Thursday, July 02, 2009

One less killer of viable babies

Praise God! The Florida medical board, which evidently has more balls than the Kansas medical board -- or more brains or a higher price tag -- has suspended the license of the state's highest profile slayer of post-viability fetuses: the infamous James Pendergraft, killer of Baby Rowan and of Ashli's baby.

Read all about it here, straight from the horse's mouth.

A few choice (ha!) sections:

...Chapter 485 is intended to ensure that every physician practicing in this State meets minimum requirements for safe practice and that any physician who falls below minimum standards of competency or who otherwise presents a danger to the public is prohibited from practicing medicine in this state.


In her recommended order, the ALJ determined that Dr. Pendergraft's performance of the third trimester abortion in his clinic was contrary to [the law] in several respects. First, ... Pendergraft's conduct violated [Florida law] which prohibits the performance of such a procedure in a location other than a hospital. Second, ... the same conduct violated [Florida law] which prohibits third trimester abortions unless "two physicians certify in writing to the fact that ... the termination of pregnancy is necessary to save the life or preserve the health of the pregnant woman." [A nonsensical idea in the first place, since if the pregnancy is past viability, you deliver the baby alive. It's faster as well as safer for the mother. -- ED] Third, ... Pendergraft failed to comply with [Florida law] because he did not certify in writing "to the medical necessity for legitimate emergency medical procedures for termination of pregnancy in the third trimester, and another physician is not available for consultation." Finally, ... there was clear and convincing evidence that Dr. Pendergraft committed medical malpractice ... by failing to meet the standard of care for performing third trimester abortions.... Based on these findings, the ALJ recommended suspension of Dr. Pendergraft's medical license and imposition of other penalties. ....

On appeal, Dr. Pendergraft argues that the violations of [Florida law] cannot serve as the basis for any disciplinary action by the Board because he has not been convicted of violating [Florida law]. We disagree.

The Board disciplined Dr. Pendergraft for "failing to perform any statutory or legal obligation" placed upon him as a licensed physician.... Although the statutes Dr. Pendergfaft is charged with violating may provide penal sanctions, there is no explicit statutory requirement that a licensee be adjudicated guilty of the acts specified in the penal statutes before disciplinary action may be instituted. In fact, [Florida laws] allow disciplinary action, regardless of adjudication, for crimes the licensee may have committed in any jurisdiction relating to the practice of, or the ability to practice, medicine. Further, even an acquittal in a criminal prosecution will not bar a license revocation proceeding based upon the same offense as the criminal prosecution. [A criminal trial is set up to protect the accused; the medical board is set up to protect patients. A conviction requires proof beyond a reasonable doubt. Disciplinary action by a medical board only requires that the board determine that there is sufficient evidence to convince them that the physician committed the crime or malpractice. The document goes on to explain this. -- ED]

Note well that Pendergraft was doing almost exactly what Tiller was doing. He was injecting poison into the baby's heart to kill it on Day 1, then keeping the mother in a motel for three days while her cervix dilated, then having her come back to the facility to expel her dead, rotting baby. The babies Tiller killed were just as dead as the babies Pendergraft killed. The mothers in Kanas were placed at just as much risk as the mothers in Florida.


1. Florida law recognized, as Kansas law doesn't, that if a woman is suffering a major complication in the third trimester of pregnancy, such that continuing the pregnancy is a threat to her life or bodily functions, the safest place for her is a hospital, not a motel. Florida, in short, had a governor who hadn't been paid off with huge campaign contributions by the abortionist in question.

2. Pendergraft, unlike Tiller, didn't have a cozy arrangement with another doctor who would rubber stamp all his patients for him. Either Pendergraft didn't have a buddy like Larry on the board, who would help him evade the law and would overlook his shenanigans, or Pendergfaft couldn't find an out-of-work ex-abortionist he could subcontract his "second opinions" to, or Pendergraft simply figured he'd been getting away with it for so long that he was never going to be held accountable. Or some combination of the above.

But hey, he's suspended. Which is a good thing.

