A Washington state city council passed an ordinance last week that could quash pro-life efforts to help pregnant mothers choose life for their unborn babies.
Western Journal reports the Spokane City Council voted 6-1 on March 2 to expand a noise ordinance outside abortion facilities and health care clinics in the city.
Councilwoman Lori Kinnear, who introduced the ordinance, claimed they need to do more to stop “interruption and interference for health care facilities,” The Spokesman-Review reports.
Her measure bans activities that interfere with access to a health care facility or “with the safe and effective delivery of health services within the building.” Those who violate the ordinance could be penalized with fines and, for multiple violations, possible jail time.
Pro-life leaders believe the ordinance directly targets pro-life sidewalk counselors and members of the Church of Planned Parenthood, a pro-life ministry that meets outside the abortion facility to worship and pray for an end to abortion.
Councilman Michael Cathcart spoke out against the proposal and was the only member to vote against it, The Blaze reports. He said it can be “too hard to interpret who’s causing the noise,” and he was concerned about the “private right to action” in the ordinance, which allows individuals and organizations to sue people who violate it.
Click Like if you are pro-life to like the LifeNews Facebook page!
Councilwoman Kate Burke said they are not trying to restrict freedom of speech or religion, according to the Daily Wire.
“It’s about health care and access to the clinic,” Burke said.
Planned Parenthood staffers complained to the city council that they can hear protesters inside, and the noise disrupts their “services,” including killing unborn babies in abortions, according to the local news.
Aborting unborn babies is not health care. Pro-lifers with the Church at Planned Parenthood said they gather outside Planned Parenthood regularly to pray, worship and witness for life.
Karlie Lodjic, the Washington Regional Coordinator for Students for Life of America, said it’s obvious that the ordinance is directed at pro-lifers.
“We know that this is about one thing; making it harder for people to hear the truth about abortion and what happens inside abortion facilities every day,” Lodjic said. “As Millennials and Gen Z continue to be more pro-life than generations before them, pro-choice politicians are looking to weaponize the law against pro-lifers. This is a clear and direct assault on the First Amendment.”
The abortion industry has been lobbying city councils across the world to enact ordinances that restrict pro-lifers’ free speech. One of those ways is through buffer zones. In 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a Massachusetts buffer zone law, granting a free speech victory to pro-lifers. However, the ruling was narrow, and abortion activists are working on new ways to keep pro-lifers from reaching out to mothers and fathers outside abortion facilities.
ACTION ALERT: Send your complaints to the Spokane City Council by going here.