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Inc. v. Scheidler National Organization for Women - Significance, Access V. Protest, A New Reading Of Rico, A Chilling Effect, Impact

petitioner abortion clinics health


National Organization for Women, Inc. (NOW); Delaware Women's Health Organization, Inc. (DWHO); Summit Women's Health Organization, Inc. (SWHO)


Joseph Scheidler, Pro-Life Action Network (PLAN), et al.

Petitioner's Claim

That respondents belonged to a nationwide conspiracy to shut down abortion clinics in violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) chapter of the Organized Crime Control Act of 1970.

Chief Lawyer for Petitioner

Fay Clayton

Chief Lawyer for Respondent

Robert Blakey

Justices for the Court

Harry A. Blackmun, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Anthony M. Kennedy, Sandra Day O'Connor, William H. Rehnquist (writing for the Court), Antonin Scalia, David H. Souter, John Paul Stevens, Clarence Thomas

Justices Dissenting



Washington, D.C.

Date of Decision

24 January 1994


That attempts by the anti-abortion groups in question to hinder the business of the abortion clinics constituted racketeering, even though there was no economic purpose behind such activities; therefore the respondents could be charged under the RICO provisions.

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