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Libertad v. Welch

53 F.3d 428 (1st Cir. 1995)

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Libertad v. Welch

United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit

53 F.3d 428 (1st Cir. 1995)

Facts

A number of individuals, including Lydia Libertad and Emilia Emancipación (pseudonyms); pro-abortion-rights organizations; and healthcare workers (women’s-rights advocates) (plaintiffs) brought an action under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) against a number of anti-abortion-rights groups and some of their members (antiabortion advocates) (defendants). The antiabortion advocates engaged in five protests over the course of three months at several women’s health clinics. The protests went beyond mere protesting, and the antiabortion advocates engaged in physical violence, intimidation, property damage, and blockading of access to the clinics. The fifth protest, on January 8, 1993, was the most aggressive and included participation from all of the antiabortion advocates against which the RICO claim was filed. On this day, the women’s-rights advocates filed an action for a temporary restraining order, a preliminary injunction, and a permanent injunction to enjoin such conduct on the part of the antiabortion advocates. Ultimately, the district court granted summary judgment in favor of the antiabortion advocates because there was not a threat of continued activity. However, the antiabortion advocates had indicated that they planned to continue their efforts regarding the operation of women’s health clinics that provide abortion services. The women’s-rights advocates appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Torruella, J.)

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