By Editorial Staff
Published May 2, 2008
Pro-lifers take back “no-free speech” buffer zone
By Meredith Raney
MELBOURNE (May 18, 1996) – Melbourne’s only abortion clinic has killed two days a week for the past seven years. The last four weeks they have only killed one day a week because they have lost their University of Florida residents who quit coming to Melbourne even before the July 1st effective date. Aware Woman can’t find another doctor to replace Dr. Gostal Arcelin and three other residents from the University of Florida Hospital in Jacksonville who had been coming on Saturday. Dr. Arcelin resigned in a letter to Christians For Life effective April 1, 1996 after only one day of picketing at his hospital and neighborhood. Christians For Life, a pro-life group in Melbourne, Florida organized a peaceful, one-day, 12-person picketing excursion that triggered all of this. Only God could have arranged the results.
In recent years, there has been much protest activity on the public property around the Aware Woman abortion clinic . In 1993, Judge McGregor issued an injunction against three organizations and six individuals and all persons “acting in concert” with them. This injunction requires these respondents to stay outside of a 36 foot buffer zone created on public property. To this day all of the named parties have obeyed the injunction and stayed out of the buffer zone.
- In 1993, 104 people, none of them named on the injunction, were convicted of violating this injunction. These trials were before a judge who was brought out of retirement from north Florida just for these trials. He was not accountable to the citizens of Brevard county. Also, no jury trial was allowed. All 104 defendants believe that they were unjustly convicted. They were on public property where they had every right to be as members of the public. No judge had ever told them to stay out of the buffer zone.
- In the Madsen case in June of 1994, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the 36-foot buffer zone part of the injunction as it applies to named parties. Since no non-parties were plaintiffs in the case, no ruling was made about the “in concert” clause.
- In the Alf case in the fall of 1995, the U.S. Supreme court refused to hear the case of the 104 non-parties even though it had basically invited this case in the opinion written in the Madsen case. The Supreme Court has refused to give a clear, definitive ruling on the “in concert” part of this injunction.
- Since June 1994, there have been over 20 injunction violation charges made by the Melbourne Police Department. Not one of these cases has been brought to trial. They have all been dismissed.
Yet the City Attorney is quoted in Florida Today as saying, “The injunction has been approved by the U.S. Supreme Court. It doesn’t get any better than that.” Yet more than 20 recent cases have been summarily dismissed.
At some point, arrest with the knowledge that there will be no prosecution becomes harassment. Being dragged off to jail, having to post bond, and then having to show up for as many as nine court dates over a period of nine months, as in one defendant’s case, just to see the charges dropped is harassment. This is unconstitutional. The sixth amendment to our Constitution guarantees that the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy trial and to be confronted with the witnesses against him.
After two years of court battles and over 20 individual arrests, pro-lifers were recently able to take back the buffer zone. Graham Dugas, who lives across the street from the Aware Woman Abortuary and its infamous 36-foot buffer zone, took the buffer zone back on Saturday, May 11, 1996. On the previous Thursday, Dugas had successfully defended himself in Court on a buffer zone violation charge. On May 11, he went back into the zone using the same props with the court evidence tags still attached. He was carrying a pro-life sign and the transmitting half of a baby monitor being used as a disposable remote microphone to pick up audio for the video camera when he was previously arrested. He was immediately warned again at which time he left the buffer zone and asked to speak to a supervisor. A lieutenant came out and after some discussion, withdrew the warning. Dugas then went back into the buffer zone and waved everyone over.
About 30 people walked, prayed and picketed in the buffer zone freely for the first time in three years. Two people, who had previously served jail time for buffer zone violations, were warned and chose to leave the buffer zone because they weren’t killing babies that day anyway. Scheduled trials this month should clear this problem up as well.
In the meantime, six separate prayer groups from six Melbourne area churches meet on the sidewalk one day a month to pray for the unborn. Sidewalk counseling is taking place on the sidewalk again for the first time in almost two years. The past has shown that when Christians pray and counsel women from this sidewalk more women are disuaded from having their babies aborted than when people are not allowed to come within the 36-foot zone.
Meredith Raney is a spokesman for Christians For Life of Melbourne, Florida.
Forerunner - Home » Pass The Word » Pass The Word - May/June 1996
Your comments are welcome!
“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.)
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
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
“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
$17.95 — 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.)
“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.)