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Clinic at center of anti-abortion movement besieged by complaints

By Editorial Staff
Published February 12, 1998

Associated Press, 2/12/98 — 4:14 AM

MELBOURNE, Fla. (AP) – A painted red line keeps anti-abortion activists away from the Aware Woman Center for Choice. A blue line across the street shows where a 36-foot buffer zone was once enforced.

The lines symbolize the political reality in Melbourne, long one of the nation’s hot spots for anti-abortion activity. Protesters have trained here, and the mayor recently called for a month of prayer and fasting to end abortions.

The clinic simply stepped up security and went on providing abortions. But even as the search goes on for suspects in the first fatal bombing at a U.S. clinic, last month in Birmingham, Ala., protesters are assaulting the center here with something else – bureaucratic red tape.

Abortion providers now must spend time fending off paperwork.

“This is more of that type of mental warfare that clinics have to deal with on a daily basis,’‘ said Susan Hill, president of the National Women’s Health Organization in Raleigh, N.C., which operates eight clinics nationwide, though not the Aware Woman Center.

“The tactic they have is to do something every day to divert you, just to make sure you have too much to do.”

The tactic has been used against clinics in Fargo, N.D., and Jackson, Miss.

Across the street from the Melbourne clinic is a home purchased four years ago by anti-abortion activist William LeStourgeon.

On Jan. 31, LeStourgeon saw the clinic’s surgeon, Dr. William Egherman, leaving with what appeared to be a patient and two employees, heading to a hospital emergency room. Two days later, LeStourgeon and another activist, Meredith Raney, filed a complaint against Egherman with the state agency that regulates doctors.

“This doctor is incompetent and needs to be stopped,” it said.

It was the fourth complaint in a year that abortion opponents had filed against Egherman with the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration. In one, the activists allege that a patient was left with a perforated uterus.

“I would like to see them discipline Dr. Egherman for whatever is appropriate for the kind of multiple problems they’re having,” Raney said. “They’re not really concerned with the safety of women.’‘

But regulators say Egherman, who has been licensed to practice in Florida since 1990, has a flawless record.

Each complaint filed with the agency ties up clinic employees in paperwork and takes them anywhere from 20 to 100 hours to respond, said Patricia Baird-Windle, the clinic’s co-owner. State investigations take six months.

Mrs. Windle said sometimes a physician will err on the side of caution and ask that a patient be observed in a hospital. The clinic performsabout 1,200 abortions a year.

Egherman, who did not return calls to his Cincinnati home, performs abortions here two days each week. The clinic is unable to hire a local doctor because of the anti-abortion fervor in the community. Melbourne, a community of 67,000 people about 40 miles southeast of Orlando, is where buffer zones for abortion clinics were created. Activists once gave an ultrasound demonstration at a City Council meeting.

In past years, abortion opponents reported the clinic to the local zoning board for sign violations and for letting able-bodied people park cars in spaces for the handicapped. They also filed complaints, later disproved, about the illegal disposal of fetal tissue.

“They throw a lot of stuff against the wall to see what will stick,’‘ Mrs. Windle said.


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The Four Keys to the Millennium (Book)

Foundations in Biblical Eschatology

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All Christians believe that their great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will one day return. Although we cannot know the exact time of His return, what exactly did Jesus mean when he spoke of the signs of His coming (Mat. 24)? How are we to interpret the prophecies in Isaiah regarding the time when “the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea” (Isa. 11:19)? Should we expect a time of great tribulation and apostasy or revival and reformation before the Lord returns? Is the devil bound now, and are the saints reigning with Christ? Did you know that there are four hermeneutical approaches to the book of Daniel and Revelation?

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Running Time: 40 minutes

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The Silent Scream (DVD) Eight Languages

“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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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).

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

Download the free Study Guide!

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.

The occult activity surrounding the abortion industry is exposed with numerous examples. But are these just aberrations, bizarre yet anomalous examples of abortionists who just happen to have ties to modern day witchcraft? Or is this representative of something deeper, more sinister and even endemic to the entire abortion movement?

As the allusion to the film of over a decade ago suggests, the viewer may learn that things are not always as they appear to be. The Abortion Matrix reveals the reality of child-killing and strikes the proper moral chord to move hearts to fulfill the biblical responsibility to rescue those unjustly sentenced to death and to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves (Proverbs 24:11,12; 31:8,9).

Speakers include: George Grant, Peter Hammond, RC Sproul Jr., Paul Jehle, Lou Engle, Rusty Thomas, Flip Benham, Janet Porter and many more.

Ten parts, over three hours of instruction!

Running Time: 195 minutes

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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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