By Editorial Staff
Published March 17, 1999
By Bridget Hall, Staff Writer, Ocala Star-Banner
ORLANDO — While the federal courts sort through the Ocala abortion doctor’s lawsuit against the city police, the county sheriff’s office and a dozen protesters — a process that could take a year or more — the doctor has asked the courts for temporary relief from the “intimidation and harassment” outside his clinic.
Dr. James Pendergraft, owner of the Ocala Women’s Center, filed a temporary injunction Tuesday asking that protesters be banned from coming within 75 feet or bringing any surveillance equipment or weapons within 1500 feet of the abortion clinic.
The injunction also asks that anti-abortion protests be limited to no more than five protesters, for only one hour twice a week, and that signs contain no pictures but carry a disclaimer saying abortion is medically safe and legal.
Finally, the injunction asks that local law enforcement provide special duty officers for security at the clinic. The Ocala Police Department and the Marion County Sheriff’s Office allow businesses to hire officers for security detail, but both agencies have denied Pendergraft’s requests for officers.
Pendergraft’s attorney, Roy Lucas, said the court could rule on these requests in the next few weeks.
“I really asked for the maximum of what I can reasonably get,” Lucas said. “We tried to identify every form of bad harassment that bothers the patients and put a stop to it.”
Pendergraft, who carries a gun, brings a bodyguard and wears a bulletproof vest and an army- style helmet when he comes to his Ocala clinic, said the protesters use confrontational language and impede his ability to come and go.
“It is (the protesters’) intention to stop as many abortions as they can by creating such an environment that women never want to go to the Ocala Women’s Center,” Pendergraft said from his Orlando clinic, Every Person’s Own Choice, where a special duty Orlando Police officer patrols the parking lot.
Rev. Ed Martin, who leads the Ocala anti-abortion protesters and is a defendant in Pendergraft’s lawsuit, said the protesters are simply exercising their free speech rights, and that he discourages the use of gory signs or confrontational language. He dismissed the doctor’s personal safety measures as theatrics that “play well to the press.”
“Our purpose is to offer women help and assistance,” Martin said. “We say things like ‘We love you’ and ‘We care about you’, but we’ve never blocked anyone. Everything we’ve done has been constitutionally protected.”
Pendergraft said he is particularly concerned about protesters videotaping patients and staff. Photographs filed with the temporary injunction show Martin carrying a small video camera and another man filming the clinic from the property to the north, where a pregnancy counseling center is scheduled to open in the next month or two.
“That video camera is like a concealed weapon — it brings the imminent threat of blackmail,” Lucas said. “Ed Martin could be filming someone going into the clinic and harassing that person by the end of the day.”
Martin said he taped the clinic only after Pendergraft’s staff refused to stop videotaping the protesters. Martin said he wanted to document that the clinic was filming and harassing protesters and show that “what’s good for the goose is good for the gander.”
“I’ve never used anything on those tapes,” Martin said, adding that sometimes he used a “dummy” camera to fool the clinic. “I just taped over them. I’ve probably got my family vacation on it.”
Lucas said Roscoe Chamblin, co-owner of the pregnancy counseling center next door, also taped the clinic — an action Chamblin denied, saying he had an empty, broken camera on the property once but never filmed anyone.
“We are not here to cause problems for Dr. Pendergraft,” Chamblin said. “We’re just here to help women — and not just pregnant women, but any women who need help with housing or clothing.”
In order to enforce any injunctions against the protesters, Lucas said, the clinic needs special duty police officers.
“The job of the police is to protect and serve, not to abandon,” Lucas said. “They’ve abandoned this clinic here, turning it into a free-fire zone.”
City attorney Patrick Gilligan said Ocala Police Chief Morrey Deen had several legitimate reasons for denying Pendergraft’s request, including the feeling that having police officers work at the clinic might compromise the police department’s appearance of objectivity.
The sheriff’s attorney did not return a call for comment on the injunction, but in the past the sheriff’s office said it denied Pendergraft’s request because of a standing agreement with Ocala Police not to provide special duty officers within the city limits.
Also included with the injunction is an affidavit by Pendergraft’s assistant Michael Spielvogel alleging that County Commissioner Larry Cretul made “veiled threats” last January in phone conversations about opening the clinic.
Spielvogel said Cretul referred to the two unsolved arsons, eight days apart, that destroyed the last Ocala abortion clinic 10 years ago. Cretul said he cannot comment on the allegations because they are part of a pending lawsuit.
Forerunner - Home » Florida's Murder Industry »
Your comments are welcome!
Exposing The Occult Roots of Abortion
This presentation looks at the spiritual roots of abortion and exposes the myths surrounding child killing. Little known historical facts about abortion and how they relate to modern feminism are presented logically and accurately. Has been effective in converting many to a pro-life position.
Massacre of Innocence goes where no pro-life presentation has gone before in “tearing the lid off abortion” to reveal the spiritual realities we must battle if we will bring an end to this crime. The presentation is absorbing, fast-paced, informative and incredibly devastating to any attempt to justify abortion.
“… an extraordinary statement … a powerfully articulate presentation about what abortion really means, and why a great and moral nation like the United States must not allow the slaughter to continue.”
— Congressman Robert K. Dornan
Running time: 85 minutes
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
High Quality Paperback — 40 pages of dynamite!
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).
$7.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
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.)
What is true Revival and Spiritual Awakening?
Discover the answer in this eyewitness account by Dennis Kinlaw, President of Asbury College, Wilmore, Kentucky, who recounts the story of a visitation of the Holy Spirit in 1970. This is the presentation that has continued to spark the flames of Revival in the hearts of people around the world. Contains eyewitness footage from the Revival at Asbury College in 1970 in Wilmore, Kentucky.
Certain to challenge you to greater holiness and a deeper commitment to full-scale revival. Original news and private footage has been included. If you are a student who longs to see a spiritual awakening at your school, you must see this video!
“This simple video does a wonderful job of conveying something of God’s heart and power, Everyone we have ever shown this to has received an immediate impartation of faith for revival and the power of prayer.”
— Bob and Rose Weiner, Weiner Ministries Int’l
Running Time: 40 minutes
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
“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.
$14.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)