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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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Abortion Clinic 911 Calls (DVD)

Exposes the Dangers of Abortion to Women!

These shocking eyewitness accounts expose the dangers of abortion not only to unborn children, but to the health and lives women as well. An antidote to the smokescreens of the liberal media, these short clips show what really happens in and around abortion clinics.

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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?

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Frank Schaeffer Will You Please Shut Up! (Book)

High Quality Paperback — 200 pages

A Reasonable Response to Christian Postmodernism

Includes a response to the book Christian Jihad by Colonel V. Doner

The title of this book is a misnomer. In reality, I am not trying to get anyone to shut up, but rather to provoke a discussion. This book is a warning about the philosophy of “Christian postmodernism” and the threat that it poses not only to Christian orthodoxy, but to the peace and prosperity our culture as well. The purpose is to equip the reader with some basic principles that can be used to refute their arguments.

Part 1 is a response to some of the recent writings by Frank Schaeffer, the son of the late Francis Schaeffer. This was originally written as a defense against Frank’s attacks on pro-life street activism – a movement that his father helped bring into being through his books, A Christian Manifesto, How Should We Then Live? and Whatever Happened to the Human Race? These works have impacted literally hundreds of thousands of Christian activists.

Part 2 is a response to Colonel Doner and his book, Christian Jihad: Neo-Fundamentalists and the Polarization of America. Doner was one of the key architects of the Christian Right that emerged in the 1980s, who now represents the disillusionment and defection many Christian activists experienced in the 1990s and 2000s. There is still great hope for America to be reformed according to biblical principles. As a new generation is emerging, it is important to recognize the mistakes that Christian activists have made in the past even while holding to a vision for the future.

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The Real Jesus: A Defense of the Historicity and Divinity of ChristThe Real Jesus: A Defense of the Historicity and Divinity of Christ (DVD)

Who is the Real Jesus?

Ever since the dawn of modern rationalism, skeptics have sought to use textual criticism, archeology and historical reconstructions to uncover the “historical Jesus” — a wise teacher who said many wonderful things, but fulfilled no prophecies, performed no miracles and certainly did not rise from the dead in triumph over sin.

Over the past 100 years, however, startling discoveries in biblical archeology and scholarship have all but vanquished the faulty assumptions of these doubting modernists. Regrettably, these discoveries have often been ignored by the skeptics as well as by the popular media. As a result, the liberal view still holds sway in universities and impacts the culture and even much of the church.

The Real Jesus explodes the myths of these critics and the movies, books and television programs that have popularized their views. Presented in ten parts — perfect for individual, family and classroom study — viewers will be challenged to go deeper in their knowledge of Christ in order to be able to defend their faith and present the truth to a skeptical modern world – that the Jesus of the Gospels is the Jesus of history — “the same yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). He is the real Jesus.

Speakers include: George Grant, Ted Baehr, Stephen Mansfield, Raymond Ortlund, Phil Kayser, David Lutzweiler, Jay Grimstead, J.P. Holding, and Eric Holmberg.

Ten parts, over two hours of instruction!

Running Time: 130 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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