Abortionist Robert Rho on Trial for Manslaughter in Abortion Death Amid Media Blackout

UPDATE: Trial resumes on Monday, April 16, 2018! Watch for further updates.

By Cheryl Sullenger

Queens, NY – The criminal trial of an abortionist, Robert Rho, who caused the death of an abortion patient in 2016, is currently underway in the Queens Supreme Court in New York. Although it is a case that should be of national interest, few people are aware of it. That’s because the trial is experiencing a complete media blackout.

The trial involves the death of 30-year old Jaime Morales, who reported to the Liberty Women’s Healthcare office in Flushing, New York, on July 9, 2016, for an elective second trimester abortion with clinic owner Robert Rho.

Rho thought that the abortion on Morales went without complication until staff noticed she was bleeding heavily in the recovery room. Rho determined that she required a second abortion procedure, but even that did nothing to control the profuse bleeding.

A woozy Morales continued to bleed and even collapsed once at the clinic. Even though she was too unstable to release, Rho discharged Morales to her sister, and they began the drive to the sister’s home in the Bronx. Along the way Morales fell off the back seat of the car and became non-responsive as a result of continued hemorrhaging.

Morales was transported by ambulance to a Bronx-area hospital where she was pronounced dead later that evening.

According to news reports at the time, an autopsy revealed horrific internal injuries inflicted by Rho during one or both abortion procedures he conducted on her that day. Rho had lacerated her cervix, punctured her uterus and sliced her uterine artery. Any one of those injuries would cause heavy bleeding, but together, they proved catastrophic.

Had Rho not released Morales in her unstable condition, and instead called an ambulance, she might be alive today, and Rho would only be facing the possibility of a malpractice suit instead of jail time.

A grand jury was convened to investigate Morales death and indicted Rho on one count of Second Degree Manslaughter (Reckless Homicide), a Class C Felony that carries a penalty of 3 1/2 to 15 years in prison.

Rho was arrested and booked on October 11, 2016. He entered a “not guilty” plea during his arraignment the following day and was released on $400,000 bail.

At first Rho appeared remorseful for his actions that led to Morales’ needless death. He surrendered his medical license and closed his abortion clinic. A speedy resolution to the criminal case was expected.

However, the case was marked by repeated delays. For the next eighteen months, Rho remained out on bail with scheduled hearings every three months.

It is assumed, but not confirmed, that a plea bargain was offered by Assistant District Attorney Brad A. Leventhal and rejected by Rho. A jury trial was set and now it appears that Rho is fighting for his freedom – an irony considering his victim, Ms. Morales, can never be freed from the grave where Rho put her.

Today, Rho’s trial before a jury of his peers continues in the courtroom of Judge Gregory Lasak, but no information about the proceedings is available outside appearance notices on the Court’s web page. The trial is expected to run through Friday, April 13, 2018.

“The trial delay resulted in the loss of what scant media attention there was in this case. We continue to follow it the best we can, but without being in the courtroom, it is impossible to know any details of the testimony and evidence, due to the media blackout,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue. “When a woman dies from a negligent abortion, it simply doesn’t fit the mainstream media’s pro-abortion agenda. It’s better for them to ignore it and act like it never happened. In a way, the media bears some responsibility for cases like this because they refuse to report on the true dangers of abortion.”

Operation Rescue has reported on this case since Rho’s arrest in October 2016, and will report on the outcome of the trial when it is known.

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.

Crime Scene Unit Spotted at Florida Abortion Facility Under Investigation For Selling Baby Parts

By Cheryl Sullenger

West Palm Beach, FL – A van clearly marked “Crime Scene” from the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Department was seen yesterday at Presidential Women’s Center, an abortion facility located in West Palm Beach, Florida.

M. Susan Pine of FACE Life, Inc., told Operation Rescue that the van arrived at approximately 11:20 a.m. on Tuesday, February 6, 2018, and parked in the abortion facility’s parking lot. A uniformed officer then entered Presidential Women’s Center with some kind of paperwork in hand.

Pine reports that the abortion facility’s medical director, Daniel Sacks, was at the clinic during the Crime Scene unit’s visit.

Presidential Women’s Center was referred to Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi by the House Select Investigative Committee on Infant Lives on November 30, 2016, due to PWC’s suspected involvement in the illegal trafficking of aborted baby organs and tissue.

Bondi’s office confirmed to Pine that the abortion business was indeed under “criminal review” on February 17, 2017, just two days after Operation Rescue published a report urging supporters to contact her office to ask if there were plans to act on the House criminal referral. Since then, Bondi’s office has remained silent on the status of the investigation.

However, it is unclear if the Crime Scene officer’s visit to PWC had any connection to the baby parts trafficking investigation.

“We are left to wonder exactly what the county was investigating when it sent a Crime Scene unit to the Presidential Women’s Center,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue. “There are any number of crimes that abortion facilities have been known to commit, such as failure to report child sex abuse, sex crimes, illegal late-term abortions, financial malfeasance, and the like, but speculation concerning this recent incident is difficult at this time.”

PWC is a member of the National Abortion Federation, a scandal-plagued association of abortion businesses that sued members of the Center for Medical Progress — including former board member Troy Newman — to block the release of undercover videos that implicated it and Planned Parenthood in crimes related to the illegal sale of aborted baby remains.

PWC conducts abortions up to 22.5 weeks gestation.

New York Abortionist Set for Hearing November 28 in Manslaughter Case

By Cheryl Sullenger

Queens, NY –Jamie Morales was an apparently happy and healthy 30-year old woman when she walked into the Liberty Women’s Healthcare office in Flushing, New York, on July 9, 2016, for an elective second trimester abortion.

By evening, she was dead.

In a rare case of criminal prosecution of an abortionist for causing the death of a patient, Robert Rho, was arrested on October 11, 2016, after a Grand Jury issued an indictment against him for Second Degree Manslaughter (Reckless Homicide), a Class C Felony that carries a penalty of 3 1/2 to 15 years in prison.

Rho thought that the abortion on Morales went without complication until staff noticed she was bleeding heavily in the recovery room. Rho determined that she required a second abortion procedure, but even that did nothing to control the bleeding.

Morales continued to bleed and feel woozy, and even collapsed once at the clinic. Even though Rho had to she was too unstable to release, he discharged Morales to her sister, who put Morales in her car and began the trip to the sister’s home in the Bronx. Along the way Morales fell off the back seat and became non-responsive as the result of continued hemorrhaging.

Morales was transported by ambulance to a Bronx-area hospital where she was pronounced dead later that evening.

An autopsy revealed horrific internal injuries inflicted by Rho during one or both abortion procedures he conducted on her that day. Rho had lacerated her cervix, punctured her uterus and sliced her uterine artery. Any one of those injuries would cause heavy bleeding, but together, they proved catastrophic.

Had Rho not released Morales in her unstable condition, and instead called an ambulance, she might be alive today, and Rho would only be facing the possibility of a malpractice suit instead of jail time.

Soon after Morales’ death, Rho surrendered his medical license and closed his abortion facility.

However, at his arraignment on the day of his arrest, Rho pleaded not guilty and was released on $400,000 bail.

Since then his case has been postponed eleven times with no clear reason for the delay. Rho’s next court appearance appears on the Queens Supreme Court “Trials AM” calendar online for November 28, 2017, but there is some doubt that the case will be resolved even then.

“If anyone thinks we will forget about this case, they are mistaken,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue. “Jamie Morales, her baby, and her family deserve justice, and we will never forget that. When that justice finally comes, we plan to make sure everyone hears about it as a reminder of the Abortion Cartel’s callous disregard for life.”

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.