Abortion Practitioner James Pendergraft Loses License After Botched Abortion

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 1, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Abortion Practitioner James Pendergraft Loses License After Botched Abortion

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
February 5
, 2010

Tallahassee, FL (LifeNews.com) — Embattled Florida abortion practitioner James Pendergraft is facing more problems with the state medical board. He’s lost his medical license before and, now, Florida Department of Health has again suspended his medical license — this time for a period of two years.

Operation Rescue informed LifeNews.com of the decision, which had the department issue an order on January 26.

After Pendergraft serves his suspension he will be required to serve an additional three years of probation. Then, he will only be allowed to operate under the direct supervision of a board certified OBGYN, who must also share an office with Pendergraft to ensure he operates properly.

The medical board also decided that Pendergraft must pay $20,000 in administrative costs by February 25.

The suspension is the result of a complaint filed April 14, 2008, that states Pendergraft illegally prescribed controlled substances without proper DEA licensing, OR indicated. The board also said Pendergraft committed medical malpractice in a botched abortion of a 19-week-old unborn child in February 2006.

The botched abortion saw Pendergraft inadequately dilating a patient’s cervix for a D&E abortion. He then ruptured her uterus and shoved the unborn child’s body into the abdominal cavity.

The mother was rushed to the hospital where she received an emergency hysterectomy along with the removal of the dead unborn child, who was missing an arm after the abortion attempt. OR indicates the arm was later found at Pendergraft’s EPOC abortion clinic.

The pro-life group maintains that Pendergraft’s 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.

OR spokesman Troy Newman told LifeNews.com he is upset the Florida medical board did not permanently prohibit Pendergraft from practicing medicine in the state.

“It is shocking that Pendergraft’s Florida medical license was not permanently revoked. He has been involved in numerous disciplinary actions, and remains a menace to women,” said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman.

“This is yet another National Abortion Federation member that is not fit to practice medicine," he said.

Last month NAF’s president Vicki Saporta expressed opposition to Operation Rescue’s Abortion Whistleblowers campaign that is seeking to bring attention to abortion practitioners and facilities who break the law or put women at risk with unethical or unprofessional abortion practices.

Numerous NAF members have already been incarcerated for crimes and/or lost their licenses due to substandard care.

“We urge pro-life activists in Florida to carefully monitor Pendergraft’s abortion clinics and report suspicious activity to the authorities immediately,” said Newman.

Last year, a Florida appeals court upheld the suspension of Pendergraft’s license.

He was fined $10,000 and had his licensed revoked for one year over an illegal late-term abortion he did in 2005. The Florida Board of Medicine handed down the decision in December 2007.

Pendergraft runs five abortion facilities and his abortion centers in Ocala, Tampa and Fort Lauderdale were shut down for a brief time during an investigation into alleged illegal activities.

The illegal abortions occurred at the Orlando centers in 2004 and 2005, but the Florida Board of Medicine threw out the charges related to the 2004 abortion.

Pendergraft appealed the decision and, in an opinion, the Florida District Court of Appeals rejected all of Pendergraft’s arguments and stated that they "found no reversible error" in the Board’s suspension order.

The court ruled that Pendergraft violated state law when he did late-term abortions at his center that state law requires done at a hospital in case they are botched and a woman required immediate emergency medical attention.

The court also determined that Pendergraft violated state law which prohibits third trimester abortions unless two physicians certify in writing to the fact that, to a reasonable degree of medical probability, the abortion is necessary to save the life or preserve the health of the pregnant woman.

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