Every Friday, Pro-Life Evangelical Christian Brian Ingalls stands outside the building housing the Portland, Maine Planned Parenthood clinic yelling up at the clinic via the second second floor window pleading with women not to have an abortion.
According to Maine’s Attorney General Janet Mills, Ingalls is violating those patients’ civil rights – so, she is suing the pro-life protester for “yelling so loudly outside a Planned Parenthood clinic that he is disrupting healthcare.”
As reported in the Daily Mail:
Mills says Ingalls has the right to protest but not to intentionally disrupt appointments by shouting at patients and medical staff during counseling sessions.
At least, that’s what she claims because, according to the lawsuit, the State of Maine doesn’t like the words Ingalls is using during his Friday protests:
Last month police warned him for yelling about ‘murdering babies’, ‘aborted babies’ blood’ and ‘Jesus’, but he has not refrained from doing so, the complaint alleges.
But, the Attorney General hasn’t explained why, if the issue is that Ingalls is too loud, he was warned to not use certain terms?
Under Maine’s Civil Right Act it is a violation to intentionally make noise loud enough so it can be heard inside a medical facility.
The lawsuit claims Ingalls has ‘intent to interfere with the safe and effective delivery of health services at Planned Parenthood’.
Mills said: ‘All patients have the right to receive medical services free of “the cacophony of political protests,” in the words of the United States Supreme Court.
‘While protesters have every right to say anything they want in a public area in the vicinity of a medical facility, they are not permitted to disrupt another citizen’s health care services.’
If the court rules against Brian Ingalls’ free speech, he will be prevented from coming any closer than 50 yards away from any Planned Parenthood clinic in Maine.
Ingalls’ attorney Erin Kuenzig said:
‘They’re trying to claim that it’s some kind of safety concern that he was preaching the Bible on a public sidewalk,’ Kuenzig said.
Planned Parenthood praised the lawsuit:
‘No one should be forced to endure intimidation or harassment from strangers yelling at them while they are receiving critical medical information at their doctor’s visit,’ said Planned Parenthood spokeswoman Nicole Clegg.
But, the legality of keeping pro-life protesters away from a Planned Parenthood clinic is questionable. As reported by the Boston Globe in June of 2014:
The US Supreme Court on Thursday unanimously struck down a Massachusetts law that banned protesters within 35 feet of abortion clinics, ruling that the law infringed upon the First Amendment rights of antiabortion activists.
The high court ruled that the Massachusetts state law imposed “serious burdens” on protesters who wish to speak with arriving patients.
“At each of the three Planned Parenthood clinics where petitioners attempt to counsel patients, the zones carve out a significant portion of the adjacent public sidewalks, pushing petitioners well back from the clinics’ entrances and driveways,” Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in the majority opinion.
The court left in place the laws saying protesters could not deliberately block the entrance to a clinic.
Below is a video of Brian Ingalls preaching in front of the Planned Parenthood clinic.