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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“When the lives of the unborn are snuffed out, they often feel pain, pain that is long and agonizing.” – President Ronald Reagan to National Religious Broadcasters Convention, January 1981
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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.
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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.
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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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