John Jalsevac

Undercover sting: Late-term abortionist offers 28-week abortion for $10k, makes up reason

John Jalsevac
John Jalsevac

July 12, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Want to abort your 28-week-old unborn child? It’ll cost you only $10,000. And don’t worry, no reason is necessary. The abortionist will simply make one up.

At least, that’s what notorious late-term abortionist James Scott Pendergraft indicated when contacted by a pro-life activist posing as the mother of a girl interested in getting an abortion.

Several undercover calls by Operation Rescue staff made to Pendergraft in the past eight months have revealed more details about the shady, internet-based late-term abortion business that Pendergraft, who is currently serving his fourth career suspension, operates from latetermabortion.net.

(Read Operation Rescue’s complete undercover investigation here).

Pendergraft, who is perhaps best known for being hit with a $37.7 million judgment last year after his negligence left a baby maimed after a botched abortion, is the owner of five Florida abortion clinics, which he continues to operate despite the fact that he has no active medical license in any state. But he also uses latetermabortion.net to recruit women for extremely lucrative late-term abortions that are illegal in his home state.

These abortions are conducted under an arrangement of questionable legality with abortionist Harold O. Alexander in his facility in Maryland, where late-term abortions are legal. Alexander himself has been charged with violations of the Maryland Medical Practice Act, including “sexual boundary” violations, botched abortions, shoddy or non-existent record keeping, and prescribing of Viagra and other drugs to himself and non-patients.

The pro-life organization reports that while the details remain sketchy, it appears that while Pendergraft does the bulk of the work of recruiting the women, the actual abortions are committed by Alexander. For his part, Pendergraft will typically fly up from his Florida home on as little as a day’s notice to be present.

According to Pendergraft’s own website, the abortions are committed by “intra-cardiac injection” – in other words, lethal injection in to the baby’s heart. Operation Rescue also reports that there are indications that in some cases Pendergraft and Alexander will not complete the abortions, but instead simply send the women off to their own physicians or a hospital for the dead baby to be removed, adding to the already significant safety concerns of this type of abortion.

But the shoddy practices of the late-term abortion business don’t end there, as Operation Rescue learned from several undercover phone calls placed to Pendergraft.

Undercover sting

On December 7, Cheryl Sullenger of Operation Rescue called the abortionist posing as the mother of a 19-year old college student who had concealed her pregnancy from her parents and wanted to abort a 28-week pregnancy because she broke up with her boyfriend.

According to the recorded conversation, Pendergraft offered to meet Sullenger in the DC area the following day at the cost of $10,000 for a 28-week abortion. When Sullenger expressed shock at the price, he quickly reduced it to $8,500.

Pendergraft also indicated that his would be a “fetal anomaly” abortion, even though he was never told there was anything wrong with the pregnancy. When asked, he admitted he would not be doing the abortion himself and that the entire abortion would be done at the “DC area” clinic.

In another call, on November 8, 2011, Troy Newman posed as the husband of a woman seeking a late-term abortion due to fetal anomaly. During that conversation, Pendergraft instructed Newman to wire $6,000 cash to his personal account at a Bank of America in Florida.

Pendergraft indicated that the abortion-bound couple would be met and escorted to the clandestine late-term intracardiac injection clinic where Pendergraft would see them. He refused to disclose the location of the clinic or the name of the licensed physician who would be doing the procedure until he received electronic confirmation that the wire transfer was safely in his Florida bank account.

In another conversation recorded in June of this year, Pendergraft seemed to put up a pretense of attempting to establish a medical basis for a very late-term abortion. Once the caller indicated that her boyfriend was in jail, Pendergraft discussed her anxiety over the situation as an adequate mental health basis to justify the abortion. He then proceeded to tell the caller the next step in the scheduling process.

“Pendergraft is charging women exorbitant prices for late-term abortions. He says the process is ‘not inexpensive’ but does not list his fees, perhaps because he is more than willing to haggle over the abortion price in order to ensure the customer does not take her business elsewhere,” said Troy Newman. “This is not about helping women. It is about helping his bank account, and making a political statement about late-term abortions at the expense of women’s lives and health. It’s frankly despicable.”

Complaint filed

Following their undercover calls, Operation Rescue filed two separate complaints with the Maryland Board of Physicians in December, 2011, against Pendergraft and Alexander, demanding a full investigation.

