A pop-up church that calls itself “The Church at Planned Parenthood” (TCAPP) has been taking its ministry literally to the foe’s front door, holding monthly services at the Planned Parenthood abortion clinic in Spokane, Wash., beginning at 6 p.m. as the clinic is closing. Only now, Planned Parenthood is suing.
Planned Parenthood of Greater Washington and North Idaho (PPGWNI) says the open-air services are harmful to patients because the volume is too loud. The anti-abortion pastor who runs them says the accusations are false.
The lawsuit filed in June by Legal Voice, against five area pastors and Covenant Church, which started the ministry, claims
TCAPP’s First Amendment rights conflict with the care of the patients at the clinic.
TCAPP Pastor Ken Peters told Fox News: “You have a billion-dollar industry suing local church pastors that aren’t wealthy at all, for singing and peaceably assembly.
“We’ve been running for two years. We’ve never been cited. We don’t cause destruction. We don’t loot. We don’t riot. We literally go to Planned Parenthood and we hold church once a month. We do this after hours. We are not causing any harm.”
Hundreds gathered the evening of July 28 to sing and hear pro-life speaker Ryan Bomberger. The event began according to the group’s schedule: at 6 p.m. as the clinic was closing.
The abortion provider says it has been measuring noise levels, and that the group’s amplified singing and speech reached disruptive levels. This violates an ordinance passed in March by the Spokane City Council, after TCAPP started the services. The suit claims police don’t enforce the ordinance because they sympathize with the church.
“It’s really, really frustrating and should not be allowed to happen, when the laws are very clear in Washington state and the city of Spokane about interference with health care facilities,” Paul Dillon, vice president of public affairs for PPGWNI, told Crosscut. “It’s extremely unnerving for the patients at Planned Parenthood.”
“We are bringing attention to the fact that they are killing life for money,” Peters said. “That’s what they don’t like. That’s what they’re suing us for. We are shining a light for the Lord and on their sin and that’s what they hate us.”