Document Type

Article

Abstract

This article discusses the need for federal protection of women seeking abortion-related services and the denial of protection of those women by the Supreme Court's narrow holding in Bray. Part II examines the precedents leading up to the Bray decision. A review of these cases demonstrates that Operation Rescue is a national conspiracy aimed at eliminating the right to abortion. The group uses physical force and blockades clinics in order to deny women and health care workers access to these facilities. In light of the inability or unwillingness of local law enforcement agencies to provide access to the clinics and to protect women seeking abortions, the injunctions issued under § 1985(3) provided a needed federal remedy for constitutional violations. Part III analyzes the opinions in the Bray case in light of the legislative history of § 1985(3). A review of the legislative history of the statute supports the view that § 1985(3) was intended to have a broad reach, encompassing conspiracies to deprive persons of constitutional rights without reference to the invidiously discriminatory animus requirement of Griffin or the limited holding in Scott . Part IV discusses the proposed Freedom of Access Bill and concludes that there is a constitutional basis for such legislation.