Judge stops Portland police from using noise law to quiet anti-abortion protests


A federal judge ordered police on Monday to stop using a noise provision in the Maine Civil Rights Act to keep anti-abortion protesters from shouting so loudly that they can be heard inside the Planned Parenthood clinic in downtown Portland.

U.S. District Chief Judge Nancy Torresen issued a preliminary injunction in a lawsuit brought by Andrew March in December. He argued that police who told him to quiet down outside Planned Parenthood’s office in Monument Square last year targeted him because of his anti-abortion message and violated his constitutional rights to free speech.

March, pastor of the Lewiston church Cell 53, filed his lawsuit as a counterclaim after the Maine Attorney General’s Office brought a suit in state court against Brian Ingalls, a member of the Cell 53 congregation.



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