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Doctor Seeking Abortion Office Gets Hearing

By Editorial Staff
Published January 17, 1996

The Hearing Officer Will Make A Recommendation To The Orlando City Council On Whether To Open The Office.

By Dan Tracy of The Sentinel Staff

Less than two weeks after arguing in federal court that Orlando should allow him to open a practice where abortions would be performed, a Maryland doctor on Tuesday went to City Hall to make the same claim.

This time, Dr. James Pendergraft made his case to a city-appointed hearing officer, who has up to 45 days to make a recommendation to the Orlando City Council.

Council members can accept or reject the suggestion of attorney David Coffey.

By that time, however, U.S. District Judge Patricia Fawsett may have decided the issue.

She listened Jan. 5 to Pendergraft and the city spar over his proposed business but did not rule because she wanted more information. Those documents are supposed to be in her possession by Friday, although she has not indicated when she will issue a ruling.

At issue in federal court as well as the administrative hearing is Pendergraft’s contention that the city violated his constitutional right to due process by refusing to give him an occupational license.

Last October, Pendergraft bought a colonial-style brick building at 1103 Lucerne Terrace for $250,000, according to Orange County property records.

Shortly before his purchase, Orlando approved, then revoked, a zoning request that would have allowed Pendergraft to open among a cluster of medical offices and residences.

Intending to open Dec. 1, Pendergraft was granted the temporary acceptance by changing the description of his enterprise from a “clinic” to an “office.”

City Hall defines a clinic by saying it offers procedures where patients might require several hours of recovery, as opposed to offices, where clients leave within 60 minutes.

Much of Tuesday’s hearing was dedicated to discussing recovery times, with Pendergraft and a Tampa abortion clinic administrator testifying most patients leave no more than 25 minutes after the procedure.

But the city flew in a physician from Texas who said women who abort during the second trimester usually need one to two hours of observation before leaving.

Under questioning by Pendergraft, Noreen Johnson, an obstetrician and gynecologist, said she stopped performing abortions in 1986 after becoming a Christian.

Pendergraft, a 38-year-old obstetrician and gynecologist, intends to perform second-trimester abortions.

The hearing likely will end today.


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The Real Jesus: A Defense of the Historicity and Divinity of ChristThe Real Jesus: A Defense of the Historicity and Divinity of Christ (DVD)

Who is the Real Jesus?

Ever since the dawn of modern rationalism, skeptics have sought to use textual criticism, archeology and historical reconstructions to uncover the “historical Jesus” — a wise teacher who said many wonderful things, but fulfilled no prophecies, performed no miracles and certainly did not rise from the dead in triumph over sin.

Over the past 100 years, however, startling discoveries in biblical archeology and scholarship have all but vanquished the faulty assumptions of these doubting modernists. Regrettably, these discoveries have often been ignored by the skeptics as well as by the popular media. As a result, the liberal view still holds sway in universities and impacts the culture and even much of the church.

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Massacre of Innocence (DVD)

Exposing The Occult Roots of Abortion

This presentation looks at the spiritual roots of abortion and exposes the myths surrounding child killing. Little known historical facts about abortion and how they relate to modern feminism are presented logically and accurately. Has been effective in converting many to a pro-life position.

Massacre of Innocence goes where no pro-life presentation has gone before in “tearing the lid off abortion” to reveal the spiritual realities we must battle if we will bring an end to this crime. The presentation is absorbing, fast-paced, informative and incredibly devastating to any attempt to justify abortion.

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A Revival Account: Asbury 1970 (DVD)

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Sixteen Christian leaders and scholars answer some of the most common questions and misconceptions related to this volatile issue:

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6. What about the separation of Church and State?
7. Is neutrality a myth?
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9. Would there be “freedom” in a Christian republic?
10. What would a “Christian America” look like?

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Dr. Francis Schaeffer - How Should We Then Live? (DVD)

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Available for the first time on DVD, this documentary spectacular also includes intimate in-depth conversations with Francis and Edith Schaeffer. With the on-disc study guide, this presentation forms a unique course of comprehensive study. While this series forms an innovative analysis of the past, this outstanding work is more than history. Each episode focuses on a significant era, yet speaks clearly to 21st-century man with answers for modern problems.

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