By Anne Reed

After years of working to close down the Center of Orlando for Women (formerly Orlando Women’s Center) in Orlando, Florida, it may finally be happening. This notorious late-term abortion clinic has been killing babies through 24 weeks gestation for decades. Its latest fine, according to the clinic’s attorney, Julie Gallagher, will “likely bankrupt [the clinic] and put it out of business.” 

The clinic’s newest fine of $193,000 is based on its failure to abide by a state law passed in 2015. The law requires that a woman considering abortion wait 24 hours after her initial visit at an abortion clinic before following through with an abortion. Though enforcement of the law was delayed due to a seven-year court battle, the law’s constitutionality was upheld on April 8, 2022.

Since it went into effect, the clinic was caught violating the law 193 times and was charged $1,000 per violation.

Agency for Health Administration 5/11/22 Deficiency Report

The staff claimed they had heard of the ruling but could not locate any information about the effective date of the new requirement. The full deficiency report is available here.

A simple internet search returns a multitude of articles about the judge’s decision and her rejection of the plaintiff’s request for a stay of her ruling in order to give them extra time to reschedule appointments.

“It is not surprising that those operating this late-term abortion clinic have refused to abide by the law,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue. “This has been a long-established pattern of its founding abortionist, James Scott Pendergraft IV, who has shown for decades that he has absolutely no regard for the rule of law.”

Operation Rescue has been investigating and working to hold this criminal killer accountable for decades. The Orlando Women’s Center is no longer technically owned by Pendergraft, but by his former wife. However, pro-lifers have caught him on tape entering and exiting his former abortion businesses long after ownership changed hands.

Pendergraft has a long history of Board disciplinary action and lawsuits revealing shocking malpractice and appalling contempt for human life and the rule of law. Multiple claims have been made of babies born alive in late-term abortion attempts – then left to die or be killed. 

Listed below are just a few of the incidences comprising Pendergraft’s detestable history:   

In July 2011, a jury found that he was liable for injuries to a pre-born baby during a failed abortion 10 years earlier.  

Also in 2011, Operation Rescue performed an undercover sting operation posing as late-term abortion customers and exposed multiple illegalities of the multi-state abortion business he initiated through, a website he established in 2010. As a result, the illegal abortion business physically operated in Maryland was shut down. He did not hold a medical license in Maryland. And though his Florida medical license had already been suspended four times by then, he continued to operate five abortion clinics in Florida. 

In April 2013, Pendergraft’s Florida medical license was suspended for the fifth time. The State of Florida Department of Health filed notice against him, demanding that he pay a total of $122,303 for fees, fines, and costs incurred by the state for disciplinary actions against him in 2010 when he illegally prescribed controlled substances, and he ruptured a mother’s uterus and shoved the body of her 19-week old unborn baby into her abdominal cavity

In June 2013, police raided the Orlando Women’s Center seizing Pendergraft’s abortion equipment and other assets in partial payment of the $37.7 million malpractice judgment that had been levied against him in 2011 for injuries to the child born alive. At the time, Pendergraft had at least eight companies through which he funneled money. 

In October, 2015, Pendergraft was arrested in Spartanburg County, South Carolina, when sheriff’s deputies were conducting a routine traffic stop and found illegal drugs (Fentanyl, LSD, marijuana) and bloody abortion instruments with tissue still attached. He was convicted of 10 drug offenses and was sentenced to five years of probation. 

In May 2017, the Florida abortion facility licenses were revoked at four of his abortion clinics.  He then transferred ownership to Williams, his former wife and mother of his children, making it possible for the facilities to be relicensed. (This arrangement may have allowed him to covertly continue involvement in the facilities.)

In December 2018, Pendergraft’s Florida medical license was permanently revoked after Operation Rescue filed a complaint notifying the Board of Medicine of his illegal home abortion and drug distribution business out of a van in South Carolina, where he held no license to practice medicine.

“After so many years of diligent work to close this clinic and others where Pendergraft killed, this is a major victory!” said Newman. “We also look forward to the day when we see him put behind bars for a very long time.”