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Doctor Wins Round In Fight Over Abortion

By Editorial Staff
Published February 21, 1996

The Hearing Officer Recommended That Abortions Be Allowed In A Building Near Downtown Orlando. The City Council Can Override The Mediator.

By Dan Tracy of The Sentinel Staff

February 21, 1996

A Maryland doctor should be allowed to perform abortions in a building near downtown Orlando despite opposition by the city, a hearing officer decided Tuesday.

The recommendation can be rejected by the City Council when it meets March 11, but such a move likely would make for a strong appeal point in court.

Dr. James Pendergraft intends to start his practice at 1103 Lucerne Terrace as soon as he can obtain city permits, said Marti Mackenzie, an Orlando public relations consultant acting as his spokeswoman.

“Dr. Pendergraft has been completely confident of his right (to open) from the beginning. . . . This is definitely a victory,” Mackenzie said.

Orlando Mayor Glenda Hood and council members were advised by attorneys not to comment Tuesday because they will, in effect, be acting as a judge when they consider the ruling next month.

“You don’t see judges talking about a case when they haven’t heard all the evidence,” said Jean Burnett, an assistant city attorney handling Pendergraft’s proposal.

Hood previously had said she was against Pendergraft’s planned business because it would harm property values in the area by attracting anti-abortion demonstrations.

Tuesday’s suggested order was written by attorney David Coffey of Gainesville, who was paid $85 an hour by the city to mediate the dispute.

He sided with Pendergraft, writing that the doctor’s “right to conduct the proposed use as a matter under the code be acknowledged by the City Council.”

At issue was 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 less than a mile south of City Hall for $250,000, according to Orange County property records.

Shortly before his purchase, Orlando approved, then took away, a zoning permit that would have allowed Pendergraft to do business 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.”

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

During 17 hours of testimony stretching over two days last month, Coffey listened to both sides discuss recovery times:

Pendergraft, as well as an abortion clinic manager, said under oath that most patients leave no more than 25 minutes after the procedure.

The city produced a Texas doctor who said recovery times of two hours or more were typical. The doctor admitted under cross-examination that she opposed abortions for religious reasons.

Coffey’s nine-page opinion could be a precursor to a ruling by U.S. District Judge Patricia Fawsett, who Jan. 5 listened to Pendergraft and the city argue over his business. She has not ruled, nor has she indicated when she might.

Pendergraft, a 38-year-old obstetrician and gynecologist, is seeking an order allowing him to open, plus monetary damages. He said he is losing $35,000 a week in income and in expenses.


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

Download the free Study Guide!

Is there a connection between pagan religion and the abortion industry?

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.

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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).

Speakers include: George Grant, Peter Hammond, RC Sproul Jr., Paul Jehle, Lou Engle, Rusty Thomas, Flip Benham, Janet Porter and many more.

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Running Time: 195 minutes

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

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After 40 years of intense study and world-wide ministry, Dr. Francis Schaeffer completed his crowning work of scholarship – to present profound truths in simple film language. Dr. Schaeffer’s brilliant analysis of the past and predictions for current trends have proven so uncannily accurate that this amazing series still feels contemporary almost three decades after its initial release. Ultimately, Schaeffer concludes that man’s only hope is a return to God’s Biblical absolute, the truth revealed in Christ through the Scriptures.

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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Dr. Francis Schaeffer - A Christian Manifesto (DVD)

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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Abortion Clinic 911 Calls (DVD)

Exposes the Dangers of Abortion to Women!

These shocking eyewitness accounts expose the dangers of abortion not only to unborn children, but to the health and lives women as well. An antidote to the smokescreens of the liberal media, these short clips show what really happens in and around abortion clinics.

Although the content is emotionally gut-wrenching, these videos have been used in church seminars and small groups to educate Christians on the abortion issue and to lead people toward a pro-life position. Contains 2 hours and 40 minutes of materials that can be shown separately.

Watch these pro-life videos on-line.

“These videos helped change my mind from pro-choice to pro-life. Your videos are what did it for me. I will be walking in next year’s March For Life in San Francisco.” — A. Jackson, California

“I was going to have an abortion until I saw your video. Praise Jesus!”
— M. Drew, YouTube Commenter

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A Revival Account: Asbury 1970 (DVD)

What is true Revival and Spiritual Awakening?

Discover the answer in this eyewitness account by Dennis Kinlaw, President of Asbury College, Wilmore, Kentucky, who recounts the story of a visitation of the Holy Spirit in 1970. This is the presentation that has continued to spark the flames of Revival in the hearts of people around the world. Contains eyewitness footage from the Revival at Asbury College in 1970 in Wilmore, Kentucky.

Certain to challenge you to greater holiness and a deeper commitment to full-scale revival. Original news and private footage has been included. If you are a student who longs to see a spiritual awakening at your school, you must see this video!

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— Bob and Rose Weiner, Weiner Ministries Int’l

Running Time: 40 minutes

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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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