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Doctor To City: Let's End Fight

By Editorial Staff
Published April 20, 1996

Dr. James Pendergraft Is Seeking Damages After Winning The Right To Perform Second-trimester Abortions In Orlando.

By Sherri M. Owens of The Sentinel Staff

An abortion doctor who this week won one legal battle against the city of Orlando said he doesn’t want the next fight to end in court.

Dr. James Pendergraft, who received the OK Thursday from a federal judge to perform late-term abortions, wants to settle his lawsuit against the city out of court.

“I didn’t come to create a fight,” the obstetrician and gynecologist said Friday. “It’s time for healing and forgiveness.”

The city has yet to decide its next step. Mayor Glenda Hood said Friday that city lawyers were studying the options.

Pendergraft has asked in a lawsuit for up to $1 million in damages for lost wages and attorney fees. The Maryland doctor has been battling the city for about seven months.

The city had allowed him to perform first-trimester abortions at the Orlando Women’s Center, 1103 Lucerne Terrace. Second-trimester abortions, the city said, required a recovery of 90 minutes or more, making the facility a clinic in an area zoned for medical offices and homes.

U.S. District Judge Patricia Fawsett disagreed, writing in her order released Friday that “the more credible evidence” shows normal observation and recovery time for second-trimester abortions is less than one hour.

“This was an abortion issue,” said Pendergraft, 38. “There were also probably some political issues behind the city’s position.”

Fawsett also ruled that the city was “arbitrary and capricious” in its refusal to allow Pendergraft to perform abortions. The ruling will allow him to terminate pregnancies as far along as 23 weeks.

In addition, the judge wrote, “The (Orlando City) Council had reached the decision that it did not want Dr. Pendergraft to open his facility . . . before the hearing began and then searched for a method to deny (his) applications. The city denied his application without the substantial justification required by law.”

Hood said it’s an instance of federal law and individual rights prevailing over home rule and community standards.

“Ordinances are put in place because the community has made (those) decisions,” she said.

Fawsett’s ruling gives women in Orlando and surrounding communities easier access to a service previously not provided legally in Central Florida, court records show.

“Women in this community had to commute to Tampa to get second-term abortions done,” Pendergraft said. “I see this as a victory for myself and for the women of Orlando.”


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Who is the dreaded beast of Revelation?

Now at last, a plausible candidate for this personification of evil incarnate has been identified (or re-identified). Ken Gentry’s insightful analysis of scripture and history is likely to revolutionize your understanding of the book of Revelation — and even more importantly — amplify and energize your entire Christian worldview!

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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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5. Was America founded as a Christian nation?
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?
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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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Go Stand Speak (DVD)

With “preaching to the lost” being such a basic foundation of Christianity, why do many in the church seem to be apathetic on this issue of preaching in highways and byways of towns and cities?

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Does the Bible really call church pastors, leaders and evangelists to proclaim the gospel in the public square as part of obedience to the Great Commission, or is public preaching something that is outdated and not applicable for our day and age?

These any many other questions are answered in this documentary.

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