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Attorney error causes dismissal of abortion case

By Editorial Staff
Published April 25, 2000

By Jeff Schweers, FLORIDA TODAY

A federal judge has dismissed a civil-rights lawsuit against local pro-life activists and online providers because the attorney for the plaintiff, a local abortion provider, disobeyed a court order. It is the third federal case by Florida abortion clinics against local pro-life activists to be dismissed in the last year amid a slew of federal actions that include the dismissal of two lawsuits against a local clinic.

It also is the second of two cases filed by Aware Woman Center for Choice or its parent company to be dismissed. Aware Woman is the Melbourne clinic that closed last year after two decades of being a target of the national pro-life movement.

“All three of the cases filed against me and others have been dismissed,” local pro-life spokesman Meredith Raney said. “It made a bunch of outrageous claims that weren’t true and obviously were intended to intimidate us.”

Aware Woman has an appeal of the first case before the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta.

(Webmaster Note: This appeal was dismissed back in February because attorney Roy Lucas missed deadlines for filing papers. See Item 71 on the Docket.)

Two cases filed against Aware Woman by local protesters also have been rejected at the district level and are on appeal in Atlanta.

Raney is among a handful of people who picket in front of the WomanCare Center in Suntree Plaza, the successor to Aware Woman Center for Choice.

The Manhattan Magnolia Corp. et al., v. Raymond Unterburger case, filed in March 1999, accused Raney and others of illegally blocking the clinic’s entrance.

The lawsuit also accused CompuServe and other Internet providers of giving Raney information about the clinic’s doctors and patients.

U.S. District Judge Daniel K. Hurley granted the third motion to dismiss the case on the grounds that Aware Woman’s attorney Roy Lucas “failed to comply with the local rules regarding attorney admission.”

Lucas also disobeyed a previous court order to file a pleading list the Florida cases since Jan. 1, 1998, in which he participated as an attorney, Hurley said.

Raney said he and other pro-lifers were relieved.

“This means we don’t have to spend any more resources defending this thing,” Raney said. “It’s been considered by us a nuisance lawsuit from the very beginning.”

Now, Raney said, the protesters “can go about our business of trying to provide alternatives to women in crisis pregnancies besides killing their children.”


WebMaster Note: Two similar cases against pro-lifers, Aware Woman, et al. v. Raney, et al. and Ocala Woman’s Center, et al. v. City of Ocala, et al. were dismissed on September 1, 1999 and December 16, 1999 respectively.


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In The Days of These Kings (Book)

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Frank Schaeffer Will You Please Shut Up! (Book)

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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.

Part 2 is a response to Colonel Doner and his book, Christian Jihad: Neo-Fundamentalists and the Polarization of America. Doner was one of the key architects of the Christian Right that emerged in the 1980s, who now represents the disillusionment and defection many Christian activists experienced in the 1990s and 2000s. There is still great hope for America to be reformed according to biblical principles. As a new generation is emerging, it is important to recognize the mistakes that Christian activists have made in the past even while holding to a vision for the future.

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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?

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In 1776, a short time after the Declaration of Independence was adopted, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and Benjamin Franklin were assigned to design an official seal for the United States of America. Their proposed motto was Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to God. America owes its existence to centuries of Christian political philosophy. Our nation provided a model for liberty copied by nations the world over.

By the 21st century, we need a “Puritan Storm” to sweep away the Hegelian notion that the state is “God walking on earth.” We need revival and reformation in full force to vanquish the problems that plague us as a nation — from government controlled healthcare — to abortion on demand — to same sex “marriage.” This booklet gives a primer on our founders’ Christian idea of government and examines how the doctrine of nullification was woven into the Constitution as a safeguard against federal tyranny. It concludes with the history and theology of civil resistance. A Second American Revolution is coming with the Word of God growing mightily and prevailing! (Acts 19:20).

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