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1133 

Bray v. Alexandria’s Woman’s Health Clinic (1993)

In Brief

Bray v. Alexandria Women's Health Clinic (1993): Court rules Ku Klux Klan Act cannot be used against pro-life clinic demonstrations

A group of abortion clinics and advocacy organizations filed suit to stop Operation Rescue from conducting demonstrations which blocked access to abortion clinics, claiming the group was conspiring to deprive women of their right to abortion and violating the Civil Rights Act of 1871 (the "Ku Klux Klan Act").

The Supreme Court disagreed. In order for conduct to qualify as a conspiracy under the Act, it must be motivated by racial or other class-based discrimination and must interfere with rights that are protected against private, as well as government, encroachment. The Court concluded that Operation Rescue's activity was not based on discrimination against women and that the abortion right is a right to be free from government interference only.



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