“If Abortions Aren’t Safe, Neither Are You:” A Mixed-Method Study of Jane’s Revenge and Other Post-Dobbs Militancy
Keywords:Autonomous Cells, Abortion, Radicalization Theory, Communiqués, Courts
Due to the US Supreme Court’s important policymaking role, landmark decisions can contribute to processes of radicalization or deradicalization. This article focuses on the impact of the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision on radicalization at the individual- or small group-level. In overturning Roe v. Wade, Dobbs held there is no constitutional right to abortion, thus permitting states to heavily restrict or ban the procedure. In the decades after Roe, anti-abortion terrorists killed at least eleven people in the US, including four physicians, and committed numerous bombings and assaults. In the months after a draft of Dobbs was leaked in May 2022, dozens of pro-life pregnancy centers and Catholic churches were targeted in arsons or vandalism attacks. An anonymous group calling itself Jane’s Revenge released communiqués claiming responsibility for some attacks and calling for “increasingly extreme tactics.” This article presents a mixed-method study of this new phenomenon. This includes building and analyzing a database (n=152) of post-Dobbs criminal incidents motivated by support for abortion rights, and examining communiqués authored by Jane’s Revenge or other militant pro-choice groups or individuals (n=20). Results are analyzed in light of radicalization theory, and prospects for future radicalization or deradicalization on both sides are discussed.
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