Now if we can just shut down the remaining 31 known and openly-advertising third-trimester abortionists.


OperationCounterstrike said...

Whether or not a patient with a complicated pregnancy belongs in a hospital depends on the specific circumstances.

Some complications are dangerous IF YOU COMPLETE THE PREGNANCY but not if you abort it. For instance, a large hydrocephalus in a patient who for whatever reason cannot tolerate a c-section. You must reduce the skull. But once you do, there's no problem, no need to hospitalize.

What it sounds like is, Dr. Pendergraft, UNLIKE Dr. Tiller, actually broke the law.

And if you put the remaining docs who do late-term abortions out of business, they will rapidly be replaced by new ones.

OperationCounterstrike said...

In the era of Medical Students for Choice, the strategy of putting all the docs out of business is a non-starter, whether you're talking about all the abortion docs or just the late-termers. There will be enough to meet the (very small) demand for their work, neither more nor less. Of course this does not stop feminist organizations from yapping about a "shortage" in order to motivate donors to donate more. But that's all it is, a fundraising ploy. Sorry.

Christina Dunigan said...

Somg, Pendergraft didn't do brain-sucking abortions. He did induced labor after lethal injection. The hydrocephalic baby's head would still be enormous.

Also, please do enlighten us as to what condition the mother might have that would make a c-section far too risky, but staying in a motel room for three days with her dead baby rotting inside her okay.

And you're far too smart to think that abortionists are being replaced as fast as they're going out. MSFC has been around for well over a decade, and abortionists are still retiring, quitting, dying, and getting their licenses yanked faster than eager young fetus-slayers are arising to replace them. Turns out that MSFC is providing abortion supporting med students with a chance to learn how much abortion really sucks.

And are you saying that abortion advocacy organizations LIE in order to raise money? Thank you for confirming what I've been saying for years!

Ladybug said...

Are you kidding me? I counted around 39 abortion providers willing to do abortions up to 25 weeks and 4 (including Pendergraft and the late Dr. Tiller) willing to do abortions 25 wks+ for maternal indication and this is from the prochoice Abortion Clinics Online website.

Ladybug said...

Also I'd like to quote and use some of the data and info you've gathered on late term abortions for a piece on late term abortions I'm writing myself, may I have your permission?

Christina Dunigan said...

Howdy, Rachel.

Yeah, to us 39 late abortionists seems like a huge amount, but the number of abortionists overall is falling as the old farts retire, die off, lose their licenses, or give up killing and switch to legitimate medicine.

MSFC seems to be very effective as a PR organization, but not as a recruiting tool. The eager young abortionists tend to find abortion facilities dismal, dull, and dehumanizing. They decide to support "choice" via referrals, political activism -- anything but embarking on a career as an abortionist.

OperationCounterstrike said...

Christina, the baby isn't "rotting". That would take more than a few days.

What's the point of using emotionally loaded language like that, incorrectly? All you show is that you are not approaching the subject rationally.

OperationCounterstrike said...

And your comment about MS4C and replacing the late-termers are of course wrong. And silly. The new late-termers are not being as obvious as the ones you know about but they are there none the less. The early-termers all know whom to call if they have a late-term patient.

I could name, off the top of my head, maybe ten late-termers you have never heard of. (I won't, but I could).

OperationCounterstrike said...

Christina, you wrote: "The eager young abortionists tend to find abortion facilities dismal, dull, and dehumanizing. "

Even if this were true, how would YOU know?

Anyway, most young abortion docs don't JUST do abortion. These days they're family-practice people or adolescent-medicine people or gyn-surgeons.

I linked to you from my blog:

Christina Dunigan said...

Somg, in his presentation paper on D&X, Martin Haskell described first how late D&E abortions were done. Because the fetus was so difficult to dismember, abortionists would kill it on Day 1, so that "autolysis" would "soften" the tissues for dismemberment during the days that the cervix was being dilated.

Autolysis. The first step in the decomposition of a corpse. Decomposition. A fancy word for rotting. The fetus will undergo autolysis -- rotting -- whether the abortionist is planning to dismember it or induce labor so it's expelled whole.

