Civil rights complaint filed against abortion protester in Portland

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PORTLAND — Attorney General Janet Mills on Tuesday announced she has filed a complaint against a Lisbon man for allegedly violating the rights of health care patients in Portland.

The complaint alleges that on Oct. 23, 26-year-old Brian Ingalls was yelling towards the second floor of the Planned Parenthood office at 443 Congress St. so loudly “that his voice interfered with the delivery of health services,” according to a press release. Ingalls was protesting the office’s abortion services.

According the the complaint, filed under the Maine Civil Rights Act, Ingalls was warned by a police officer to stop yelling, but he persisted.

The Maine Civil Rights Act protects the rights of any person to receive any sort of medical services without disruptions caused by loud noises. The statute makes it a civil rights violation to intentionally make noise “at such a volume that it can be heard within a building where medical treatment is provided, when the violator has been warned to cease making such noise and when he has the intent to interfere with the safe and effective delivery of health services,” according to the press release.

“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. “While protesters 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.”