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.)
High Quality Paperback — 219 pages
Foundations in Biblical Orthodoxy
Driving down a country road sometime, you might see a church with a sign proudly proclaiming: “No book but the Bible — No creed but Christ.” The problem with this statement is that the word creed (from the Latin: credo) simply means “belief.” All Christians have beliefs, regardless of whether they are written.
Yet a single book containing the actual texts of the most important creeds of the early Church will not often be found. Out of the multitude of works on the evangelical Christian book market today, those dealing with the creeds of the Church are scarce.
Why Creeds and Confessions? provides a foundation of biblical orthodoxy as a defense against the false and truly heretical doctrines advanced by the spirit of this age.
$14.95 — 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.)
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.)
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.)