Thursday, August 24, 2006

Florida Abortion Provider Pendergraft Appeals License Suspension

Florida abortion provider James Pendergraft, whose license was suspended by the Florida Department of Health earlier this month, on Tuesday appealed the suspension to the 1st District Court in Tallahassee, the Orlando Sentinel reports (Shelton, Orlando Sentinel, 8/23). Pendergraft's license was suspended earlier this month because he allegedly showed a "flagrant disregard for the laws of the state of Florida and a willingness to endanger the lives and health of pregnant patients." Third-trimester abortions are illegal in Florida except to "save the life or preserve the health of the pregnant woman," in which case, the law requires that the procedure be certified by two physicians and that it be performed in a hospital. According to the state, Pendergraft in 2004 and 2005 "endangered two female patients by performing third-trimester abortions outside a hospital setting and without concurring certification from a second physician." Pendergraft's attorney Robert Buonauro said Pendergraft "operated within the (medical) guidelines and protocol" of the state and "had the appropriate certification" for the abortion he performed in July 2005.

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