By Editorial Staff
Published March 13, 1999
Pregnancy counseling center will neighbor abortion clinic
By Bridget Hall, Staff Writer, Ocala Star-Banner
OCALA — Lori Chamblin says she supports choice. That is why she and her husband are building a pregnancy counseling center just north of the Ocala Women’s Center abortion clinic.
“We just want to give women all the information so they can make that choice,” Chamblin said. “We’re not here to coerce or judge but to giveinformation so they know all of the options that are available.”
Chamblin, director of the Alpha Women’s Center that will open in the next month or two, said many women in crisis pregnancies don’t know there are places they can get clothes for themselves and the baby, baby furniture, and help with housing, medical and financial needs.
The location next to Dr. James Pendergraft’s clinic is key, Chamblin said, because pregnant women are not getting that information there.
“When women are presented with information about only one option, they may feel that’s their only choice,” she said.
Pendergraft, who filed a lawsuit last December against the anti-abortion protesters who picket his practice and against local law enforcement for not providing off-duty officers, is suspicious of his new neighbor.
“He doubts that they are purely there for counseling purposes,” his spokeswoman Marti Mackenzie said. “He feels this may be a terrorist approach to surveillance, and he will continue to aggressively protect his property and his people.”
In his lawsuit, Pendergraft charges that protesters have harassed patients and staff and used video cameras to record who comes and goes. He is asking the court to keep protesters at least 75 feet from his property line, limit protests to five people for only one hour twice a week, and prevent protesters from using words like “butcher” or “baby killer.”
The Rev. Ed Martin, a defendant in the lawsuit and leader of the abortion protesters, said he has not seen anyone harass clinic staff and patients. He also said he has nothing to do with the Alpha Women’s Center.
“They’re doing their thing and we’re doing ours,” Martin said. “We’re friends, but (nothing) beyond that.”
Chamblin also said she is not affiliated with the anti-abortion protesters and that Pendergraft has nothing to fear from the counseling center.
“We are not into surveillance, we are here to provide services,” she said. “We’re not here to run Dr. Pendergraft out of town. He has a legitimate business that is legal and allowed in our community. Just as he’s providing services to women, we’re providing services to women also.”
Pendergraft’s clinic opened last July. When the vacant lot to the north became available weeks later, Chamblin, then director of the Women’s Pregnancy Center on E. Silver Springs Boulevard, encouraged the center to look at setting up a satellite office or moving their operations to that site.
“It was pretty much a cash deal, and we didn’t have the money and we didn’t want to go into debt,” said Francis Frick, president of the WPC board. “We weren’t in a position to make an offer on it, and if you don’t have the money to buy, there’s no use in thinking of what you’d do with it.”
But Chamblin said she felt she had to do something with the land, so she tendered her resignation and set out to open her own pregnancy counseling center.
She and her husband Roscoe put the down payment on the $95,000-lot last September and closed the deal several months later. The Chamblins and their friend Charlana Kelly formed Good News for Life, Inc. as the parent non-profit organization that will run the counseling center.
“I felt like this location was probably one of the most important locations in Ocala, considering the issues we’re dealing with,” she said. “It’s very visible, and there’s room to expand.”
The building on the lot now is a refurbished construction office brought from St. Petersburg. It has two counseling rooms, a private office and a waiting area, but is just the temporary facility until a permanent building is put on the front part of the property.
The plans for that building include four counseling rooms, two closets for donated clothes, a conference room and a day-care center for the volunteers’ children. Chamblin said she hopes to start construction on that building as soon as the temporary building opens.
Chamblin said the center has received about $3,000 in cash donations plus volunteer labor to clear the lot, set up the building, build the deck, lay the carpet and put up the window dressings. Much of the labor has been done by Roscoe Chamblin, a construction contractor. The center still needs office equipment and money for brochures before it can open, Lori Chamblin said.
Pendergraft’s attorney, Roy Lucas, said the counseling center is legal and he cannot prevent it from opening. He has concerns, though, because he said some other counseling centers next to abortion clinics have used harassment techniques — including locking women into rooms and forcing them to watch gory videos — to prevent them from having abortions.
But Chamblin said the Alpha Women’s Center has strict policies to make sure women are not forced into anything.
She said counselors cannot close the door without the client’s permission, and the client does not watch a video unless she reads a description of it and signs a form saying she wants to view it. The client must be advised at the beginning that she is free to leave anytime, and the furniture cannot be arranged in a way that obstructs her path to the door.
Those guidelines came from the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates, a legal resource organization that the Alpha Women’s Center joined for advice on how to operate within the law.
“We will follow those guidelines to the letter,” Chamblin said. “We won’t use emotional manipulation to educate and counsel women.”
Forerunner - Home » Florida's Murder Industry »
Your comments are welcome!
Special Two-Disc Set!
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.
$49.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
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
$4.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
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?
Is it biblical to stand in the public places of the world and proclaim the gospel, regardless if people want to hear it or not?
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?
These any many other questions are answered in this documentary.
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Who is the dreaded beast of Revelation?
Now at last, a plausible candidate for this personification of evil incarnate has been identified (or re-identified). Ken Gentry’s insightful analysis of scripture and history is likely to revolutionize your understanding of the book of Revelation — and even more importantly — amplify and energize your entire Christian worldview!
Historical footage and other graphics are used to illustrate the lecture Dr. Gentry presented at the 1999 Ligonier Conference in Orlando, Florida. It is followed by a one-hour question and answer session addressing the key concerns and objections typically raised in response to his position. This presentation also features an introduction that touches on not only the confusion and controversy surrounding this issue — but just why it may well be one of the most significant issues facing the Church today.
Ideal for group meetings, personal Bible study — for anyone who wants to understand the historical context of John’s famous letter “… to the seven churches which are in Asia.” (Revelation 1:4)
Running Time: 145 minutes
$17.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Who is the Real Jesus?
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.
Over the past 100 years, however, startling discoveries in biblical archeology and scholarship have all but vanquished the faulty assumptions of these doubting modernists. Regrettably, these discoveries have often been ignored by the skeptics as well as by the popular media. As a result, the liberal view still holds sway in universities and impacts the culture and even much of the church.
The Real Jesus explodes the myths of these critics and the movies, books and television programs that have popularized their views. Presented in ten parts — perfect for individual, family and classroom study — viewers will be challenged to go deeper in their knowledge of Christ in order to be able to defend their faith and present the truth to a skeptical modern world – that the Jesus of the Gospels is the Jesus of history — “the same yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). He is the real Jesus.
Speakers include: George Grant, Ted Baehr, Stephen Mansfield, Raymond Ortlund, Phil Kayser, David Lutzweiler, Jay Grimstead, J.P. Holding, and Eric Holmberg.
Ten parts, over two hours of instruction!
Running Time: 130 minutes
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)