By Editorial Staff
Published March 1, 1998
A Doctor Who Won $325,000 From Orlando Over A Zoning Dispute Hopes To Open A Clinic In Ocala By Year’s End
By David Damron of The Sentinel Staff
OCALA — The last clinic to perform abortions in this community was firebombed twice in 10 days – and quit providing them.
Now, almost a decade later, Dr. James Scott Pendergraft IV is determined to bring abortions back to Ocala, a city of 60,000 teeming with activists and politicians opposed to abortion rights.
Two years ago, the Maryland doctor faced down Orlando officials who tried to use city-zoning laws to prevent second-trimester abortions at his Lucerne Terrace Orlando Women’s Center.
Pendergraft, 40, took the zoning fight to court and won a $325,000 settlement from the city.
In Ocala, opponents wrote letters to Pendergraft asking him to stay away after he bought a vacant building near downtown and started gathering permits and licenses for an abortion clinic, which he hopes to open by year’s end.
Twenty-five years after the U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion, Pendergraft said he wants to eliminate the dangers illegal abortions posed to women.
“People are going to have abortions,” he said. “Roe vs. Wade didn’t increase that. All it’s done is make them safer for women to have. I just want to make sure we continue to keep maternal mortality down.”
Pendergraft noted the clinic will provide other services, including Pap smears and birth control.
For women in Marion, Lake and Sumter counties, the nearest abortion clinics are an hour or more away in Daytona Beach,Gainesville and Orlando.
That’s as close as Marion County Commission Chairman Randy Harris wants abortion clinics to his hometown.
Harris created the “Choose Life” vehicle license plate, a pro-adoption fund-raising plan pending in the Florida Legislature.
He may not be able to stop Pendergraft, who already has a certificate of occupancy and an occupational license.
If the clinic does open, Harris said, he’s not worried about a repeat of the unsolved 1989 firebombings at the All Women’s Health Center in Ocala, in which no one was injured. When the clinic reopened several months later, abortions were out.
“I personally do not condone that type of violence,” Harris said. “But I don’t think anyone in Ocala or Marion County was terribly upset when that happened. Actually, it was quite a relief to many of us when they stopped performing abortions.”
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“Give me liberty or give me death!”
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.
The freedom our Founders envisioned was not freedom from suffering, want, or hard work. Nor was it freedom to indulge every appetite or whim without restraint—that would merely be servitude to a different master. No, the Founders’ passion was to live free before God, unfettered by the chains of autocracy, shackles that slowly but inexorably bind men when the governments they fashion fail to recognize and uphold freedom’s singular, foundational truth: that all men are created in the image of God, and are thereby co-equally endowed with the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
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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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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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“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
Ronald Reagan became convinced of this as a result of watching The Silent Scream – a movie he considered so powerful and convicting that he screened it at the White House. More recently, it was by catching just a glimpse of what this film reveals that Planned Parenthood director and abortion advocate Abby Johnson turned and became a strong advocate for the pre-born.
The modern technology of real-time ultrasound now reveals the actual responses of a 12-week old fetus to being aborted. As the unborn child attempts to escape the abortionist’s suction curette, her motions can be seen to become desperately agitated and her heart rate doubles. Her mouth opens – as if to scream – but no sound can come out. Her scream doesn’t have to remain silent, however … not if you will become her voice. This newly re-mastered version features eight language tracks and two bonus videos.
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