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Abortion Clinic To Open Next Week In Ocala

By Editorial Staff
Published July 2, 1998

By Kenneth A. Harris of The Sentinel Staff

OCALA – Pinned to Dr. James Scott Pendergraft’s tie was the safe-sex message “Safety First.”

But Pendergraft’s tie tack took on a more literal meaning Wednesday as the Orlando physician announced the opening of Marion County’s first abortion clinic in nearly 10 years. The women’s center is in Ocala, where the last abortion clinic was twice firebombed in 1989.

Wearing a white shirt that concealed his bulletproof vest, Pendergraft told reporters he expects a “wholesome welcome” when the Ocala Women’s Center opens next week at 108 N. Pine Ave.

Plans for the women’s center, which also will offer gynecological exams and birth control, have been in the works for nearly a year amid opposition from local officials. Marion County commissioners, for example, urged Pendergraft to “reconsider” his plans.

“With respect to the proposed Ocala Women’s Center, we are a small, family-oriented community, relatively free from controversy of the kind this might create,” Marion County commissioners stated in an Oct. 8 letter.

Pendergraft said his surveys have shown a need for the clinic.

“We have gotten just as may positive letters as negative letters in the Ocala community,” Pendergraft said.

Two years ago, he squared off against elected leaders when Orlando officials tried to use city zoning laws to prevent second-trimester abortions at his Orlando Women’s Center, 1103 Lucerne Terrace. The doctor took the battle to court and won. The city settled his lawsuit for $325,000. Pendergraft has a second abortion clinic in Orlando – Epoc Clinic at 609 Virginia Drive.

“Abortion is a constitutional right,” Pendergraft said. “It’s a right between the doctor and the patient. No one should be able to intervene in that.”

The Ocala center, which will offer abortions up to 24 weeks, has security measures – which Pendergraft declined to discuss – to protect the staff and clients.

Pendergraft does not perform “partial-birth abortions,” but his announcement came a day after a federal judge temporarily stopped enforcement of a state law that imposed a prison term for doctors performing the procedure.

Ocala police Maj. Guy Howie said he does not expect any problems from anti-abortion groups.

“We’ve had meetings with the clinic and one of the right-to-life groups,” Howie said. “We’ve explained to them our position is neutral. Both have equal protection under the law.”

Fruitland Park resident Linda Rozar, who is founder of the conservative religious group Concerned Citizens of Florida, said she found the opening of the Ocala clinic “troubling.”

She said she does not endorse violence and counsels expectant mothers to consider adoption as an alternative.

“We don’t condone violence or any type of really offensive action concerning the people or the building structure,” Rozar said. “Our appeal is to the women.”

On two occasions between March and April 1989, fire ravaged the All Women’s Health Center in Ocala. The second fire on April 9 left the clinic in ruins. Arson was suspected, but the cases remain unsolved.

“We don’t expect any problems,” Pendergraft said. “What we do expect is some people showing their dislike to us being here.”


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Freedom: The Model of Christian Liberty (DVD)

“Give me liberty or give me death!”

Patrick Henry’s famous declaration not only helped launch the War for Independence, it also perfectly summarized the mindset that gave birth to, and sustained, the unprecedented experiment in Christian liberty that was America.

The freedom our Founders envisioned was not freedom from suffering, want, or hard work. Nor was it freedom to indulge every appetite or whim without restraint—that would merely be servitude to a different master. No, the Founders’ passion was to live free before God, unfettered by the chains of autocracy, shackles that slowly but inexorably bind men when the governments they fashion fail to recognize and uphold freedom’s singular, foundational truth: that all men are created in the image of God, and are thereby co-equally endowed with the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

This presentation is a similar call, not to one but many. By reintroducing the principles of freedom that gave birth to America, it is our prayer that Jesus, the true and only ruler over the nations, will once again be our acknowledged Sovereign, that we may again know and exult in the great truth that “where the Spirit of the LORD is, there is liberty” (2 Cor. 3:17).

Welcome to the Second American Revolution!

This DVD features “Liberty: The Model of Christian Liberty” along with “Dawn’s Early Light: A Brief History of America’s Christian Foundations.” Bonus features include a humorous but instructive collection of campaign ads and Eric Holmberg’s controversial YouTube challenge concerning Mitt Romney’s campaign for president.

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Go Stand Speak (DVD)

With “preaching to the lost” being such a basic foundation of Christianity, why do many in the church seem to be apathetic on this issue of preaching in highways and byways of towns and cities?

Is it biblical to stand in the public places of the world and proclaim the gospel, regardless if people want to hear it or not?

Does the Bible really call church pastors, leaders and evangelists to proclaim the gospel in the public square as part of obedience to the Great Commission, or is public preaching something that is outdated and not applicable for our day and age?

These any many other questions are answered in this documentary.

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Dr. Francis Schaeffer - A Christian Manifesto (DVD)

That Swiss Hermit Strikes Again!

Dr. Schaeffer, who was one of the most influential Christian thinkers in the twentieth century, shows that secular humanism has displaced the Judeo-Christian consensus that once defined our nation’s moral boundaries. Law, education, and medicine have all been reshaped for the worse as a consequence. America’s dominant worldview changed, Schaeffer charges, when Christians weren’t looking.

Schaeffer lists two reasons for evangelical indifference: a false concept of spirituality and fear. He calls on believers to stand against the tyranny and moral chaos that come when humanism reigns-and warns that believers may, at some point, be forced to make the hard choice between obeying God or Caesar. A Christian Manifesto is a thought-provoking and bracing Christian analysis of American culture and the obligation Christians have to engage the culture with the claims of Christ.

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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

Special offer: Order 5 or more for $5 each.

Watch a clip from Martin Luther.

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