November 11, 2015; Washington Post
On Tuesday, Maine’s Democratic attorney general, Janet Mills, announced she had filed a civil rights suit against Brian Ingalls, who regularly and loudly protests at the Planned Parenthood facility in Portland. The suit claims that Ingalls violated the rights of patients by “making loud statements in opposition to the facility’s abortion services,” a violation, according to the complaint, of Maine’s Civil Rights Act, which protects medical patients from just such stuff.
“All patients have the right to receive medical services free of ‘the cacophony of political protests,’ in the words of the United States Supreme Court,” Mills said in a statement. “While protestors [sic] have every right to say anything they want in a public area in the vicinity of a medical facility, they are not permitted to disrupt another citizen’s health care services.”
The suit would prevent Ingalls from coming within 50 feet of the clinic, and he could be fined $5,000 for violating the civil rights act.
The city of Portland only recently settled a lawsuit by anti-abortion activists who challenged the city’s buffer zone around the facility.—Ruth McCambridge