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Action limits abortion options

By Editorial Staff
Published August 18, 2006

Women might have to travel farther — doctor plans to appeal state’s suspension

By Robyn Shelton, Sentinel Medical Writer

Women seeking an abortion in Central Florida should not have difficulty finding a doctor, although they may have to travel farther now that the state has stopped two Orlando clinics from performing abortions indefinitely.

The two offices, owned by Dr. James Pendergraft, were open Thursday for other services. But the state has suspended Pendergraft’s medical license and barred all five of his clinics in Florida from providing abortions on the grounds that he illegally carried out two third-trimester abortions in 2004 and 2005. The procedures under investigation occurred at his Orlando sites.

Pendergraft’s spokeswoman said he denies any wrongdoing and plans to appeal the state’s actions.

As a result of the restrictions, other abortion clinics in Central Florida reported getting more calls Thursday.

Tammy Sobieski, who owns the Womancare clinics in Orlando and Daytona Beach, said some women might be inconvenienced but that abortion services are still readily available. There are at least five remaining abortion providers in the area, according to data on a state Web site.

“Women with first- or early second-trimester pregnancies are pretty well covered in Central Florida,” said Sobieski, whose clinics perform abortions up to about 16 weeks’ gestation. “It’s women who are later in their pregnancies that may have to travel outside of Central Florida” to get the service.

Many abortion providers do not treat women beyond 18 weeks’ gestation, though there are a limited number of clinics in Florida — including in West Palm Beach, Tampa and Jacksonville — that offer abortions up to 24 weeks’ gestation.

The vast majority of abortions reported to the state in 2004 occurred in the first trimester, according to data from the Florida Department of Health.

The department counts a total of 91,710 abortions statewide in 2004 — 82,782 of them involving fetuses 12 weeks and younger. Another 8,918 abortions were performed when fetuses were at 13 to 24 weeks’ gestation. Ten abortions were done in the third trimester at 25 weeks and over.

Of those 10 late-term abortions, four were done in Orange County, according to the state, which does not provide specifics on where the procedures were carried out.

In its actions against Pendergraft, the state claims that the doctor failed to get a second physician’s opinion, as required by law, before performing an abortion on a woman who was 28 weeks pregnant in July 2005. In a 2004 incident, the state claims Pendergraft calculated the age of a woman’s fetus at 22 weeks but it was really between 25 and 27 weeks’ gestation.

Third-trimester abortions are legal in Florida when a woman’s life or health is in danger, but state law requires that they be performed in a hospital unless the procedure is urgently needed and two doctors “certify in writing” that the woman is at risk. According to state documents, Pendergraft carried out the third-trimester abortions without meeting these requirements.

His spokeswoman, Marti Mackenzie, said the woman’s life was in danger in 2005 and that Pendergraft disputes the age estimation of the fetus in the 2004 incident. She characterized the state’s actions as another in a “series of onslaughts” targeting Pendergraft.


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The Abortion Matrix: Defeating Child Sacrifice and the Culture of Death (DVD)

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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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6. What about the separation of Church and State?
7. Is neutrality a myth?
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Frank Schaeffer Will You Please Shut Up! (Book)

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A Reasonable Response to Christian Postmodernism

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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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Freedom: The Model of Christian Liberty (DVD)

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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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The Abortion Matrix DVD: Update

The Abortion Matrix:
Defeating Child Sacrifice and the Culture of Death

is a 195-minute presentation that traces the biblical roots of child sacrifice and then delves into the social, political and cultural fall-out that this sin against God has produced. You can order this series on DVD, read the complete script and view clips on-line...
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