By Jeffrey Bruno/shutterstock.com
There was a big win for pro-life members of a Christian Church in Brooklyn recently. These church members are celebrating their win after a long-fought battle with the state of New York that lasted for years. The state had accused these believers of using violence and threats outside of an abortion clinic in the borough of Queens.
The state of New York brought the lawsuit against Rev. Kenneth Griepp and they also named ten members of his Church At The Rock which is located in Brooklyn’s southeastern Canarsie neighborhood.
Members of the Church At The Rock united as pro-life advocates and together fought the legal battle for four and a half years after they were named in a federal lawsuit against them in June 2017. Former New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman filed a federal lawsuit against the church members.
The pastor and his members were represented by the Thomas More Society. They argued that the case was an “assault” on their First Amendment rights.
As a group, the pro-life members served as sidewalk counselors and they had been coming to Choices Women’s Medical Center in Jamaica, Queens, on Saturday mornings. They were there to offer information and alternatives to abortion since 2012, and they maintained a peaceful presence according to their attorneys.
But the former New York attorney general accused the group of harassing women who were entering the abortion facility.
After the court proceedings, the state filed a dismissal of the charges that were brought to the federal district court. Stephen Crampton, the Thomas More Society Senior Counsel, said in a statement that they were pleased to see the state of New York had finally come to its senses and dismissed the baseless charges.
“Justice has finally prevailed,” the attorney said.
Stephen Crampton noted that the state went after this case aggressively using hidden cameras and undercover investigators. Crampton said that the investigators even used a fake Facebook account that was set up to draw in pro-life advocates. The state used all these means to find evidence of broken laws. He said that they did not come up with anything, but that did not stop them from continuing to persecute “these gentle Christians.”
It was back in August that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit surprisingly reversed its decision and sided with a lower court ruling which was given in favor of the pastor and his church members.
Crampton maintains that the case should never have been brought in the first place. He maintained that the pro-abortion lobby is extremely powerful in the State of New York. He also called politicians like former Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and current Attorney General Letitia James classless and “happy to waste hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars prosecuting – or persecuting – Christians seeking to exercise fundamental First Amendment rights on the public sidewalks.”
Crampton said that the church-goers’ only crime was to speak out for the unborn and that doing this is both unpopular and dangerous in New York City.
On the website of The Church At The Rock, the church is described as a non-denominational Christian Church. It says that the pastors are “committed to presenting the truth each week without compromise through preaching and teaching based upon the Word of God.”
It was in response to the pastor’s teaching that the congregation decided nine years ago to go out on Saturday mornings to one of the largest abortion clinics in New York City. They united together to plead with both moms and dads to save the lives of their unborn children. They came with information but also were ready to help with any of their needs.
He said his members were peaceful, law-abiding Christians who cared deeply for the innocent children in the womb.
The dismissal of this case is just the next step in the pro-life movement to end abortion in the land.