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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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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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Massacre of Innocence (DVD)

Exposing The Occult Roots of Abortion

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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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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.”

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

1. Are we under Law or under Grace?
2. Does the Old Testament Law apply today?
3. Can we legislate morality?
4. What are the biblical foundations of government?
5. Was America founded as a Christian nation?
6. What about the separation of Church and State?
7. Is neutrality a myth?
8. What about non-Christians and the Law of God?
9. Would there be “freedom” in a Christian republic?
10. What would a “Christian America” look like?

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Ten parts, over four hours of instruction!

Running Time: 240 minutes

Watch over 60 on-line video interviews from God’s Law and Society.

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