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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“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.”
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“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.
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.
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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.
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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.
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Running Time: 130 minutes
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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.
Although the content is emotionally gut-wrenching, these videos have been used in church seminars and small groups to educate Christians on the abortion issue and to lead people toward a pro-life position. Contains 2 hours and 40 minutes of materials that can be shown separately.
Watch these pro-life videos on-line.
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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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