A controversy-ridden 24-hour abortion clinic in Orlando, Florida, sparked local criticism after offering a $50 discount coupon for abortions on “Sundays only.”
The Orlando Women’s Center was shut down in June and had all its equipment confiscated after the clinic’s head physician, Dr. James Pendergraft, failed to settle a medical malpractice suit for $36 million. According to WFTV, Pendergraft has had his medical license revoked five times, most recently in relation to his failure to pay fines for performing an illegal third trimester abortion; Pendergraft maintains that he was unaware that the woman was in her third trimester and that the other revocations “had nothing to do with the mere fact of me harming any patient.”
“I’ve done nothing that I thought was inappropriate, illegal, immoral, or wrong,” Pendergraft continued.
Though Pendergraft is not legally allowed to perform medical services due to his license revocation, he reopened the Orlando Women’s Center in July with six other physicians with working licenses.
Pro-life advocates protested the clinic’s reopening, particularly after its recent discount promotion. The online coupon offers “free deep IV sedation” and an extra $25 for “advanced IV sedation (patient able to drive herself to and from office).” The coupon is “valid for abortion services at Orlando Women’s Center on Sundays only.” Rachel Burgin, executive director of Florida Right to Life, suggested that the promotion evidences a particular target demographic of the clinic.
“An abortion center that’s open seven days a week in Florida is giving away coupons to poor women in a crisis pregnancy so they can save money on their abortions,” she said.
Though the clinic’s reopening and subsequent promotion garnered widespread criticism among the state’s pro-life groups, Pendergraft told WFTV, “I just want to go back and do business as usual.”