By Editorial Staff
Published May 28, 1989
By Cory Jo Lancaster, Orlando Sentinel Staff
MELBOURNE — For 12 years, people have gathered outside Patricia Baird Windle’s business with signs and chants about life and death.
No other business in Brevard has divided so many or caused so much anger, protests and inner questioning. Depending on what side of the fence you sit on, the business is a deathtrap for newborns or a life-giver for mothers.
Behind the controversy over Brevard’s only abortion clinic sits Baird Windle, shrouded from pro-life forces with an unlisted phone number, undisclosed address and a barrage of security devices.
She has faced 144 months of protesters outside Aware Woman Clinic in Melbourne but has escaped the bombs, arson, kidnapping and vandalism that have put abortion clinics on alert nationwide.
“We had a period of time five years ago with the burnings and the bombings. I had a couple months levitating off the mattress at night with worry and concern,” said the 54-year-old mother of four and grandmother of three.
“But it doesn’t bother me now . . . The only component that wears on me is frustration. That wears on me.”
The latest frustration comes from the pending Missouri case before the U.S. Supreme Court that seeks to overturn the court’s 1973 Roe vs. Wade decision legalizing abortion. A decision is expected in late June or early next year.
“The Right-to-Life movement, in my opinion, is lead by a bunch of white male supremacists,” she said. “Look at their groups. They’re all led by men. Ours are led by women. That tells you something, doesn’t it?”
Three years after the Roe vs. Wade decision, Baird Windle began thinking about opening an abortion clinic in Brevard. Her jewelry business in Indialantic had just closed and she wanted to open a business that would serve women.
She became the director of the South Brevard Women’s Center, a non-profit support and referral agency in Melbourne, and got involved in a local health planning council.
She already knew about medical procedures and hospitals. Her children spent countless hours in military hospitals as infants with blood disease in the 1950s. One died from it.
“I also volunteered at military hospitals to repay them for all the medical treatment for my children,” she said. “It was through all that I gained my medical savvy.”
By spring 1977, she had plans to open a clinic in downtown Melbourne. A local newspaper heard about it and ran a story, “Abortion Clinic Opening.”
“Within an hour we had our first protester,” recalled Baird Windle. “There was so much pressure that the woman who held the lease to the building asked me to move.”
After a court battle to obtain an occupational license, the clinic opened in Cocoa Beach and moved to its present location off U.S. Highway 1 in north Melbourne in 1982. Her second husband, Ted Windle, a retired military officer and engineer at Kennedy Space Center, works as the clinic bookkeeper.
“I’ve gotten the press and I’ve gotten the attention because I’m a good interview,” she said. “But honestly, this issue and this clinic is not Patricia Baird Windle. It’s hundreds of women and health care workers.”
Besides opening the clinic, Baird Windle founded the Florida Abortion Council and has been actively involved in the women’s rights movement nationwide.
“She’s an activist and a doer,” said Dr. Randall Whitney, who worked for Baird Windle for years and now runs an abortion and family planning clinic in Daytona Beach.
“She’s a leader of women’s rights in Florida and beyond. She’s recognized across the country in pro-choice circles,” he said.
Baird Windle also is working on several books – one detailing her 12 years in the abortion business and others on motivational techniques. She still buys and sells gemstones, one of her biggest hobbies, and likes to study architecture and religious fanaticism.
Born in Arkansas and raised in Louisiana as a Southern Baptist and Methodist, Baird Windle is often called “Maggie” by friends and family for her nickname “Magnolia Blossom,” given by her husband when they met on a blind date.
“I don’t have any college degrees,” she said. “I have the classic entrepreneurial personality. As a youngster, I thought that was a sign of fickleness . . . but entrepreneurs are the lifeblood of the economy.”
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.)
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.)
That Swiss Hermit Strikes Again!
Dr. Schaeffer, who was one of the most influential Christian thinkers in the twentieth century, shows that secular humanism has displaced the Judeo-Christian consensus that once defined our nation’s moral boundaries. Law, education, and medicine have all been reshaped for the worse as a consequence. America’s dominant worldview changed, Schaeffer charges, when Christians weren’t looking.
Schaeffer lists two reasons for evangelical indifference: a false concept of spirituality and fear. He calls on believers to stand against the tyranny and moral chaos that come when humanism reigns-and warns that believers may, at some point, be forced to make the hard choice between obeying God or Caesar. A Christian Manifesto is a thought-provoking and bracing Christian analysis of American culture and the obligation Christians have to engage the culture with the claims of Christ.
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Download the Free Study Guide!
God’s Law and Society powerfully presents a comprehensive worldview based upon the ethical system found in the Law of God.
Speakers include: R.J. Rushdoony, George Grant, Howard Phillips, R.C. Sproul Jr., Ken Gentry, Gary DeMar, Jay Grimstead, Steven Schlissel, Andrew Sandlin, Eric Holmberg, and more!
Sixteen Christian leaders and scholars answer some of the most common questions and misconceptions related to this volatile issue:
1. Are we under Law or under Grace?
2. Does the Old Testament Law apply today?
3. Can we legislate morality?
4. What are the biblical foundations of government?
5. Was America founded as a Christian nation?
6. What about the separation of Church and State?
7. Is neutrality a myth?
8. What about non-Christians and the Law of God?
9. Would there be “freedom” in a Christian republic?
10. What would a “Christian America” look like?
Perfect for group instruction as well as personal Bible study.
Ten parts, over four hours of instruction!
Running Time: 240 minutes
Watch over 60 on-line video interviews from God’s Law and Society.
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
“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.
Running time: 105 minutes
Special offer: Order 5 or more for $5 each.
Watch a clip from Martin Luther.
$9.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)