WASHINGTON, April 22, 2002 ( – In a blow to the pro-abortion movement, the US Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case of two pro-life groups who were sued under racketeering law for damaging the business of abortionists by blocking abortuary entrances. Despite the free speech issues involved and the similarities between the pro-life protests and those of the civil rights movement, last year the US Court of Appeals upheld a lower court judgment in favour of the abortionists.

The case involves a suit by the National Organization of Women and various abortionists against the pro-life groups Pro-Life Action League and its leaders and Operation Rescue. Lawyers for the pro-life groups pointed out that the lower courts allowed “guilt by association” in the trials by admitting testimony against an unrelated website which listed the names of abortionists. Moreover they pointed out that the racketeering law was designed to combat organized crime and drug dealers and to be used by government and not interested parties.

See the Reuters coverage: