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Doctor Is Let Out Of Prison, For Time Being, 2/28/2002

By Editorial Staff
Published February 28, 2002

A Judge Is Considering Overturning Dr. James Pendergraft’s Conviction In A Shakedown Scheme

By Henry Pierson Curtis, Sentinel Staff Writer

Dr. James Pendergraft, who owns five Florida abortion clinics, won his release from prison Wednesday while a federal court considers overturning his conviction for a shakedown scheme.

Supporters in Orlando say he may be back in the operating room as early as next week.

“I think he will be back to work very quickly,” his publicist, Marti Mackenzie, said Wednesday afternoon.

The doctor, 44, has been in prison since July, serving a 3-year, 10-month sentence. He and colleague Michael Spielvogel, 54, were convicted of trying to extort money from Marion County officials by threatening to bankrupt the county with a lawsuit over a proposed clinic.

A three-judge panel of the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ordered the release of both men after hearing arguments Tuesday in Jacksonville.

“This is very unusual,” said attorney Bruce Rogow, a professor at Nova South Eastern University Law Center and a member of Pendergraft’s legal team. “What this signifies is that the court believes we are going to win the case.”

A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, which prosecuted the case, declined comment.

There was no indication Wednesday how long the appeal will take. Both men were ordered released immediately at 4 p.m.

“I have not spoken with him yet, but I expect he will spend some time with his family,” said Orlando attorney Larry Colleton, another member of the doctor’s legal team. “I expect he will return to his normal activities.”

Lucinda Findley, a law professor at the University of Buffalo, who won the release, argued that Pendergraft had the right to file a lawsuit against Marion County. She was assisted by South Florida attorney Bruce Rogow, a specialist in appeals, Colleton said.

Findley also argued the sentence was unfairly long and that Pendergraft did not receive a fair trial. She said a prosecutor tainted the jury by voicing racist characterizations of Pendergraft, Colleton said. Pendergraft is black.

The doctor received statewide attention in 1996 when Orlando officials agreed to pay him $325,000 to settle a lawsuit. They had tried to block one of his clinics, which performs second-trimester abortions.

Besides two clinics in Orlando, Pendergraft’s clinics are in Ocala, Tampa and Fort Lauderdale.


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Frank Schaeffer Will You Please Shut Up! (Book)

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A Reasonable Response to Christian Postmodernism

Includes a response to the book Christian Jihad by Colonel V. Doner

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.

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

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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).

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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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