By Editorial Staff
Published March 17, 1999
By Bridget Hall, Staff Writer, Ocala Star-Banner
ORLANDO — The lawyer who made history in the 1973 landmark Roe v. Wade case legalizing abortion has returned to reproductive law and wants to make history again in several Florida abortion cases.
Roy Lucas, the architect of the “right to privacy” legal argument for abortion, now says overzealous protesters are violating the privacy of patients, abortion doctors and their staff.
“The days of peaceful protesting are gone,” said Lucas, attorney for Dr. James Pendergraft who owns the Ocala Women’s Center. “The protesting has stepped up to the level of harassment under the guise of the First Amendment. Really this is more like domestic stalking.”
And that is how Lucas says the courts should treat the anti-abortion protesters. In the lawsuit he filed last December and the temporary injunction he filed Tuesday, he asked the courts to keep protesters from coming within 75 feet of the Ocala clinic or bringing weapons or surveillance equipment within 1,500 feet of the clinic.
He also asked that protesters be banned from saying words like “abortuary” and “death” to patients, and that anti-abortion signs contain only words, not pictures of fetuses. He wants those signs to carry the following disclaimer: “Medical abortion is authorized by Florida law and the United States Constitution and has been sanctioned as safe by the American Medical Association.”
In a separate lawsuit, Lucas has asked that Internet providers be held liable for allowing protesters access to databases of motor vehicle departments, because he said abortion foes have used those databases to track down patients going to an abortion clinic he represents in Melbourne.
Matt Staver, attorney for Rev. Ed Martin, who leads the anti-abortion protesters outside Pendergraft’s clinic, said Lucas’ strategies are at best unorthodox and at worst unethical.
“He should have some support and basis for these allegations,” Staver said. “He has legal claims that don’t make sense, that no court in the country will ever accept, yet he’s made them and made them unashamedly.”
But Lucas said even if the courts are not ready for such strict limitations on protesters, it is time to lay the legal foundation.
“These are things that we might not get for another five years, but it will help other people down the line,” he said. “Many things that were considered radical 20 years ago are commonplace today.”
Lucas, 57, has championed abortion rights since penning an article for the June 1968 issue of the North Carolina Law Review in which he laid out the blueprint for legalizing abortion. Four years later, when Roe v. Wade came before the Supreme Court, Lucas filed the main brief.
Lucas continued practicing law until 1985, when he took an 11-year hiatus to visit 200 of the country’s natural parks and paint landscape scenes. After surviving a two-year bout with non- Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Lucas moved to Florida and returned to reproductive law.
“If you know the history from 1967 to 1971, Roy Lucas has done more than any lawyer in American history to make abortion rights available, but the number of people who know that could fit in a good-sized classroom,” said David Garrow, Emory University professor on reproductive law. “It’s not surprising that there would remain a hunger or an appetite.”
Lucas is representing Pendergraft in his suit against the Ocala Police Department, the Marion County Sheriff’s Office and a dozen protesters. The suit, filed last December, asks that protesters be kept at bay and that law enforcement provide an off-duty officer for security at the clinic.
Lucas also represents the Aware Woman Center for Choice in Melbourne. That clinic filed suit in January against 17 protesters and America Online, CompuServe and TML Information Services.
Lucas said protesters have copied down visitors’ license plate numbers and used the Internet providers to obtain those visitors’ names and addresses from TML’s database of motor vehicle information.
Christopher Sapp, the attorney representing the lead protester at Aware Woman, Meredith Raney, did not return several calls for comment.
Lucas has another lawsuit for Pendergraft in the works, a class action suit against Neal Horsley, the Georgia creator of the “Nuremberg Files” website that listed some 200 abortion doctors and asked visitors to send photos, videotapes, and any personal information about the doctors.
Horsley wanted the information, the site said, “in anticipation that one day we may be able to hold (abortion doctors) on trial for crimes against humanity.”
The site has been inaccessible since early February, when an Oregon jury ordered a dozen defendants associated with the site — but not Horsley — to pay Planned Parenthood and other plaintiffs more than $100 million in damages.
The jury found that the site amounted to a death threat against abortion doctors, their associates and families. The defendants plan to appeal.
Suing a web site, seeking injunctions against the utterance of certain words and requiring disclaimers on protesters’ signs may test the First Amendment, but Pendergraft secured Lucas because he wanted an attorney who would push the envelope.
“We have to be innovative with the abortion situation because the anti-establishment has become very innovative,” Pendergraft said. “They couldn’t win in the courts, so they went to the legislature. When they fail there, they’ll go onto something else. We always have to be on our toes.”
Lucas said even though his approach would limit protester’s activities, he is not out to curb free speech. He said his first case before the Supreme Court was a First Amendment case.
“I’ve always done a lot of that work, but when it gets to the point that they’re selling roadmaps to stalkers that have killed a lot of doctors, that’s stepping over the bounds.”
Forerunner - Home » Florida's Murder Industry »
Your comments are welcome!
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.)
“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.)
Exposes the Dangers of Abortion to Women!
These shocking eyewitness accounts expose the dangers of abortion not only to unborn children, but to the health and lives women as well. An antidote to the smokescreens of the liberal media, these short clips show what really happens in and around abortion clinics.
Although the content is emotionally gut-wrenching, these videos have been used in church seminars and small groups to educate Christians on the abortion issue and to lead people toward a pro-life position. Contains 2 hours and 40 minutes of materials that can be shown separately.
Watch these pro-life videos on-line.
“These videos helped change my mind from pro-choice to pro-life. Your videos are what did it for me. I will be walking in next year’s March For Life in San Francisco.” — A. Jackson, California
“I was going to have an abortion until I saw your video. Praise Jesus!”
— M. Drew, YouTube Commenter
$4.95 — 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.)
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.)