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Expecting the unexpected: Nonprofit media responses to anti-abortion terrorism
Unformatted Document Text:  Running head: RESPONSES TO ANTI-ABORTION TERRORISM Expecting the unexpected: Nonprofit media responses to anti-abortion terrorism Beth Sundstrom, Rowena Briones, and Melissa Janoske University of Maryland Abstract This study explored crisis management through the lens of complexity theory to understand six nonprofit organizations’ communication responses to anti-abortion terrorism. A qualitative content analysis of 277 news releases, news articles and tweets revealed that organizations made meaning of anti-abortion terrorism through the duality, strength and intensity of the discussion, and the issue of abortion as a woman’s right. Twitter served as a strange attractor, where the concept of interacting agents emerged as a key component of relationship building. Findings suggest practical implications for anti-abortion counterterrorism and crisis management, provide opportunities to develop communication counter measures, and expand complexity theory. Keywords: Crisis communication, chaos, complexity theory, public health, terrorism 1

Authors: Sundstrom, Beth., Briones, Rowena. and Janoske, Melissa.
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Running head: RESPONSES TO ANTI-ABORTION TERRORISM
Expecting the unexpected: 
Nonprofit media responses to anti-abortion terrorism
Beth Sundstrom, Rowena Briones, and Melissa Janoske
University of Maryland
Abstract
This study explored crisis management through the lens of complexity theory to understand six 
nonprofit organizations’ communication responses to anti-abortion terrorism. A qualitative 
content analysis of 277 news releases, news articles and tweets revealed that organizations made 
meaning of anti-abortion terrorism through the duality, strength and intensity of the discussion, 
and the issue of abortion as a woman’s right. Twitter served as a strange attractor, where the 
concept of interacting agents emerged as a key component of relationship building. Findings 
suggest practical implications for anti-abortion counterterrorism and crisis management, provide 
opportunities to develop communication counter measures, and expand complexity theory.
Keywords: Crisis communication, chaos, complexity theory, public health, terrorism 
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