A church and its leadership are being sued in Spokane, Washington by Planned Parenthood over a monthly pro-life worship service that’s held outside the facility, which is called “The Church at Planned Parenthood (TCAPP).”
Covenant Church in Spokane is passionate about life and started holding church services outside a local Planned Parenthood location once a month. The hour-long services can bring together hundreds of people, all of whom are dedicated to praying for women and their babies.
According to its website, “The Church at Planned Parenthood is NOT a protest. It’s a worship service at the gates of Hell. The Church at Planned Parenthood is a gathering of Christians for the worship of God and the corporate prayer for repentance for this nation, repentance for the apathetic church and repentance of our blood guiltiness in this abortion holocaust.”
“We’re here to worship, pray, preach together. That’s all we do. We’re here to fight with spiritual weapons,” Covenant Pastor Ken Peters, who was personally named in the lawsuit, said. “They can try to keep us quiet with the sound ordinance, but they can’t stop us. So, if we got to sing quiet, we’ll sing quiet. But we’re not going to stop singing. We’re not going to stop praising. We’re not going to stop.”
Of course, Planned Parenthood strongly disagrees.
The abortion business, as reported by The Spokane Review, claims that the services “have interfered with treatment and intimidates patients and staff.”
“These are not protesters – they are bullies who are trying to take away care from young women, men, the LGBTQ community and Black, Indigenous, people of color in Spokane,” Karl Eastlund, chief executive of the regional Planned Parenthood organization, said in a statement.
“Our health center is the principal provider of reproductive health care in Eastern Washington and North Idaho, and we see 10,000 patients annually who otherwise would not have access to the care that they need,” Eastlund said. “Enough is enough.”
The lawsuit seeks to extract damages and place a permanent injunction on the services.
As part of the lead up to the suit, Planned Parenthood pursued the city to enact a noise ordinance, which was passed by the city council earlier this year. But the abortion business is alleging that the police have refused to enforce it.
TPACC says that its gatherings do not disrupt Planned Parenthood’s operations as the services start after the clinic closes at 7 p.m.
At the insistence of Planned Parenthood and other pro-abortion protestors, the local police department has been monitoring the situation and have captains within the department assessing the noise level from inside the clinic but have found no violations.
“I have been assured by everyone who is there that they have been following the law,” Spokane Police Chief Craig Meidl told The Spokesman-Review in February.
The TPACC is being represented in the case by the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ).
According to the church leaders, TPACC will abide by the orders of law enforcement, but they will not stop praying and worshiping outside Planned Parenthood.
The First Amendment guarantees Americans the right to free speech and free assembly, which is what the TPACC is trying to do. As Pastor Peters said in an interview with a local Spokane news station, Planned Parenthood doesn’t have an issue with the worship service as much as it has an issue with the messaging. But, case or no case, this won’t stop the work of TPACC.
“We just keep plodding on and we’re going to keep on singing and we’re gonna keep on praying,” Pastor Peters said.
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