By Editorial Staff
Published July 25, 2001
By Rick Cundiff, Staff Writer, Ocala Star Banner
OCALA — Dr. James Scott Pendergraft IV is scheduled to report to prison today to begin serving a 46-month sentence.
A three-judge panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected Tuesday a motion to allow Pendergraft to remain free on bond while he appeals his conviction on attempted extortion, conspiracy and mail fraud charges.
Pendergraft, 44, owns the Ocala Women’s Center and four other Florida clinics which provide abortion services. He is expected to report to a federal minimum-security prison camp in Atlanta sometime today.
Pendergraft’s lawyer, Bruce Rogow said he was “surprised and disappointed” by the appellate court’s refusal to allow Pendergraft to stay out of prison while he appeals his case.
“We will continue to work to reverse the conviction and secure his release,” Rogow said.
Although Pendergraft could have appealed Tuesday’s decision to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, he chose not to, Rogow said.
“We’re not going to do that,” he said. “The energy that it would take would not be rewarded with success.”
Pendergraft could not be reached for comment Tuesday. Spokeswoman Marti Mackenzie said he had accepted going to prison.
“When I spoke with him, he said ‘Marti, I’m very upbeat,’ “ she said.
All five of Pendergraft’s clinics will remain open while Pendergraft is in prison, Mackenzie said.
“He has an extensive corporation set up, and nothing is going to change,” she said. “He has doctors in place who have been working in the clinics a long time.”
Mackenzie is confident the appeals court will eventually vindicate Pendergraft, she said.
“I know him to be a man of the utmost integrity,” she said. “He has been, as far as I am concerned, slandered in the courtroom.”
Rogow also said he is confident Pendergraft will eventually prevail.
“I’m a believer in his case,” Rogow said. “I think there are some serious legal issues here.”
Pendergraft and Spielvogel were convicted Feb. 1, in Ocala, following a nearly month-long trial. Spielvogel began serving a 41-month sentence at a federal prison camp at Eglin Air Force Base on July 10. Spielvogel was convicted of the three charges Pendergraft was convicted of, and two additional charges of filing a false affidavit and making false statements to the FBI.
The charges against both men stemmed from comments they made during a meeting in March 1999 between Pendergraft, his then-lawyer Roy Lucas, Spielvogel and county attorney Virgil “Bill” Wright.
At that meeting, Spielvogel repeated allegations he had made in an earlier affidavit that Marion County Commission Chairman Larry Cretul had threatened him, Pendergraft and the Ocala clinic. Pendergraft said in a separate affidavit that Spielvogel had told him of those threats.
During the trial, Spielvogel admitted Cretul had never directly made such threats, and that he had had faked a telephone call in which Cretul allegedly made the remark, in Pendergraft’s presence.
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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.”
This presentation is a similar call, not to one but many. By reintroducing the principles of freedom that gave birth to America, it is our prayer that Jesus, the true and only ruler over the nations, will once again be our acknowledged Sovereign, that we may again know and exult in the great truth that “where the Spirit of the LORD is, there is liberty” (2 Cor. 3:17).
Welcome to the Second American Revolution!
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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“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.
“… a high technology “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” arousing public opinion just as Harriet Beecher Stowe’s 1852 antislavery novel ignited the abolitionist movement.” – Sen. Gordon Humphrey, Time Magazine
Languages: English, Spanish, French, South Korean, Chinese, Russian, Portuguese, Japanese
Running Time: 28 minutes
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Download the free Study Guide!
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).
Speakers include: George Grant, Peter Hammond, RC Sproul Jr., Paul Jehle, Lou Engle, Rusty Thomas, Flip Benham, Janet Porter and many more.
Ten parts, over three hours of instruction!
Running Time: 195 minutes
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Download the Free Study Guide!
Just what is Calvinism?
Does this teaching make man a deterministic robot and God the author of sin? What about free will? If the church accepts Calvinism, won’t evangelism be stifled, perhaps even extinguished? How can we balance God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility? What are the differences between historic Calvinism and hyper-Calvinism? Why did men like Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Spurgeon, Whitefield, Edwards and a host of renowned Protestant evangelists embrace the teaching of predestination and election and deny free will theology?
This is the first video documentary that answers these and other related questions. Hosted by Eric Holmberg, this fascinating three-part, four-hour presentation is detailed enough so as to not gloss over the controversy. At the same time, it is broken up into ten “Sunday-school-sized” sections to make the rich content manageable and accessible for the average viewer.
Running Time: 257 minutes
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Revival, Resistance, Reformation, Revolution
An Introduction to the Doctrines of Interposition and Nullification
In 1776, a short time after the Declaration of Independence was adopted, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and Benjamin Franklin were assigned to design an official seal for the United States of America. Their proposed motto was Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to God. America owes its existence to centuries of Christian political philosophy. Our nation provided a model for liberty copied by nations the world over.
By the 21st century, we need a “Puritan Storm” to sweep away the Hegelian notion that the state is “God walking on earth.” We need revival and reformation in full force to vanquish the problems that plague us as a nation — from government controlled healthcare — to abortion on demand — to same sex “marriage.” This booklet gives a primer on our founders’ Christian idea of government and examines how the doctrine of nullification was woven into the Constitution as a safeguard against federal tyranny. It concludes with the history and theology of civil resistance. A Second American Revolution is coming with the Word of God growing mightily and prevailing! (Acts 19:20).
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