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State of Florida suspends abortionist James Pendergraft, 8/19/2006

What follows is more of the never-ending sordid tale of James Pendergraft. If you follow pro-life news, you already know that the state of Florida closed five of his abortion clinics this week and suspended his license to practice medicine. Pendergraft was convicted of extortion in 2000 after he filed several frivolous lawsuits against a host of individuals. My connection with Dr. Pendergraft is through Roy Lucas, the lawyer who wrote the winning argument for Roe v. Wade.

In 1999, four lawsuits were filed by Roy Lucas on behalf of several abortion clinic owners throughout the state of Florida naming Melbourne area pro-lifers as defendants. I chronicle these events in Abortion Wars. The language of these lawsuits was so paranoid it is hilarious. However, in the process of suing the city of Ocala, Pendergraft threatened to bankrupt the city, lied under sworn testimony, and was eventually convicted of extortion.

Behold, the wicked brings forth iniquity;
Yes, he conceives trouble and brings forth falsehood
He made a pit and dug it out,
And has fallen into the ditch which he made.
His trouble shall return upon his own head,
And his violent dealing shall come down on his own crown.

- Psalm 7:14-16

State restricts five abortion clinics

MIAMI — Authorities suspended a doctor’s license and restricted five clinics he operates from performing abortions after he allegedly performed two of the procedures inappropriately, state agencies said.

But a spokeswoman for Dr. James Pendergraft challenged the allegations and said he was “the target of government agencies determined to limit the access of Florida women to safe and legal late term abortions.” Marti Mackenzie said he planned to appeal the order, hoping a court would postpone the license restrictions.

He allegedly performed the two third trimester abortions in 2004 and 2005, according to an emergency license suspension order filed last week by the Health Department. He also prescribed drugs without appropriate authorization, the suspension order states.

The Agency for Health Care Administration has restricted new patients from obtaining abortions at clinics Pendergraft is part-owner of in Orlando, Ocala, Tampa and Fort Lauderdale, according to AHCA documents. The restrictions at three of the clinics are to last until at least Wednesday, but are of indefinite length at the two clinics in Orlando, AHCA spokeswoman Brandi Brown said.

“The clinics can do regular gynecological visits with patients … but they cannot perform any new abortions,” Brown said. “They can do any post-operative procedures on anyone who had an abortion before the order went into effect.”

The emergency suspension means Pendergraft will not be able to practice medicine until the Florida Board of Medicine reviews his case, Health Department spokesman Fernando Senra said.

Pendergraft’s lawyers plan to file an appeal in the 1st District Court of Appeal in Tallahassee, Mackenzie said. It had not been filed as of Thursday.

The 12-page suspension order said Pendergraft allegedly performed an abortion on a woman identified only as R.W. and did not obtain a second opinion required by law for the third trimester abortion. That procedure was also performed outside a hospital, a requirement for a third trimester abortion, according to the order.

In another instance, clinic records said a woman given drugs to abort her fetus was 22 weeks pregnant, in her second trimester, but the fetus she delivered at home was later determined to be between 25 and 27 weeks old and therefore subject to third trimester restrictions, the order said.

But he had appropriate medical documentation for the first abortion, Mackenzie said. It was performed after the woman learned her fetus was in the breech position, had a swollen head, no lungs and one kidney, according to Mackenzie and the emergency order.

Doctors at another hospital had referred the woman to Pendergraft and written appropriate letters, she said. Appropriate steps were followed in the administration of medication, she said.

Mackenzie also questioned the techniques used to determine that the fetus of the second woman was more than 22 weeks old.

“Florida law sets the standard for what constitutes a safe late-term abortion,” Brown said. “The actions taken by AHCA are in an effort to ensure that late-term abortion procedures are performed safely and in the appropriate settings.”

Pendergraft and an associate were convicted in 2001 over a federal lawsuit they filed against Marion County claiming their clinic was not given adequate protection against anti-abortion protesters. County officials said the lawsuit was part of an extortion plot in which they were expected to pay Pendergraft and the associate to close the clinic.

Pendergraft was sentenced to three years, 10 months in prison, and had served seven months, before the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the conviction in 2002. The appeals court left open the possibility of federal prosecutors retrying both men on a conspiracy count.

