By Editorial Staff
Published March 12, 1996
Orlando Vote Is 6-0 Court Hearing Next
By Dan Tracy of The Sentinel Staff
The Orlando City Council on Monday rejected the advice of its own hearing officer and told a Maryland doctor he cannot open a practice where he would perform abortions.
“This is not a difficult decision. It isn’t a gray area with me,” said council member Don Ammerman, moments before leading a 6-0 vote against Dr. James Pendergraft.
Jacob Rose, Pendergraft’s attorney, promised his client will continue fighting the council in an attempt to open his business at 1103 Lucerne Terrace, just south of downtown.
His next venue will be Thursday in U.S. District Court in Orlando, where federal Judge Patricia Fawsett has scheduled a hearing.
In January, Fawsett listened as Rose contended Pendergraft was denied his constitutional right to due process last fall when the city approved, then rejected, his request for a zoning permit to start his practice.
Fawsett recently asked for additional records from Pendergraft and the city, some of the documents centering on whether the doctor’s business could be classified a “clinic” or “office.”
The city defines a clinic as a place that offers procedures where patients might require several hours of recovery, as opposed to an office, where clients leave within 60 minutes.
Orlando’s hearing officer, attorney David Coffey of Gainesville, ruled last month that Pendergraft would be running an office, meaning he should be allowed to open in the colonial-style building he purchased last October for $250,000.
But Ammerman and the council ignored Coffey’s recommendation, saying some of Pendergraft’s patients would require hours of recovery because he offers abortions to women in the second trimester of their pregnancies. That would make his practice a clinic, Ammerman said.
Pendergraft, a 38-year-old obstetrician-gynecologist, maintains virtually all of his patients, whether in their first or second trimester, leave less than an hour after the abortion.
The council, Rose said, is treating Pendergraft and Coffey’s decision with “scorn, derision and ridicule . . . Dr. Pendergraft will not give up, even though this is extremely costly.”
In his federal suit, Pendergraft has asked Fawsett to force the city to approve his business. He also is seeking hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages, claiming he is losing more than $35,000 weekly in income and expenses.
Council’s vote was applauded by Deborah Shearer, director of Respect Life of the Catholic Diocese of Orlando. “I think the city responded appropriately and made the best decision they could make,” said Shearer, who opposes abortion.
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Is there a connection between pagan religion and the abortion industry?
This powerful presentation traces the biblical roots of child sacrifice and then delves into the social, political and cultural fall-out that this sin against God and crime against humanity has produced in our beleaguered society.
Conceived as a sequel and update to the 1988 classic, The Massacre of Innocence, the new title, The Abortion Matrix, is entirely fitting. It not only references abortion’s specific target – the sacred matrix where human beings are formed in the womb in the very image of God, but it also implies the existence of a conspiracy, a matrix of seemingly disparate forces that are driving this holocaust.
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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
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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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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.
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