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SPOKANE, Washington (LifeSiteNews) — A Christian pro-life group was forced to pay nearly $1 million in fines for allegedly “disturb[ing] the peace within” an abortion mill by praying, preaching, and singing hymns outside, a judge ruled earlier this month.

Judge Tim Fennessy of Spokane County Superior Court ruled that the pro-life Christian group, called The Church at Planned Parenthood (TCAPP), would need to pay $850,000 in legal fees in addition to the $110,000 in civil damages they were previously ordered to pay out to Planned Parenthood of Greater Washington and North Idaho.

The church said its insurance would cover the cost of legal fees and affirmed they would continue holding their services despite the court’s decision.

Fennessy’s order came after a Spokane County judge ruled in December that the church had run afoul of Washington state law on nearly two dozen occasions.

The judge decided that the pro-life group, which calls its monthly meetings “a worship service at the gates of hell,” had “willfully or recklessly” disrupted the business of the abortion facility and “unreasonably disturb[ed] the peace within the facility” on 22 occasions, Catholic News Agency reported.

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UPDATE (03/07/23): Walgreens won't dispense abortion pills in 20 states

The pressure is paying off. Walgreens' plan to dispense abortion pills nationwide is now in tatters, with the pharmaceutical giant announcing that it won't mail the pills to, or sell them within, 20 states.

The news comes after 20 Republican attorneys general warned CVS and Walgreens that doing so would be in violation of federal law and that they were opening themselves to penalties.

But we can't rest on our laurels with this boycott: Walgreens and CVS will only listen to us when their profits are threatened — we need a HUGE boycott so that blood money they get from selling abortion pills is dwarfed by the profits they lose when pro-life America shops elsewhere. 

Even Politico admitted in its reporting that "pressure" from pro-life voters like you helped change Walgreens' plans, so now we're asking you to take the next step: simply share this petition with your friends and ask them to join the boycott.

Thank you!

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Walgreens and CVS will begin selling mifepristone — a powerful chemical that kills unborn children in the womb — if pro-life America does not ACT NOW. 

Pro-life Americans MUST STOP the widespread sale and distribution of mifepristone by sending a message that only big-box stores will understand: A NATIONAL BOYCOTT OF WALGREENS AND CVS. 

Walgreens and CVS are the newest back-door channels for the pro-abortion movement, now that the Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade. 

Will you act now to STOP abortion drugs from reaching your pharmacy? 

Our work in the pro-life movement is FAR from over, especially now that Walgreens and CVS have chosen to push deadly drugs in their stores and in our communities! 

SIGN and SEND a message to Walgreens and CVS! This is completely unacceptable! 

We must stop abortion from reaching our pharmacies and stop the abortion industry from poisoning our communities — before it’s too late. 

These big-box stores respond only to profit. The pro-life movement must enact a national boycott if the abortion industry dares flood our neighborhoods! 

SIGN and SEND a strong message to Walgreens and CVS: unless they immediately reverse course, the entire pro-life movement will BOYCOTT their stores! 

SIGN NOW and send a clear message! 

MORE INFORMATION:

CVS & Walgreens announce plans to dispense abortion pills after Biden FDA loosens restrictions

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TCAPP co-founder Pastor Ken Peters pushed back against the characterization in comments to local media, saying the group was simply “singing, praying, and preaching … after hours” according to KREM2 News, a Spokane-based CBS affiliate.

TCAPP had been under strict orders after a September 2020 court decision (which was extended the following year) to keep at least 35 feet away from the abortion facility and refrain from making any noise between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

READ: Judge forces Planned Parenthood protesters to move across the street, start hour later

In remarks to CNA on February 7, Esther Ripplinger, executive director of the pro-life group Human Life of Washington, called the financial penalty “an attack on pro-life, period.”

“It’s an attack on life and it’s unfair. And it’s singled out. These are just trumped-up charges and I hope that they fight it to the fullest extent of the law,” she said.

According to Ripplinger, the church didn’t violate any laws by holding their pro-life services. Instead, the court rulings against them were instances of “a witch hunt against the organizers and against what they believe, and it’s not fair.”

She told CNA she attended one of the group’s monthly meet-ups years ago and “saw firsthand that this group abides by the law.”

“They are on public property and very courteous to anyone,” she said, backing up Peters’ contention that the group meets “in the evenings after hours, so there’s no disruption to the business whatsoever.”

Meanwhile, Father Darrin Connall, vicar general for the Diocese of Spokane, told the outlet that he wasn’t familiar with the laws the TCAPP allegedly broke and wasn’t sure whether the church group was going about its pro-life activism in the most effective way. Still, he said the hefty financial penalty appeared “excessive and punitive.”

In a February 3 Facebook post, Pastor Peters criticized the financial penalties, arguing his “little church” was engaged in “peaceful assembly” and that the $850,000 would primarily go toward “corrupt lawyer’s fees.”

Those fines won’t stop them from their pro-life services, though.

“We are restarting again March 14 at 7 p.m.,” he said. “See you there, Pacific NW. It ain’t over.”

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