? How can this be legal? How can he be trusted to protect women who feel scared and bullied into showing up at his clinic and do not want to have an abortion?” Mary asked.

Operation Rescue has filed complaints against his medical licenses in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware and submitted the documents and video supplied to us by Mary. Mary remains safe with her son at an undisclosed location awaiting the birth of her baby.

In the meantime, if anyone has additional information concerning Eric Yahav that may assist in the investigations, please contact Cheryl Sullenger at 316-683-6790, ext. 112.

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 OperationRescue.org.

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

Haskell’s Sharonville Late-term Abortion Clinic Facility License Revoked

By Cheryl Sullenger

Sharonville, OH — Yesterday, the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) released its recommendation that the facility license of a late-term abortion clinic owned and operated by the notorious abortionist Martin Haskell be revoked for failing to meet the legal qualifications of an Ambulatory Surgical Facility (ASF).

Haskell has no hospital transfer agreement as require by law. His variance, which allowed him to operated without such an agreement expired in October, 2012, and was not renewed at the discretion of ODH Director Theodore Wymyslo.

Haskell has 10 days to appeal the ruling, which was issued October 8 after a lengthy September hearing in which Haskell personally testified. In the meantime, his abortion clinic remains operational.

“We are cautiously optimistic that this recommendation could eventually close Haskell’s Sharonville abortion clinic, but we have seen him slip through loopholes in the past,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue, which has worked with local pro-life groups, including Cincinnati Right to Life, to expose Haskell’s abortion abuses and bring his risky abortion business to a close through legal avenues.

“Haskell’s lack of transfer agreement places the lives and health of women in grave risk. The history of the incompetent abortionists who helped him get an exemption from the law in the past is frightening,” Newman continued. “Any woman suffering a life-threatening medical emergency at Haskell’s clinic – and there have been several – could only expect to be treated by abortionists that had hospital privileges revoked or suffered other disciplinary or legal action for incompetence. It was like those women jumped out of the frying pan and into the fire. We fought to make this appalling situation public and bring it to the attention of the ODH.”

Haskell has operated his Sharonville abortion clinic, known both as the Lebanon Road Surgery Center and Women’s Med Center, under a variance issued by the ODH that allowed him to be excluded from the hospital transfer agreement requirement as long as he could provide alternate means of assuring prompt emergency treatment and continuity of patient care.

Haskell obtained a variance in 2011 on the condition that three abortionists, Roslyn Kade, Walter T. Bowers, II, and David B. Schwartz, maintained unrestricted admitting privileges. The three had agreed to provide back-up hospital care whenever Haskell or his associates inflicted injuries on abortion patients.

Bowers’ incompetence was publicly exposed by Operation Rescue, which discovered that he had been banned from the practice of obstetrics in Kentucky after his botched delivery of a wanted baby resulted in a dead child. He was placed on five years of probation and settled a claim with the parents for $250,000.

On February 29, 2012, Kade, who is also employed by Haskell to do abortions, lost her unrestricted privileges at Christ Hospital. Her privileges were a critical requirement for the variance.

Kade’s loss of hospital privileges is only her most recent problem. In 2007, Kade was sued by the parents of a 14-year old girl who allege that Kade illegally committed an abortion on their daughter without their consent after the young girl was impregnated by her 22-year old soccer coach. Her abuser took her for an abortion while pretending to be her step-brother. Kade never reported the incident of child sex abuse.

In June of 2012, Haskell temporarily amended his variance to replace Kade and Bowers with Chandra Gravely and Cindy Hansel. However, Operation Rescue discovered that Gravely and Hansel have also been accused of negligence and incompetence, having been sued at least seven times since 2000 for medical malpractice, including one suit wrongful death suit that included Hansel as a co-defendant.

Operation Rescue has recently documented four medical emergencies at Haskell’s two Ohio abortion clinics, raising serious concerns for patient safety.

In March 2012, Haskell personally placed a 911 call from his Sharonville clinic and was heard laughing at the dispatcher who offered emergency information.

Kellie Copeland, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio, erroneously told the Columbus Dispatch Wednesday that Haskell’s Sharonville late-term abortion clinic has “an exemplary record of medical safety.”

“Copeland has a funny way of defining ‘safety,’” said Newman. “The documentation we have assembled proves that she is either living in a fantasy world or has no real concern for the lives and health of women.”

Read Operation Rescue’s 3-Part Exposé on Haskell: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3