Let's step away from cases in which the baby is deliberately put to death and look at late miscarriages or stillbirth.

Maceration and The Timing of Intrauterine Death: "Maceration is the process of tissue degeneration which begins to occur as soon as an undelivered infant dies. It arises secondary to the effects of autolytic enzimes."

"Within hours after death changes occur in the epidermal-dermal junction resulting in what usually is termed ‘skin slippage’. If the skin is rubbed the epidermis will detach from the underlying tissues. Shortly thereafter, fluid begins to accumulate under the skin. Bullae (blisters) may develop (which should not be misinterpreted as being secondary to an abnormality of development such as epidermolysis bullosa). These bullae rupture spontaneously or from delivery resulting in patchy denudation of the skin. Sloughing of skin from larger and greater number of surfaces indicates that the interval between death and delivery is longer. With antenatal death more than a few days prior to delivery other changes begin to occur including generalized hypermobility of joints, change in the color of the fetal skin surfaces to a pale grey-yellow and liquefaction of internal organs."

In the first six hours after the baby is killed, the skin begins desquamation. By 18 hours after the baby is killed (before even the first change of laminaria), skin desquamation involves at least 5% of the body surface. At 24 hours, when the first laminaria change takes place, the skin changes color to tan or brown.

In other words, the baby is ROTTING. It's a corpse. That's what corpses do. They rot. In this case, they're rotting inside their mother's wombs for three days in order to make absolutely sure that they aren't born alive.

BTW, Somg, what maternal health concern can you think of that would make killing the fetus three days prior to delivery necessary? What maternal health concern will be improved by the maceration of the fetus in her body? Her physical health? Her mental health?

OperationCounterstrike said...

How about the maternal health concern of not having your doctor getting prosecuted for doing a "partial-birth abortion"? Seriously, would you want laminaria expanding in your cervix while you were pregnant with a live fetus, if you had already chosen abortion? The question answers itself.

Plus, maybe the auto-digestion of certain tissues like the cartilage and muscles near the skull bones is helpful, like the doctor you quoted said. If he's right, it lessens the stretch on the cervix while passing the skull.

That doesn't make it "rotting".

Christina Dunigan said...

How about the maternal health concern of not having your doctor getting prosecuted for doing a "partial-birth abortion"?

Again, the focus being not on the mother's health and well being, but on the well-being of the abortionist, lest he be legally troubled by his efforts to make absolutely sure that Junior emerges dead. AFTER VIABILITY, mind you.

Seriously, would you want laminaria expanding in your cervix while you were pregnant with a live fetus, if you had already chosen abortion? The question answers itself.

Yes it surely does. You're making my point for me -- that the death of the baby is something that is being CHOSEN; it's not an unfortunate side-effect of the need to terminate the pregnancy.

Nice job!

OperationCounterstrike said...

Granny, you wrote: "Again, the focus being not on the mother's health and well being, but on the well-being of the abortionist, lest he be legally troubled...."

The distinction is only necessary because of the foolish laws right-to-lifers pass. If you want your doc to focus on you rather than on the law, you need to liberalize the laws which restrict the practice of medicine.

Christina Dunigan said...

Just because a doctor does it doesn't make it the practice of medicine. Abortion is just like lethal injection -- somebody hiring a person with medical skills to act as a hit man. Only with capital punishment at least the person being killed has done something to justify killing him, and he's had due process. Unlike the baby that gets executed with no due process, purely because somebody else finds his existence troublesome.

Tonal Bliss said...

Arguments with pro-choicers always end up being about semantics. Always. lol

Kathy said...

Here's a link to a picture of a macerated fetus -- a baby who died in utero. Obviously, the picture is graphic, but less so than any number of abortion pictures I've seen. The caption to the photo says, "Death of the fetus in utero is accompanied by changes of maceration. Seen here is one of the earliest changes (within half a day) which is slippage of the skin. As this process advances, the skin becomes reddened."