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Judge: Off-duty Police Can Guard Clinics

By Editorial Staff
Published April 29, 1999

The Ruling Overturns Ocala’s Ban On Officers Guarding An Abortion Clinic On Their Own Time

By Lynne Bumpus-Hooper of The Sentinel Staff

OCALA – A federal judge has decided that police officers must be allowed to work as off-duty guards at an abortion clinic, overruling a decision by city officials that had prohibited them from doing so.

The ruling came in a motion filed by the clinic’s owner, Dr. James Pendergraft, who said he is trying to protect patients and staff at the Ocala Women’s Center.

U.S. District Judge William Hodges’ decision came this week as part of a request for temporary relief while the lawsuit is awaiting trial. Pendergraft also asked for a buffer zone around the clinic and for protesters to be limited in number, volume and type of demonstrations.

But Hodges denied the other portions of the request, saying the protesters’ actions fell under free speech protections.

“We were pleased with the immediate relief in the area of uniformed officers, and had expected the other issues that are more complex would require a full hearing before the judge,” said Marti McKenzie, a spokeswoman for Pendergraft. The suit is similar to ones filed by Pendergraft in Orlando, where he owns another clinic, and by Patricia Windle, who owns abortion clinics in Melbourne and West Palm Beach.

Before the Ocala ruling, the police chief and city officials had contended they had the right to tell officers they could not provide off-duty security at sites such as a Hell’s Angels’ convention, a topless bar or an abortion clinic.

McKenzie said Pendergraft is eager to hire police officers to work outside the clinic because of the positive presence that a uniformed officer provides. They are also more aware of laws that might be violated, she said.

The clinic has been hiring security guards in the absence of police officers, McKenzie said.


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The United States of America 2.0: The Great Reset (Book)

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An Introduction to the Doctrines of Interposition and Nullification

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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)

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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.

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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.

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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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