Planned Parenthood is trying to permanently stop a church from holding worship services outside its abortion facility in Spokane, Washington.
On Friday, Planned Parenthood of Greater Washington and North Idaho asked a Spokane County Superior Court judge for a permanent injunction against The Church at Planned Parenthood, KREM News 2 reports.
The abortion chain claims the pro-life ministry has been violating a temporary injunction that a judge issued in 2020 and “interfering with patients’ access to healthcare,” according to the report.
However, leaders of The Church at Planned Parenthood say they are not protesters. Their purpose is to worship God and pray for repentance “of our blood guiltiness in this abortion holocaust.” Prior to the judge’s order, hundreds of people would gather to worship outside the abortion facility in Spokane, according to the local news.
Planned Parenthood and Legal Voice filed a lawsuit against the church last year. They claimed the pro-life Christians are bullying patients and staff and interfering with Planned Parenthood’s work.
In their request Friday, they told a judge that staff, patients and neighbors have seen pro-lifers violate the temporary injunction order, according to the local news. They also accused the Spokane Police Department of not enforcing a city noise ordinance.
Here’s more from the report:
Planned Parenthood claims the demonstrations aren’t protected under the first amendment, because they’re intended to interfere with patients’ ability to seek care at the facility. Planned Parenthood cited the negative health impacts of excessive noise on patients, including increased risk of hypertension, increased pain, and a variety of psychiatric symptoms – “all of which are likely to be even more pronounced for patients seeking care from a reproductive health clinic,” the statement reads.
The lawsuit asks the court to permanently ban the church from gathering on the public sidewalks outside its Spokane facility and to award Planned Parenthood damages for the alleged disturbances.
The lawsuit names the church and its leaders, including state Rep. Matt Shea, Covenant Church and Covenant Christian School, Pastors Ken Peters, Gabe Blomgren and Seth Haberman, and Clay Roy.
Peters said the claims about disrupting patients do not make sense because their church services start when Planned Parenthood closes.
“They’re not even open,” he said. “We start at 6 o’clock; they close at 6.”
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The abortion chain told the Spokesman Review that it does close its doors at 6 p.m., but patients sometimes do not leave until 7 p.m.
City police said they have not had problems with the church, the Spokesman Review reported in 2020. Pro-lifers are overwhelmingly peaceful.
The Church at Planned Parenthood describes itself as a “gathering of Christians for the worship of God and corporate prayer for repentance for this nation, repentance for the apathetic church, and repentance for our blood guiltiness in this abortion holocaust,” according to its website.
Recently, the ministry began holding services outside abortion facilities in other states, including Tennessee and Georgia.
In an interview with Prayer Link, a CBN talk show, Peters said he staunchly believes that the pro-life movement will succeed in the battle to protect the defenseless.
“The Bible says that hell will not prevail against the church, but I think if the church does not engage, then hell has free reign. So, what we’re doing is taking church right to the gates of hell knowing that we will win,” he said.