The story of Baby Rowan, who would be seven years old this year, is one of the most gripping and horrifying accounts shared by a mother that experienced the trauma of abortion at one of James Pendergraft’s abortion facilities. In fact, her story was made into the award-winning film “22 Weeks,” which has exposed the reality of abortion nationwide.
Angele was a young woman in her thirties, mother to two children, pregnant with a third, and divorced. In 2005, when she was over 5 months pregnant, she drove out of state to obtain an abortion at EPOC Clinic in Orlando after reading about the facility on the internet. She had already named her son Rowan and knew that what she was doing would end his life.
As Angele was told that the abortion would take two days to perform, the abortionist began by giving her a shot that caused her to dilate. His assistants also instructed that they were going to administer a lethal injection into the heart of her son to cause it to stop beating. The following day, she returned to EPOC and was instructed to take a pill to induce labor.
She was then taken to a so-called delivery room, where she was expected to give birth to a dead baby. The room was cold and dirty, and there was blood on one of the sofas. After enduring much pain and increased contractions, she went to the restroom and squatted over the toilet. As she gave a push or two, she felt her baby being delivered and looked down to indeed find him in the toilet.
Much to her amazement, Baby Rowan was alive. He curled up as if he was cold. She began crying out for help, and after several attempts a staff member finally came to the door. Angele announced to the woman, named Violene, that her son was alive and to call for immediate assistance. Shockingly, Violene coldly replied that she did not think he was moving and walked away. Angele cried out again for Violene, who then stated she would get her supervisor. Baby Rowan jumped at the sound of his mother’s cries.
Angele recounted that as she waited for someone to come, “I stroked his precious little head and kept telling him I loved him and we would be okay. … I pushed my pinky into his little hand and his fingers curled around me.” She also observed Rowan turn his head toward her as she spoke and move his tiny leg.
Angele explained that as time passed, “If finally dawned on me. They’re not going to save my son.” She reached for her cell phone and dialed a friend, explaining that her son was born alive, but that no one would help her, and she needed an ambulance on the scene right away. (Listen to the 911 call from Angele’s friend here.) Angele continued speaking to Rowan as well. “I told him I was sorry I couldn’t get anyone to help us and I was so sorry for coming here,” she lamented.
While waiting for the ambulance to arrive, Angele noticed that Baby Rowan stopped moving. She was heartbroken. Minutes later, a staff member named Debbie arrived to take her now deceased son away. “I was irritated that she was rushing me and that she did not seem to be in such a hurry when Rowan was alive,” she recounted. She refused Debbie and continued to hold her son.
When emergency workers arrived, they were told by EPOC staff that there was no emergency and were sent away. The police then also arrived. They talked to Angele and asked her if she would like for them to take Baby Rowan to the funeral home. She obliged. The staff then hurried Angele along so that she would leave the premises quickly.
An autopsy was later performed on Baby Rowan, which showed that he had not received the lethal injection as there were no needle marks on his heart.