WASHINGTON (February 26, 2003) -- Today the Supreme Court ruled 8-1 in Scheidler v. NOW that the federal racketeering statute did not reach the activities of pro-life protestors. The ruling means that the protestors will not be subjected to heavy fines and criminal penalties under the statute.
"The pro-abortion movement has been very successful in using the courts to make changes in the law. Thankfully, this time the Supreme Court refused NOW's strategy to re-define pro-life protestors as extortionists," said Cathy Cleaver, Esq., Director of Planning and Information for the Pro-Life Secretariat of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. "Maintaining the distinction between protest and extortion is a small but meaningful legal victory for the pro-life cause."
"The National Organization for Women has done more harm for women than good by promoting abortion as a requirement for women's participation in society. As a result, women have been abandoned by their support systems at their greatest time of need and have suffered physically and emotionally. Women deserve better than this, and it is frankly gratifying to see this radical group stopped in its tracks," Cleaver said.