U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Politics, Culture, and Political Crime: Covariates of Abortion Clinic Attacks in the United States

NCJ Number
219578
Journal
Journal of Criminal Justice Volume: 35 Issue: 3 Dated: May/June 2007 Pages: 323-336
Author(s)
Joshua D. Freilich; William Alex Pridemore
Date Published
May 2007
Length
14 pages
Annotation
This study examined crime and violence against abortion clinics in order to test elements of several theories that might help explain the variation in such attacks.
Abstract
None of the independent variables--female empowerment, traditional fundamentalist religious culture, hospitable religious climate, legislative failure of the antiabortion movement in the State, practical failure of the antiabortion movement, prior right-wing mobilization, and social control and social disorganization--were significantly associated with the cross-sectional variation of overall crime or overall violence against abortion providers. One interpretation of this finding is that rare seriously violent antiabortion crimes are committed by a few individuals who travel from place to place, so these events are less likely to be linked to local characteristics where the targeted clinics are located. States with higher gender economic equity had fewer vandalism incidents against clinics; States with higher abortion rates had more vandalism against clinics; and States with higher levels of violence against women had higher levels of vandalism against abortion clinics. Suggestions are offered for future research. Data on crimes against abortion clinics were obtained from the Feminist Majority Foundation's 2000 National Clinic Violence Survey Report. This survey is the Nation's most comprehensive study of antiabortion violence, harassment, and intimidation directed at abortion clinics, patients, and health care workers. The article explains the measures and associated data sources for each of the aforementioned independent variables. 3 tables, 4 notes, and 83 references