Bray v. Alexandria Women's Health Clinic 506 U.S. 263 (1993)

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Abortion rights supporters invoked the anticonspiracy provision of 42 U.S.C. © 1985(3) to attempt to enjoin organized anti-abortion demonstrators from protesting at abortion clinics. The statute had been interpreted in griffin v. breckenridge (1971) to require a "class-based, invidiously discriminatory animus" before covering the action of conspirators. The plaintiffs claimed that the demonstrators had the requisite animus against women. The Supreme Court, in an opinion by Justice antonin scalia, and over the full or partial dissents of four Justices, held that the demonstrations were "not directed specifically at women, but are intended to protect the victims of abortion." The animus alleged by the plaintiffs was not established, for want of the requisite focus on women as a class. The Court also found that the plaintiffs failed to allege a right protected against private encroachment, as required by the statute. The right to travel allegedly interfered with was not the target of the demonstrations.

Theodore Eisenberg

(see also: Abortion and the Constitution; Anti-abortion Movement.)