Revelations about the dangerous and dastardly practices of late-term abortionists, particularly on the East Coast (Brigham, Carhart, Gosnell), continue.

Today Operation Rescue exposed yet another new way they are circumventing the system – this time only by killing babies by lethal injection and nothing more. This will force many pro-life obstetricians and hospitals into complicity by completing the abortion.

Notorious late-term abortionist James Pendergraft, a convicted felon whose FL license is currently running concurrent 3rd and 4th suspensions, has set up practice in an undisclosed DC-area office where he will solely kill preborn babies by lethal injection and then send mothers off to complete the abortions wherever/however they can. According to Pendergraft’s website,

We perform the intracardiac injection of medication into the fetal heart in our private facility in the Washington, D.C. area. Once the fetal heart beat has stopped, the patient can elect to return back to her private physician to complete the induction of labor with delivery of the fetus, or they may elect to go to another facility to have the termination process completed.

While some mothers will skip across town to Carhart to complete the abortion, others will force their own good doctors to finish them, perhaps unwittingly.

Under this scenario a mother would make an emergency appointment with her obstetrician, or go to the ER, stating she can no longer feel her baby move. When ultrasound confirms the baby is dead, labor and delivery will be induced. My guess is the cause of death will often never be admitted or determined. And the mother will need help – or die. According to Pendergraft’s FAQs:

What happens if I change my mind after the intra-cardiac injection to go through with the remainder of the procedure?

… Generally when most fetuses die in utero, there are enzymes released that cause an inflammatory reaction to occur which leads to labor which is followed by delivery of the tissue. The problem is if you do not go into labor for a few days, not only can the patient’s blood become severely infected, but this can lead to a clotting disorder where the patient’s blood does not clot, severe low blood pressure, bleeding constantly from needle sticks, internal bleeding, multiple organ failure which can lead to maternal death. This is nothing that should be taken lightly. Therefore once the intra-cardiac injection is complete, there is no turning back. The remainder of the procedure must be carried out as pre-planned.


There are some women who experience vaginal spotting or bleeding. It is extremely rare but complete or partial separation of the placenta (abruption) can occur along with heavy vaginal bleeding. There have been rare occasions where infection of the amniotic fluid (amnionitis), the intrauterine cavity (Endometritis), or the muscle of the uterus (myometritis) occurs. It is extremely rare but maternal death has occurred due to sepsis (infection getting into the mother’s blood) or severe vaginal bleeding.

Again, Pendergraft will not be the one completing the abortion or attending to complications.

The  procedure itself:

The patient’s abdomen is cleansed with an anti-septic solution. A sonogram sector scan is placed on the patient’s abdomen and the fetal abdominal cavity is isolated. A spinal needle is guided slowly into the fetal heart where a feticide agent or 50cc’s of air is injected via a syringe to stop the fetal heart beat. The procedure usually takes 2 to 4 minutes to perform. The patient is then observed for several minutes in the procedure room…. With or without IV Sedation patients are able to go home in 10 to 15 minutes after the procedure is performed.

While Pendergraft states in one place he “specializes in caring for those patients who are diagnosed with health problems that can affect the mother’s life or health, or there is a severe fetal abnormality not compatible with life,” and “[w]e specialize, and limit our practice to helping patients in need of therapeutic (maternal and fetal) indications for abortions,” this is not true. He devotes an entire section to “Teenage Late Term Abortion,” for abortions of healthy babies. My guess is Pendergraft also made sure he set up shop in a place where there are no parental involvement laws.

Pendergraft does not state how late he will abort, just “second and third trimester pregnancies (greater than 24 weeks).”

Pendergraft also states a bold-face lie:

This procedure has been performed over 3000 times without a single complication at Orlando Women’s Center on patients 22 to 24 weeks pregnant.

But in April 2005 a pregnant mother delivered her baby alive in a toilet at Pendergraft’s Orlando mill after he told her he had lethally injected the baby’s heart. Baby Rowan, pictured left, lived 11 minutes after mill workers refused to get him help. The tragedy was later retold in the docu-drama, 22Weeks.

For starters, the Dept. of Justice should investigate Pendergraft for potentially forcing conscience violations of other medical professionals.

Pendergraft’s practice is very dangerous to mothers and obviously lethal to babies.

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