Operation Rescue has filed complaints in the District and two states to stop Pendergraft from endangering women by killing their babies and forcing them elsewhere for completion of late-term abortions.
Washington, DC – Operation Rescue has learned that disgraced late-term abortionist James S. Pendergraft, IV, whose only active medical remains under a double-suspension order in Florida, has set up shop in a secret late-term mill that can only be described as a “Fetal Lethal Injection Center” in the Washington, D. C. metro area where late-term abortions are being only partially completed.
Pendergraft has put himself in direct competition with another late-term abortionist, Nebraska’s LeRoy Carhart, who also recently relocated is late-term abortion business to nearby Germantown, Maryland, to evade new laws in his home state.
But Pendergraft’s late-term abortion scheme is unique.
Pendergraft has recently launched a web site called LateTermAbortions.net that describes in detail how his new office is soliciting women from all over the nation and from other countries for “intracardiac injection of medication into the fetal heart.”
This process entails the injection of the heart-paralyzing drug Digoxin or an air bubble through the woman’s abdomen into the heart of the pre-born baby for the purpose of killing him or her. The process is guided by live ultrasonic imaging.
“On one hand, Pendergraft says on the web site that the process is completely safe, then discusses how a mistake during the process can be ‘catastrophic,’” said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman. “It is evident even from his own writings that Pendergraft’s new operation is dangerous in that it places women in a life-threatening condition only to send them on their way where someone else must clean up the mess.”
Pendergraft makes it very clear that he does not complete the abortion process at his secret office, but discharges patients within 10 to 15 minutes of the injection, after which they are forced to rush back to their personal physicians in their home states or other facilities for the removal of the dead baby before infection sets in. Without treatment women in this condition can die.
The notorious abortionists Steven Chase Brigham and Kermit Gosnell shocked regulators who discovered each of them committing late-term abortions that began in one state and ended in another. Brigham would illegally begin late-term abortions in New Jersey then ferry women to a secret late-term mill in Elkton, Maryland, for the removal of the dead baby. Gosnell was known to begin late-term abortions at an abortion mill in Wilmington, Delaware, and later finish them at his “house of horrors” clinic in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Of dangerous bi-state abortion plans, New Jersey State Board of Medical Examiners stated, “Brigham’s treatment of patients S.D. and N. C. and all unidentified New Jersey patients whose terminations of pregnancies began in New Jersey and concluded out of State constitutes acts of gross and/or repeated negligence…Brigham’s conduct constitutes a clear and imminent danger to the public and warrants immediate temporary suspension of [his] license to practice medicine and surgery in the State of New Jersey.”
Maryland is considering legislation to ban the dangerous practice of starting late-term abortions in one state and ending them in another.
During testimony in his criminal trial, the late George R. Tiller admitted that on rare occasions he would fatally inject a fetal heart, after which he would send the woman back to her home state where her private physician would finish the abortion. After his death in 2009, all investigations into Tiller’s dubious abortion practices ceased. It is more than likely that Pendergraft is now trying to cash in on part of the lucrative late-term abortion market suddenly available after the closure of Tiller’s infamous Wichita, Kansas, abortion mill.
Pendergraft also makes it clear in the defiant text of his new web site that he is engaging in this multi-state late-term abortion scheme to evade the laws of Florida and compel the participation of others in the abortion process.
“Once the fetal heart beat has stopped, the process of removing the fetus from the mother’s womb is no longer defined as an abortion,” stated Pendergraft. He offers this as a way to force hospitals and physicians that otherwise may balk at abortion to finish the abortion process since the woman now faces a serious life-threatening condition.
“Pendergraft is using women by placing them in harm’s way in order to make a political point in states that ban his pet procedure,” said Newman. “As despicable as this is, he is also apparently charging them exorbitant prices to do it. He says the process is ‘not inexpensive’ but does not list his fees. Secrecy shrouds his entire illicit operation.”
That includes the location of his Washington, D.C. area mill. In cloak-and-dagger fashion, Pendergraft describes how women will be told over the phone to meet at a specific location, where they and only one other friend or family member will be met and escorted to the secret facility for their baby’s fatal injection.
“While Pendergraft attempts to convince the reader this is about security, it is more likely about evading law enforcement, because this dangerous process is highly unethical and likely illegal since he holds no active medical license whatsoever,” said Newman.
While it remains unknown the exact location of this new mill, descriptions on the website would place it in the jurisdiction of the District of Columbia, Maryland, or Virginia. Pendergraft’s license in the District of Columbia expired in 1998, his Maryland license expired in 1999, and he has never been licensed in Virginia.
Operation Rescue has filed complaints in the District and both states asking for immediate investigations into Pendergraft’s dangerous late-term abortion operation.
Pendergraft has a long history of legal issues that have included four suspensions of his medical license. In his latest suspension issued on August 7, 2010, the Board found that Pendergraft had allowed an unlicensed employee to order and administer drugs even though she was unqualified and had a known history of drug abuse. He also was disciplined for prescribing steroids to her for unknown reasons.
Another suspension, issued on January 26, 2010, alleges additional drug violations and includes discipline for a horrifically botched abortion.
After inadequately dilating Patient S.B.’s cervix for a D&E abortion, Pendergraft ruptured her uterus and shoved the pre-born baby’s body into the abdominal cavity. She was rushed to the hospital where she received an emergency hysterectomy along with the removal of the dead fetus, which was missing an arm. The arm was later found at Pendergraft’s EPOC abortion clinic. His not reporting that he had removed the arm caused a delay in her care at the hospital as surgeons futilely attempted to locate the missing appendage.
Pendergraft’s Florida medical license was also suspended in 2006 for doing illegal late term abortions.
“Pendergraft is a proven danger to the public. It is to their shame that the Florida Medical Board has not permanently revoked his license. The fact that he continues to operate five abortion mills there and now one in the Washington metro area is not only disturbing, but unacceptable,” said Newman. “This is another example of authorities willing to look the other way and abortionists who are willing to endanger women and violate laws because they believe they are somehow above them. We pray our complaints will help stop this abuse and bring Pendergraft to justice.”