By Editorial Staff
Published April 19, 1996
A Federal Judge Issued A Ruling To Permit The Procedures. The City Had Tried To Prohibit Them, Citing Zoning Laws.
By Sherri M. Owens of The Sentinel Staff
A doctor fighting the city of Orlando has gotten the OK from a federal judge to perform second-trimester abortions at his facility near downtown, a lawyer’s aide said Thursday.
Dr. James Scott Pendergraft, 38, started taking appointments at the Orlando Women’s Center a month ago after city officials agreed to let him perform first-trimester abortions. Second-trimester abortions, they said, violated zoning laws.
An obstetrician and gynecologist from Maryland, Pendergraft has been battling the city for about seven months. He opened his practice at 1103 Lucerne Terrace last October in a building he bought for $250,000.
An aide to Jacob Rose, Pendergraft’s chief attorney, said neither he nor Rose had read the ruling rendered by Judge Patricia Fawsett but were informed of it Thursday.
“All we can confirm is that we were notified by the U.S. District Court (in Orlando),” said the aide, who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject. “They called to say an order had been handed down and that the order was in favor of granting a preliminary injunction” in the doctor’s behalf.
Pendergraft’s spokeswoman, Marti Mackenzie, said the 51-page decision is expected to be officially released today at a news conference in Orlando.
Orlando officials had argued that second-trimester recovery time would be 90 minutes or more, making Pendergraft’s facility a clinic in an area zoned for medical offices and homes.
But Pendergraft’s attorneys argued that the recovery time for second-trimester abortions is 50 minutes, making his facility an office and, thus, within city zoning laws.
Orlando City Attorney Bob Hamilton said he had not been informed of the ruling and could not speculate on whether the city would appeal.
Pendergraft asked in a lawsuit filed in December to be compensated for lost wages and legal fees of as much as $1 million. Mackenzie said a hearing on damages will be held later.
The city’s next step is not clear.
“We could say, ‘OK, we give up, let’s just talk about damages’ and it would all be over,” Hamilton said. “Or, we could say we disagree with the judge and we want to appeal. Or, it could go to trial. Those are the three alternatives.”
Mackenzie said Pendergraft is relieved.
“Dr. Pendergraft and his family feel absolutely vindicated on all counts and look forward to . . . serving the women of Central Florida,” Mackenzie said.
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That Swiss Hermit Strikes Again!
Dr. Schaeffer, who was one of the most influential Christian thinkers in the twentieth century, shows that secular humanism has displaced the Judeo-Christian consensus that once defined our nation’s moral boundaries. Law, education, and medicine have all been reshaped for the worse as a consequence. America’s dominant worldview changed, Schaeffer charges, when Christians weren’t looking.
Schaeffer lists two reasons for evangelical indifference: a false concept of spirituality and fear. He calls on believers to stand against the tyranny and moral chaos that come when humanism reigns-and warns that believers may, at some point, be forced to make the hard choice between obeying God or Caesar. A Christian Manifesto is a thought-provoking and bracing Christian analysis of American culture and the obligation Christians have to engage the culture with the claims of Christ.
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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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“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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