49 Wash. & Lee L. Rev. 237 (1992)
Protection of Constitutional Guarantees under 42 U.S.C. Section 1985(3): Operation Rescue's Summer of Mercy

handle is hein.journals/waslee49 and id is 249 raw text is: PROTECTION OF CONSTITUTIONAL GUARANTEES
UNDER 42 U.S.C. SECTION 1985(3): OPERATION
RESCUE'S SUMMER OF MERCY
[I]f you believe abortion is murder, you must act like it's murder.'
These words, uttered by Randall Terry, the National Director and Founder
of the antiabortion group Operation Rescue, are but one example of the
intensity and passion that continue to permeate the abortion debate.2 Al-
though the Supreme Court has long revered freedom of speech and freedom
of association,3 when such rights incite unlawful conspiratorial actions
1. Nightline: Kansas Judge vs. Operation Rescue and Bush Administration (ABC
television broadcast, Aug. 6, 1991) (statement attributed to Randall Terry) [hereinafter Night-
line] (unofficial transcript of television show available on LEXIS, Nexis library). During a
recent talk show appearance, Randall Terry ended the interview on a highly emotional note
crying Abortion is murder! If we don't bring an end to it, our country is going to be
destroyed! Randall Terry on Donahue: War in Wichita: Pro-Life versus Pro-Choice at 16
(Multimedia Entertainment television broadcast, Sept. 6, 1991) [hereinafter Donahue].
2. See Susan B. Apel, Operation Rescue and the Necessity Defense: Beginning a Feminist
Deconstruction, 48 WASH. & LEE L. REv. 41, 41 n.1 (1991) (noting that Randall Terry founded
Operation Rescue); See NOW v. Operation Rescue, 726 F. Supp. 1483, 1488 (E.D. Va. 1989)
(recognizing Randall Terry as Operation Rescue's National Director), aff'd, 914 F.2d 582 (4th
Cir. 1990), cert. granted sub nom. Bray v. Alexandria Women's Health Clinic, 111 S. Ct.
1070 (1991). Operation Rescue is an association whose immediate goal is the prevention of
abortions and whose ultimate goal is the eventual illegalization of abortions. See NOW, 914
F.2d at 584 (describing organizational purposes of Operation Rescue). As defined in the
antiabortion organization's literature, rescues entail physically blockading abortion mills
with [human] bodies, to intervene between abortionists and the innocent victims. NOW, 726
F. Supp. at 1488 (quoting from pamphlet entitled OPERATION REscUe, NATIONAL DAY OF
REscuE-OCToBER 29, 1988). The purpose of these rescues is to shut down the targeted
facilities completely. See id. (noting that design of rescue demonstrations is to prevent abortion
clinic facilities from operating). Because Operation Rescue members truly believe that abortion
is the brutal murder of innocent children, they do not hesitate risking their bodies during the
demonstrations. See Donahue, supra note 1, at 3 (describing actions of Operation Rescue
demonstrators during abortion clinic blockades). Although the current debate centers around
the prevention of abortions only, Randall Terry and Operation Rescue's ultimate agenda
includes the illegalization of so-called abortifacient devices including the birth control pill and
the intrauterine device or IUD. Id. at 4. According to Terry, because the medical community
does not view the condom as an abortive form of contraception, in the eyes of Operation
Rescue, its use is permissible. Id. at 5.
This Note focuses on the activities of the antiabortion group Operation Rescue because
of its highly controversial tactic of blockading access to abortion clinics beginning during the
1988 Democratic National Convention held in Atlanta, Georgia. See LAURENCE H. TRIBE,
ABORTION: THE CLASH OF ABsoLuTms 172 (1990) (discussing Operation Rescue). This Note does
not assess any of the civil disobedience or free speech issues associated with the tactics
employed by the organization in its nationwide effort to prevent abortions. For a discussion
of such topics, see John W. Whitehead, Civil Disobedience and Operation Rescue: A Historical
and Theoretical Analysis, 48 WAsH. & LEE L. REv. 77 (1991).
3. See NAACP v. Alabama, 357 U.S. 449, 460 (1958) (noting that Fourteenth Amend-
ment embraces freedom of speech and recognizing close nexus between freedom of speech and

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