High court to hear NOW’s RICO case against pro-lifers
The United States Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case, National Organization for Women (NOW) v. Scheidler, which will decide whether abortion clinics can use the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) to stop pro-life activities such as blockades and rescues.
Defendants in this case include Monica Migliorino Miller, wife of Edmund Miller, a former Catholic League staff writer. She was the author of the May, 1988 Catholic League supplement article, “Pro-abortion Nuns and the Will to Power.”
Monica Migliorino Miller and several others retrieved aborted babies from medical disposal drums at the Vital-Med Laboratory in Chicago in 1988 and arranged for their burial.
NOW and several abortion clinics are alleging that RICO should apply to pro-lifers because their activities constitute a conspiracy to disrupt abortion clinics and put them out of business.
“The RICO claim in this case poses a threat to every social protest group in the country,” said Walter Weber, a long time friend and former Associate General Counsel of the Catholic League. In his capacity as Litigation Counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice, Weber is assisting Randall Terry, Operation Rescue and Project Life, who are all defendants in the case.
“This lawsuit is unimpeachable proof of the lengths to which abor- tion rights supporters will go to derail the pro-life movement.” according to Craig Parshall, the Rutherford Institute attorney assisting Monica Migliorino Miller.
Observers feel that the court has agreed to hear the case because the justices want to resolve an issue that has split a number of lower courts. The present case was appealed by NOW from a decision of the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals which is located in Chicago.