“We didn’t say anything about our discoveries publicly in order to give the Maryland investigators an opportunity to catch these men red-handed,” said Newman. “We did not want to tip Pendergraft off and have him cover his tracks.”

In the meantime the pro-life organization continued to call Pendergraft from time to time. Recordings of those calls were forwarded to the board as well.

Operation Rescue is encouraging pro-lifers to contact the Maryland Board of Physicians to urge them to take action against Pendergraft and Alexander.

Read the complete Operation Rescue sting here.

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Lisa Bourne

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Pressure mounts as Catholic Relief Services fails to act on VP in gay ‘marriage’

Lisa Bourne
By Lisa Bourne
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Rick Estridge, Catholic Relief Services' Vice President of Overseas Finance, is in a same-sex "marriage," public records show. Twitter

BALTIMORE, MD, April 24, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) -- Nearly a week after news broke that a Catholic Relief Services vice president had contracted a homosexual “marriage” while also publicly promoting homosexuality on social media in conflict with Church teaching, the US Bishops international relief agency has taken no apparent steps to address the matter and is also not talking.

CRS Vice President of Overseas Finance Rick Estridge entered into a homosexual “marriage” in Maryland the same month in 2013 that he was promoted by CRS to vice president, public records show.

Despite repeated efforts at a response, CRS has not acknowledged LifeSiteNews’ inquiries during the week. And the agency told ChurchMilitant.com Thursday that no action had been taken beyond discussion of the situation and CRS would have no further comment.

"Nothing has changed,” CRS Senior Manager for Communications Tom said. “No further statement will be made."

LifeSiteNews first contacted CRS for a response prior to the April 20 release of the report and did not receive a reply, however Estridge’s Facebook and LinkeIn profiles were then removed just prior to the report’s release.

CRS also did not acknowledge LifeSiteNews’ follow-up inquiry later in the week.

“Having an executive who publicly celebrates a moral abomination shows the ineffectiveness of CRS' Catholic identity training,” Lepanto Institute President Michael Hichborn told LifeSiteNews. “How many others who hate Catholic moral teaching work at CRS?”

CRS did admit it was aware Estridge was in a “same-sex civil marriage” to Catholic News Agency (CNA) Monday afternoon, and confirmed he was VP of Overseas Finance and had been with CRS for 16 years.

“At this point we are in deliberations on this matter,” Price told CNA that day.

ChurchMilitant.com also reported that according to its sources, it was a well-known fact at CRS headquarters in Baltimore that Estridge was in a homosexual “marriage.” 

“There is no way CRS didn't know one of its executives entered into a mock-marriage until we broke the story,” Hichborn said. “The implication is clear; CRS top brass had no problem with having an executive so deliberately flouting Catholic moral teaching.”

“The big question is,” Hichborn continued, “what other morally repugnant matters is CRS comfortable with?”

While the wait continues for the Bishops’ relief organization to address the matter, those behind the report and other critics of prior instances of CRS involvement in programs and groups that violate Church principles continue to call for a thorough and independent review of the agency programs and personnel.

“How long should it take to call an employee into your office, tell him that his behavior is incompatible with the mission of the organization, and ask for his resignation?” asked Population Research Institute President Steven Mosher. “About thirty minutes, I would say.”

“The Catholic identity of CRS is at stake,” Hichborn stated. “If CRS does nothing, then there is no way faithful Catholics can trust the integrity of CRS's programs or desire to make its Catholicity preeminent.” 

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Thousands of marriage activists gathered in D.C. June 19, 2014 for the 2nd March for Marriage. Dustin Siggins / LifeSiteNews.com
The Editors

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Watch the March for Marriage online—only at LifeSiteNews

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WASHINGTON, D.C., April 24, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) -- At noon on Saturday, the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) and dozens of cosponsors, coalition partners, and speakers will launch the third annual March for Marriage. Thousands of people are expected to take place in this important event to show the support real marriage has among the American people.

As the sole media sponsor of the March, LifeSiteNews is proud to exclusively livestream the March. Click here to see the rally at noon Eastern Time near the U.S. Capitol, and the March to the Supreme Court at 1:00 Eastern Time.

And don't forget to pray that God's Will is done on Tuesday, when the Supreme Court hears arguments about marriage!

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Hillary Clinton: ‘Religious beliefs’ against abortion ‘have to be changed’

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By Ben Johnson

NEW YORK CITY, April 24, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Speaking to an influential gathering in New York City on Thursday, Hillary Clinton declared that “religious beliefs” that condemn "reproductive rights," “have to be changed.”