Pendergraft later agreed to plead guilty to a charge of impeding justice.

Your comments are welcome!

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Dr. Francis Schaeffer - How Should We Then Live? (DVD)

Special Two-Disc Set!

After 40 years of intense study and world-wide ministry, Dr. Francis Schaeffer completed his crowning work of scholarship – to present profound truths in simple film language. Dr. Schaeffer’s brilliant analysis of the past and predictions for current trends have proven so uncannily accurate that this amazing series still feels contemporary almost three decades after its initial release. Ultimately, Schaeffer concludes that man’s only hope is a return to God’s Biblical absolute, the truth revealed in Christ through the Scriptures.

Available for the first time on DVD, this documentary spectacular also includes intimate in-depth conversations with Francis and Edith Schaeffer. With the on-disc study guide, this presentation forms a unique course of comprehensive study. While this series forms an innovative analysis of the past, this outstanding work is more than history. Each episode focuses on a significant era, yet speaks clearly to 21st-century man with answers for modern problems.

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The Four Keys to the Millennium (Book)

Foundations in Biblical Eschatology

By Jay Rogers, Larry Waugh, Rodney Stortz, Joseph Meiring. High quality paperback, 167 pages.

All Christians believe that their great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will one day return. Although we cannot know the exact time of His return, what exactly did Jesus mean when he spoke of the signs of His coming (Mat. 24)? How are we to interpret the prophecies in Isaiah regarding the time when “the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea” (Isa. 11:19)? Should we expect a time of great tribulation and apostasy or revival and reformation before the Lord returns? Is the devil bound now, and are the saints reigning with Christ? Did you know that there are four hermeneutical approaches to the book of Daniel and Revelation?

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The Silent Scream (DVD) Eight Languages

“When the lives of the unborn are snuffed out, they often feel pain, pain that is long and agonizing.” – President Ronald Reagan to National Religious Broadcasters Convention, January 1981

Ronald Reagan became convinced of this as a result of watching The Silent Scream – a movie he considered so powerful and convicting that he screened it at the White House. More recently, it was by catching just a glimpse of what this film reveals that Planned Parenthood director and abortion advocate Abby Johnson turned and became a strong advocate for the pre-born.

The modern technology of real-time ultrasound now reveals the actual responses of a 12-week old fetus to being aborted. As the unborn child attempts to escape the abortionist’s suction curette, her motions can be seen to become desperately agitated and her heart rate doubles. Her mouth opens – as if to scream – but no sound can come out. Her scream doesn’t have to remain silent, however … not if you will become her voice. This newly re-mastered version features eight language tracks and two bonus videos.

“…a high technology “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” arousing public opinion just as Harriet Beecher Stowe’s 1852 antislavery novel ignited the abolitionist movement.” – Sen. Gordon Humphrey, Time Magazine

Languages: English, Spanish, French, South Korean, Chinese, Russian, Portuguese, Japanese

Running Time: 28 minutes

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Massacre of Innocence (DVD)

Exposing The Occult Roots of Abortion

This presentation looks at the spiritual roots of abortion and exposes the myths surrounding child killing. Little known historical facts about abortion and how they relate to modern feminism are presented logically and accurately. Has been effective in converting many to a pro-life position.

Massacre of Innocence goes where no pro-life presentation has gone before in “tearing the lid off abortion” to reveal the spiritual realities we must battle if we will bring an end to this crime. The presentation is absorbing, fast-paced, informative and incredibly devastating to any attempt to justify abortion.

“… an extraordinary statement … a powerfully articulate presentation about what abortion really means, and why a great and moral nation like the United States must not allow the slaughter to continue.”
— Congressman Robert K. Dornan

Running time: 85 minutes

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Martin Luther: Digitally Remastered 1953 Classic (DVD)

“Here I stand … I can do no other!”

With these immortal words, an unknown German monk sparked a spiritual revolution that changed the world.

The dramatic classic film of Martin Luther’s life was released in theaters worldwide in the 1950s and was nominated for two Oscars. A magnificent depiction of Luther and the forces at work in the surrounding society that resulted in his historic reform efforts, this film traces Luther’s life from a guilt-burdened monk to his eventual break with the Roman Catholic Church.

Running time: 105 minutes

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Watch a clip from Martin Luther.

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