The State of Maine is suing a pro-life protester for “disrupting health care services” with his yelling outside of a Portland abortion facility. Brian Ingalls, 26, recently made a motion to dismiss the lawsuit preventing him from coming within 50 feet of the Planned Parenthood; however, Justice Lance Walker rejected the arguments last week, stating that the evidence presented was premature, The Portland Press Herald reports.
Maine’s Attorney General Janet Mills filed the lawsuit in November, alleging that Ingalls violated the Main Civil Rights Act. The act states that it is a violation to intentionally make noise that can be heard within a medical treatment facility. Mills claims that Ingalls violated the rights and safety of patients in the second story of the facility where his voice was heard, LifeNews previously reported.
According to the Thomas More Law Center, a pro-life legal firm representing Ingalls, the attorney general’s legal actions are only based upon Planned Parenthood’s complaint to the Portland Police Department. The state attorney general is clearly biased in her actions, seizing an opportunity to silence the pro-life message, according to the legal firm.
As Erinn Kuenzig, trial counsel for the firm, articulated: “The Attorney General’s baseless pro-abortion tactic seeks to silence pro-life speech. Such biased action by a state’s chief law enforcement officer is not only unconstitutional, but it also corrupts the entire justice system.”
Ingalls sought a hearing to dismiss the lawsuit earlier this month. His lawyer, Stephen Whiting, argued “the Attorney General’s Office failed to identify any patients or employees inside the Planned Parenthood clinic who were harmed by Ingalls’ preaching, and that Ingalls didn’t hurt or threaten anyone, damage anything or trespass,” according to the local news report.
After Judge Walker promptly rejected the argument, Whiting contended that the Attorney General’s Office misapplied the Maine Civil Rights Act in the lawsuit. He explained that Ingalls’ First Amendment right to free speech supersedes laws concerning noise.
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Walker also rejected this argument, according to the report.
The lawsuit comes just after pro-lifers in Portland won a battle against a city buffer zone ordinance.
At the urging of Planned Parenthood, the Portland City Council enacted the 39-foot “buffer zone” in November 2013, LifeNews previously reported. The Thomas More Law Center filed a lawsuit to stop the Maine city’s unconstitutional restriction of pro-life speech; and a judge later struck down the ordinance. An agreement reached on Oct. 8 in U.S. District Court requires the city to pay $56,500 in legal fees to pro-lifers, according to the Bangor Daily News.
This new case is certainly an attack on the pro-life message. Sidewalk counselors and peaceful protestors have saved countless unborn lives through their tireless dedication. This case is an example of the length abortion advocates will go to stop the pro-life message from reaching women in the clinic.