“Yes, we've cut the maternal mortality rate in half, but far too many women are still denied critical access to reproductive health,” Hillary told the Women in the World Summit yesterday.

Liberal politicians use “reproductive health” as a blanket term that includes abortion. However, Hillary's reference echoes National Organization for Women (NOW) president Terry O’Neill's op-ed from last May that called abortion “an essential measure to prevent the heartbreak of infant mortality.”

The Democratic presidential hopeful added that governments should throw the power of state coercion behind the effort to redefine traditional religious dogmas.

“Rights have to exist in practice, not just on paper. Laws have to be backed up with resources, and political will,” she said. “Deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs, and structural biases have to be changed.”

The line received rousing applause at the feminist conference, hosted in Manhattan's Lincoln Center by Tina Brown.

She also cited religious-based objections to the HHS mandate, funding Planned Parenthood, and the homosexual and transgender agenda as obstacles that the government must defeat.

“America moves ahead when all women are guaranteed the right to make their own health care choices, not when those choices are taken away by an employer like Hobby Lobby,” she said. The Supreme Court ruled last year that closely held corporations had the right to opt out of the provision of ObamaCare requiring them to provide abortion-inducing drugs, contraceptives, and sterilization to employees with no co-pay – a mandate that violates the teachings of the Catholic Church and other Christian bodies.

Clinton lamented that “there are those who offer themselves as leaders...who would defund the country's leading provider of family planning,” Planned Parenthood, “and want to let health insurance companies once again charge women just because of our gender.”

“We move forward when gay and transgender women are embraced...not fired from good jobs because of who they love or who they are,” she added.

It is not the first time the former first lady had said that liberal social policies should displace religious views. In a December 2011 speech in Geneva, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said perhaps the “most challenging issue arises when people cite religious or cultural values as a reason to violate or not to protect the human rights of LGBT citizens.” These objections, she said, are “not unlike the justification offered for violent practices towards women like honor killings, widow burning, or female genital mutilation.”

While opinions on homosexuality are “still evolving,” in time “we came to learn that no [religious] practice or tradition trumps the human rights that belong to all of us.”

Her views, if outside the American political mainstream, have been supported by the United Nations. The UN Population Fund stated in its 2012 annual report that religious objections to abortion-inducing drugs had to be overcome. According to the UNFPA report, “‘duty-bearers’ (governments and others)” have a responsibility to assure that all forms of contraception – including sterilization and abortion-inducing ‘emergency contraception’ – are viewed as acceptable – “But if they are not acceptable for cultural, religious or other reasons, they will not be used.”

Two years later, the United Nations' Committee on the Rights of the Child instructed the Vatican last February that the Catholic Church should amend canon law “relating to abortion with a view to identifying circumstances under which access to abortion services may be permitted.”

At Thursday's speech, Hillary called the legal, state-enforced implementation of feminist politics “the great unfinished business of the 21st century,” which must be accomplished “not just for women but for everyone — and not just in far away countries but right here in the United States.”

“These are not just women's fights. These have to be America's fights and the world's fights,” she said. “There's still much to be done in our own country, much more to be done around the world, but I'm confident and optimistic that if we get to work, we will get it done together.”

American critics called Clinton's suggestion that a nation founded upon freedom of religion begin using state force to change religious practices unprecedented.

“Never before have we seen a presidential candidate be this bold about directly confronting the Catholic Church's teachings on abortion,” said Bill Donohue of the Catholic League.

“In one sense, this shows just how extreme the pro-abortion caucus actually is,” Ed Morrissey writes at HotAir.com. “Running for president on the basis of promising to use the power of government to change 'deep seated cultural codes [and] religious beliefs' might be the most honest progressive slogan in history.”

He hoped that, now that she had called for governments to change religious doctrines, “voters will now see the real Hillary Clinton, the one who dismisses their faith just the same as Obama did, and this time publicly rather than in a private fundraiser.”

Donohue asked Hillary “to take the next step and tell us exactly what she plans to do about delivering on her pledge. Not only would practicing Catholics like to know, so would Evangelicals, Orthodox Jews, Muslims, and all those who value life from conception to natural death.”

You may watch Hillary's speech below.

Her comments on religion begin at approximately 9:00. 

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