By Carol McCracken (Post # 2,468)
State Attorney General Janet Mills office has filed a lawsuit against Brian Ingalls, 26, for interfering with a patients’ right to receive “health services” or “to interfere with the safe and effective delivery of those services.” The suit was filed against Ingalls because of his interference outside of Portland’s Planned Parenthood facility, a full-service health care provider for men and women, as well as a provider of abortions. These patients’ right are guaranteed under the US Constitution and the laws of the State of Maine.
Ingalls, of Lisbon, is a regular protester at the 433 Congress Street health care facility leased by Panned Parenthood in Portland. He is well-known to the staff because he is routinely on the sidewalk making loud statements in opposition to the facility’s abortion services according to the four page complaint, dated October 30, 2015.
On October 23, 2015, Ingalls was yelling up towards the second floor of the building at 443 Congress Street about “murdering babies, aborted babies’ blood and Jesus.” Defendant Ingalls yelling was so loud that it could be heard in the exams and counseling rooms. Furthermore, his yelling disrupted the safe and effective delivery of health services, especially counseling that staff was attempting to provide its patients.
The relief sought by A.G. Mills office includes, but is not limited to, an injunction against Defendant Ingalls from coming within 50 feet of Planned Parenthood’s facilities, including the facility at 443 Congress Street and a fine of up to $5,000 for each violation.
“We are grateful to the Attorney General and Portland Police Department for taking action to protect the rights of our patients so that they can freely receive health care they need. We are committed to protecting the privacy and safety of our patients and staff and work every day to ensure that women are able to make their own health care decisions without fear of harassment and intimidation,” wrote Nicole D. Clegg, Vice President of Public Policy, Maine, for Planned Parenthood, in an email.
“Decisions about whether to choose adoption, end a pregnancy, or raise a child must be left to a woman with the counsel of her family, her faith, her doctor or health care provider and anyone else whose advice she seeks in making the best decision for her health and well-being. No one should be forced to endure intimidation or harassment from strangers yelling at them while they are receiving critical medical information at their doctor’s visit,” the email ended.
Clegg also said in a telephone conversation that Portland Planned Parenthood has had numerous issues with protesters at different times in the recent past. Police presence has been necessary on numerous occasions to keep protesters from interrupting health care services provided to its patients Clegg said.