A Brunswick pastor preaching outside Portland’s Planned Parenthood abortion clinic Tuesday was told by police that he was violating the Maine Civil Rights Act and may be subject to arrest or other civil enforcement measures.
The pastor, John Andrade of Pro-Life Missionaries of Maine, frequently preaches outside of the Congress St. abortion clinic using a small microphone and amplifier.
Andrade told the Maine Wire that he has had countless interactions with the Portland Police, and that last week he was approached by officers alongside Maine Assistant Attorney General Leanne Robbin and other staff from the Attorney General’s office.
Andrade was warned that due to his use of amplification, he may be in violation of a provision in the Maine Civil Rights Act designed to protect patients from interference when receiving health services.
Despite the warning, Andrade returned to preach outside of the clinic on Tuesday — when he was told again by a Portland Police officer that his actions violate the Maine Civil Rights Act, and that he may be subject to arrest.
The provision of the Maine Civil Rights Act in question, a responding officer told the Maine Wire, prohibits “intentionally making a noise that can be heard within a building” with the further intent to either “jeopardize the health of persons receiving health services within the building,” or “to interfere with the safe and effective delivery of those services within the building.”
Both U.S. Attorney for the District of Maine Darcie McElwee and Maine Attorney General Aaron Frey have affirmed that this provision regarding “health services” applies to abortion clinics.
“We want it known that our offices will not allow any interference in the rights of citizens to access abortion services in Maine,” Maine Attorney General Aaron Frey said in a Dec. 2022 press release. “Our offices will not hesitate to take every legal action to ensure the free access to reproductive health care and legal abortion services.”
In 2015, then-Attorney General Janet Mills filed a Civil Rights Act complaint against against a protestor who was yelling towards the second floor of the Portland Planned Parenthood facility.
“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 in a Nov. 2015 press release. “While protestors 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.”
While Andrade was not arrested on Tuesday, he told one of the responding officers that he was not sure if he was going to comply with the officer’s order to stop using amplification.
Andrade told the Maine Wire that he is willing to be arrested, because “this is a fight that’s worth having.”
“I’m ready to just stand and come what may, because this can’t be tolerated in our city,” he said.
“Planned Parenthood isn’t concerned with life, they’re concerned with killing people,” he said. “And they have a lot of sway, a lot of people in their pockets, and when they snap their fingers and they don’t want somebody around, they have the authority to move mountains — but we’re one that isn’t going to be moved.”
The Brunswick pastor explained that he is not “just trying to get a rise out of people,” but “trying to glorify the Lord Jesus.”
“We’re trying to expose this horrific, demonic world of child sacrifice — we want it out of our city,” Andrade said. “We want the city to be freed from the amount of bloodshed that is on their hands just from being in the vicinity of it, and it’s in the epicenter of the town.”
While preaching outside of the Portland abortion clinic, Andrade has been assaulted and verbally accosted by passersby — interactions that are documented and posted regularly on the Pro-Life Missionaries of Maine Facebook page.
In June, the Maine Wire reported on a pro-abortion Satanist that confronted Andrade, shouted profanities at him, and then walked away down Congress St. yelling “Hail Satan!”