Two Florida abortion facilities close -- one reopens as abortionist's marijuana dispensary
Investigative

Two Florida abortion facilities close — one reopens as abortionist’s marijuana dispensary

The EPOC Center, an abortion facility in Orlando, Florida, operated by notorious late-term abortionist James Scott Pendergraft, is believed to have ceased committing abortions earlier this year. Pro-life activist Michele Herzog says it has reopened as a medical marijuana dispensary. A check of state licensed abortion facilities in Orange County at the Agency for Health Care Administration (ACHA) shows EPOC is closed.

Image: EPOC abortion facility closed (Image credit: ACHA)

EPOC abortion facility closed (Image credit: ACHA)

According to Herzog, Pendergraft, who at one time operated five abortion facilities in the state, previously lost his license to operate abortion facilities in several locations. In May of 2015, Pendergraft was arrested on drug related charges in South Carolina.

James Scott Pendergraft (Image from Operation Rescue)

According to records on file with the Spartanburg County Seventh Judicial Circuit Public Index, the indictment, uncovered by Operation Rescue, included the following charges:

0183-Drugs / MDP, Narcotic drugs in Sch. I(b) & (c), LSD, and Sched. II – 1st offense

0186-Drugs / Manufacture, possession of other sub. in Sch. I, II, III or flunitrazepam or analogue, w.i.t.d. – 1st offense

READ: Abortion advocate threatens pro-life sidewalk counselors

Herzog previously informed Life News that Pendergraft’s Fort Lauderdale location and his former Orlando EPOC abortion facility were being converted to medicinal marijuana clinics under the name “Green Relief.”

Image: EPOC abortion facility reopens as marijuana dispensary (Image credit Michele Herzog)

EPOC abortion facility reopens as marijuana dispensary (Image credit Michele Herzog)

Green Relief lists Frank Rodriguez  as its physician. Rodriguez is also listed on the state’s Office of Medical Marijuana Use.

Herzog told Life News that Rodriguez was also an “abortionist at the Center of Orlando for Women and Women’s Center of Hyde Park, located in Tampa – both ‘former’ Pendergraft abortion clinics.”

Image: Frank Rodriguez abortionist and Medical Marijuana doc (Image credit Green Relief)

Frank Rodriguez, abortionist and medical marijuana doc (Image credit: Green Relief)

Rodriguez was listed by pro-life group Life Dynamics as the physician responsible for monitoring National Abortion Federation late-term abortionist Michael Benjamin in South Florida after he was disciplined by the state medical board for not reporting the sexual abuse of a 12-year-old victim.

Both Rodriguez and Benjamin worked for Presidential Women’s Center, an abortion facility in West Palm Beach.

 

Image: Michael Benjamin and Frank Rodriguez at Presidential Women's Center abortion clinic (Image credit: Life Dynamics)

Michael Benjamin and Frank Rodriguez at Presidential Women’s Center abortion clinic (Image credit: Life Dynamics)

In 2016, Rodriguez was disciplined by the Florida Board of Medicine for botching an abortion at the Presidential Women’s Center:

During the procedure, Respondent used a cervical dilator to dilate the cervix. Respondent then pushed the cervical dilator into…[the patient’s] uterine cavity….Respondent failed to remove the cervical dilator used during the procedure…

Image: Frank Rodriguez disciplined for botched abortion

Frank Rodriguez disciplined for botched abortion

In addition to EPOC, Herzog claims that a Planned Parenthood abortion facility in Orlando has also closed. As a sidewalk counselor, Herzog was present to witness movers outside the Downtown Orlando Planned Parenthood located at 726 South Tampa Ave.

Online, the abortion facility states it plans to relocate. However, Live Action News reached out to the state licensing agency and was told, “The Agency received the attached notification of closure dated August 7, 2018. Services are to be discontinued effective September 28, 2018. The Agency is not currently processing an initial or relocation abortion clinic application for Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida, Inc.”

Image: Planned Parenthood Orlando movers

Planned Parenthood Orlando movers

Last year the Orlando Sentinel reported the sale of the Downtown Orlando Planned Parenthood facility to a group called LIFT, writing in part, “LIFT declined to identify specific uses for the Planned Parenthood property, but LIFT is eyeing an early-childhood learning center and health-and-wellness services….”

The paper added, “Planned Parenthood plans to find a new, larger location in central Orlando soon, according to a statement from the local office.” However, given the lack of a relocation plan, this is now in doubt.

READ: Four abortion facilities operated by lawbreaking abortionist shut down

Records on file with the Secretary of State show that Planned Parenthood was in operation by 2005 at the location. The CEO of the affiliate at the time was Barbara Zdravecky, who worked in this role until 2017. According to media reports, “Zdravecky led the original Planned Parenthood of Central and Southwest Florida affiliate to become the first in Florida to provide abortion services. In 2015, she helped facilitate the merger with Orlando and Collier County affiliates…”

A new Planned Parenthood CEO, Stephanie Kight, was announced earlier this year. Kight previously held the position of CEO of Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio.

Herzog attributes the closure to a continued presence outside the abortion facility as well as answered prayers.

Image: Planned Parenthood letter of closure Orlando Fl

Planned Parenthood letter of closure Orlando Fl

Herzog has witnessed several abortion clinic closures in the past few years, but reiterates that more work needs to be done to protect preborn children in Florida. Herzog’s focus now is to activate the pro-life community in Kissimmee, where Planned Parenthood has erected an abortion mega center.

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