SPOKANE — Planned Parenthood of Greater Washington and North Idaho is suing a group of anti-abortion protesters who lead frequent religious services outside the health care provider’s Spokane clinic.
The lawsuit contends the noisy demonstrations have interfered with treatment and intimidated patients and staff.
Attorneys filed the lawsuit Tuesday in Spokane County Superior Court against the group calling itself “The Church at Planned Parenthood.”
The Spokesman-Review reports the lawsuit seeks a permanent injunction to stop the church gatherings outside the clinic, which sometimes draw several hundred people.
Since the gatherings began in 2018, Planned Parenthood has implored Spokane police to enforce the city’s noise ordinance as well as a state law banning disruptions of health care facilities.
In March, the Spokane City Council voted 6-1 to adopt another city ordinance with the same effect as the state law, but Planned Parenthood alleges police have refused to enforce it.
“Patients who rely on Planned Parenthood for vital medical care have the same right as all Washingtonians to access health care without unreasonable disruption or interference,” Kim Clark, an attorney with Legal Voice, a firm focused on women’s and LGBTQ rights, said in a statement.