SPD: Church leaders may have violated court order outside Planned Parenthood
SPOKANE, Wash. — Spokane Police say the leaders behind The Church at Planned Parenthood may have violated a judge’s order on Tuesday by getting too close to the clinic on Indiana Avenue.
An injunction filed Monday said church members are disrupting the Planned Parenthood clinic and intimidating patients. Judge Raymond Clary said church leaders, including Representative Matt Shea, must demonstrate on the other side of the street.
Ahead of the service, Shea lead a group to pray outside the clinic.
The Spokane Police Department says officers don’t have the authority to enforce the judge’s orders. However, officers can file a report, which they ended up doing on Tuesday when church members crossed the street.
“The one thing we have on them is the only thing we need; the most high God,” said Pastor Ken Peters.
He compared The Church at Planned Parenthood to a bad rash… the more you scratch, the more they will be there.
Instead of holding service directly outside the clinic, TCAPP was pushed to the other side of the street by a Spokane judge.
The injunction said the church disrupted the clinic and intimidated patients, some even rescheduled appointments around the monthly demonstrations.
“This again is interference with a health care facility,” said Paul Dillon with Planned Parenthood. “It’s not a free speech issue. It’s not a first amendment issue. It is about interfering with a health care facility. The state is very clear about that.”
Dillon claims the church interfered once again before the demonstration even began by praying within feet of the clinic.
“They’re blocking the sidewalk access, we have a patient trying to walk down the street,” said Dillon.
Peters doesn’t see it that way.
“We had a whole bunch of people on their own free will, it wasn’t part of the service agenda, just want to let everyone know,” said Peters.
Spokane Police say officers wrote up a report. It will be up to the judge to decide if the injunction was violated. Dillon has no doubt it was.
Pastor Ken Peters encouraged people to pray outside the clinic again during the next service in October. He called the judge’s ruling unconstitutional and says he’s not afraid to go to jail.
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