By Editorial Staff
Published April 28, 1999
By Bridget Hall, Staff Writer, Ocala Star-Banner
OCALA – A federal judge has ruled that the Ocala Police Department cannot refuse to assign special duty officers to the abortion clinic, saying the denial of such officers violates the clinic’s right to equal protection.
That ruling was a temporary injunction that will ensure police protection for the Ocala Women’s Center while it pursues its federal suit against OPD, the city, the county, Marion County Sheriff’s Office, the past and current sheriff, and a dozen protesters.
The suit, filed last December, for permanent police protection, damages from local government, and law enforcement, and restrictions on the activities of anti-abortion protesters.
“Getting the police protection is a really, important step. Having the police around there will make the (anti-abortion protesters) behave a lot better, said Roy Lucas, attorney for clinic owner Dr. James Pendergraft. “It’s also a nice, important precedent. It’s the first time this issue’s’ come up, so it’s good to have it on the books:”
Both the police and sheriff’s office allow officers to work special security assignments in addition to their regular hours. The officers are me uniformed, armed and have full arrest powers, but they are paid by the businesses that requested them.
OPD has had special duty officers work at rodeos, restaurants and church carnivals in the past year, but Chief Morrey Deen declined Pendergraft’s requests last year for an officer at the abortion clinic for the two days each week that procedures are performed.
City attorney Pat Gilligan defended Deen’s decision before U.S. District Court Judge William Terrell Hodges earlier this month, saying the chief relied on his own discretion in assigning officers. In the case of the abortion clinic, Gilligan said, the presence of a police officer could give the appearance that law enforcement was taking sides in the controversial abortion debate.
In a 19-page ruling dated April 26, Hodges rejected that reasoning saying the special duty program was not being administered in a “non-discriminatory, non-arbitrary manner if assignments were made according to the chief’s “completely undefined and subjective policy.”
Gilligan’s argument that police guarding the clinic might appear to be not neutral, Hodges added, is “wholly irrational.”
“One would suppose, in terms of sound law enforcement objectives, that the greater the likelihood of a public clash of adversaries, the greater the justification for a police presence to maintain peace and good order,” Hodges wrote. “To disapprove the presence of police officers in such a case merely because some members of the public – even a majority of the public – may not like it, is nothing less than a complete abandonment of, law enforcement responsibility.”
“After reviewing the court order, Gilligan said he wished the judge would have taken into account that the clinic receives police protection through other means, including periodic surveillance and security patrols.
“Chief Deen believes that the protection (the clinic) gets should be more low-key, but it has been ongoing and it has been continuous,” Gilligan said. They get more ongoing protection than any other business-in Ocala.
Gilligan said the city and OPD would fully comply with the Court’s order, but that it would be up Deen, Mayor E.L Foster and the city council as to whether they would appeal the judge’s ruling.
Lucas also asked the court to limit anti-abortion protesters’ activities around the clinic, prevent them from copying license plate information or videotaping within 1,500 feet of the clinic, as well as limiting the times, numbers of protesters and signs used in anti-abortion picketing.
The Rev. Ed Martin, an anti-abortion protester named in the suit, said none of the protesters have copied license plate information or harassed patients or staff, although he said he carries a video camera to document that clinic personnel were photographing the protesters.
The judge denied Lucas’ request saying the protesters have acted, within their First Amendment rights and that their words and presence do not constitute a threat of force.
“I’m tickled to death over the ruling,” Martin said. “ We’re just moms and dads, grandmothers, grandfathers, and young people who come out there because we feel abortion is wrong and we want to offer assistance to women going in.”
Lucas said he will appeal this part of the judge’s ruling in the hopes that a higher court will limit the protesters’ activities.
“We’re still very much concerned about the videotaping and photographing of patients and license plates,” Lucas said. “From the patient’s point of view that’s a pretty serious invasion of privacy.”
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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.
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“Here I stand … I can do no other!”
With these immortal words, an unknown German monk sparked a spiritual revolution that changed the world.
The dramatic classic film of Martin Luther’s life was released in theaters worldwide in the 1950s and was nominated for two Oscars. A magnificent depiction of Luther and the forces at work in the surrounding society that resulted in his historic reform efforts, this film traces Luther’s life from a guilt-burdened monk to his eventual break with the Roman Catholic Church.
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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.
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
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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.
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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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.
The occult activity surrounding the abortion industry is exposed with numerous examples. But are these just aberrations, bizarre yet anomalous examples of abortionists who just happen to have ties to modern day witchcraft? Or is this representative of something deeper, more sinister and even endemic to the entire abortion movement?
As the allusion to the film of over a decade ago suggests, the viewer may learn that things are not always as they appear to be. The Abortion Matrix reveals the reality of child-killing and strikes the proper moral chord to move hearts to fulfill the biblical responsibility to rescue those unjustly sentenced to death and to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves (Proverbs 24:11,12; 31:8,9).
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