SPOKANE, Wash. — Planned Parenthood of Greater Washington and North Idaho requested a permanent injunction against the ‘Church of Planned Parenthood’ in Spokane County Superior Court Friday, according to a Planned Parenthood spokesperson.
In a press release, spokesperson Paul Dillon said Legal Voice along with co-counsel Davis Wright Tremaine argued for the permanent injunction to stop the group from interfering with patients’ access to healthcare.
In September 2020, a judge ruled in favor of Planned Parenthood by granting a preliminary injunction against the anti-abortion group. Dillon said since the injunction, staff, patients and neighbors have witnessed violations of the order.
“We feel confident in the evidence provided at today’s hearing as we await the court’s decision for a permanent injunction and remain committed to caring for patients seeking access to reproductive health care,” Dillon said in the release.
Planned Parenthood claims The Church at Planned Parenthood’s loud demonstrations outside facilities are interfering with patient care and violate state and local laws against excessive noise outside healthcare facilities.
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.
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.
Planned Parenthood claims The Church at Planned Parenthood is violating Washington State Law RCW 9A.50.020 which reads, "It is unlawful for a person except as otherwise protected by state or federal law, alone or in concert with others, to willfully or recklessly interfere with access to or from a health care facility or willfully or recklessly disrupt the normal functioning of such facility."
Spokane City Council passed an ordinance in March meant to limit noise disturbances at healthcare facilities after The Church at Planned Parenthood’s loud protests at a Spokane Planned Parenthood facility. The law allows healthcare facilities and providers to seek appropriate remedies for violations without needing city involvement.
However, Planned Parenthood claims the Spokane Police Department is not enforcing the ordinance.