The State of Florida is threatening to close an Orlando abortion facility owned by notorious late-term abortion provider James Scott Pendergraft, who owns five abortion centers in Florida. Pendergraft was arrested in October of 2015 for possession of drugs after being stopped for speeding in South Carolina. As Live Action News previously reported, at the time of his arrest, Pendergraft was also found to have in his possession surgical implements that were covered in blood and human tissue from abortions he had illegally performed throughout South Carolina.
Despite having his medical license revoked at the time, Pendergraft was only charged with possessing illegal narcotics.
In January 2016, The Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA), which licenses abortion clinics in the sunshine state, filed an action to revoke Pendergraft’s license to operate the Orlando Women’s Center, located on Lucerne Terrace. AHCA’s complaint states that, “with his arrest and criminal charges, Mr. Pendergraft is disqualified and is no longer in compliance with Florida law.”
Michele Herzog, spokesperson for Pro-life Action Ministries (who sidewalk counsels in front of Pendergraft’s Orlando abortion facilities), said, “It all has to do with drug charges out of South Carolina but unfortunately nothing to do with any of the other things he has done in the state.”
In 2011, Pendergraft lost a lawsuit after a baby survived a late-term abortion attempt which resulted in severe disabilities. The woman was awarded $36 million in damages.
Pendergraft had his medical license suspended several times by the state’s medical board before it was eventually revoked indefinitely, but he still retains ownership of his abortion centers.
The late-term abortionist aggressively advertises his abortion services nationwide, offering women discounts and Sunday appointments to get them in the door. But despite his persistence, pro-lifers like Michele Herzog are optimistic that Pendergraft’s facilities will eventually be shut down, as there are a number of sidewalk counselors praying and reaching out to women at all five of his abortion centers.
While Herzog and other pro-lifers pray outside Pendergraft’s EPOC abortion facility in Orlando, John Barros and others minister faithfully outside Orlando Women’s Center (OWS), where pro-lifers have witnessed women taken from the clinic by ambulances. But along with these stories of tragedy, there are stories of women who have changed their minds and chose to give birth to their babies.
Barros reacted to the news that OWS might be closed by the state, telling WFTV, “God uses different things in different ways and it usually is in different ways than we could ever have imagined.”
Sidewalk counselors John and Tewannah Amen and Broward County Right to Life maintain a presence outside Pendergraft’s Ft. Lauderdale Women’s Center. Other sidewalk counselors cover Pendergraft’s Tampa and Ocala abortion facilities.
“This abortion empire needs to come to an end,” sidewalk counselor Michele Herzog said.
Just this year, two Florida abortion facilities – WomanCare in Orlando and Planned Parenthood of Winter Haven – have closed. Herzog reports that WomanCare was evicted at the end of January. Last year on Good Friday, she and a group of pro-life women went inside the facility and prayed that it would close permanently. Although staff was in the building, no one knew the pro-lifers were in the waiting room until they left.
Pro-lifers and members of Sidewalk Advocates for Life also maintained a presence outside Planned Parenthood of Winter Haven, which just closed its doors on February 1.