“Gentle Christians” trying to safeguard the lives of the unborn have won a major victory in New York, prevailing in a four-year battle against prosecutors who said they were threatening people outside an abortion clinic in Queens.
In 2017 New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman accused Rev. Kenneth Griepp and ten members of his Church At The Rock in Brooklyn of harassing women outside the clinic and making threats, and filed a federal lawsuit against them.
The state filed a dismissal of the charges in federal district court on Nov. 16.
The group has been frequenting Choices Women’s Medical Center in Jamaica, Queens, on Saturdays since 2012, their attorneys said, offering counsel and a pro-life viewpoint to women going there to seek abortions. Schneiderman accused the group of harassing the women.
Representing Griepp and the church was the Thomas More Society, who contended that the case was an “assault” on their First Amendment rights. “We are pleased to see the state of New York has finally come to its senses and dismissed these baseless charges,” said attorney Stephen Crampton of Thomas More. “Justice has finally prevailed.”
Crampton said the state used “hidden cameras, undercover investigators, and even a fake Facebook account posing as the page of a pro-life advocate” in their crusade against the church. “They came up with absolutely nothing, but that didn’t stop them from continuing to persecute these gentle Christians,” he said.
In August the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit unexpectedly reversed its decision and affirmed a lower court ruling in favor of the pro-life church members