Perspective on Civil Liberties Many people confuse the terms civil liberties and civil rights and use them interchangeably, even though their definitions differ. Civil liberties are individual freedoms and rights guaranteed to every citizen by the Bill of Rights and the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. These rights include freedom of religion, speech, and the press and the considerations given to defendants accused of crimes. In recent years, such rights as privacy, abortion, and even death itself have come under the heading of civil liberties. Civil rights, on the other hand, deal with the protection of citizens against discrimination due to race, ethnicity, gender, or disability. These protections come from the constitutional amendments following the Bill of Rights.
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