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Expecting the unexpected: Nonprofit media responses to anti-abortion terrorism
Unformatted Document Text:  Running head: RESPONSES TO ANTI-ABORTION TERRORISM Judiciary Committee, sought to expand the definition of the state’s “justifiable homicide” statute to include individuals who commit murder in defense of a fetus. This bill seeks to justify violence against abortion providers by providing a legitimate legal defense for perpetrators of violence against health care providers. Again, non-profit women’s rights organizations successfully responded to this crisis by implementing a public campaign, which resulted in the indefinite postponement of a House vote on the bill (Sulzberger, 2011). Nonprofit organizations dedicated to women’s issues responded in force to rally public support against bills of this kind. One example of the activist response to the GOP agenda included a MoveOn.org Political Action advertisement, “We Won’t Go Back,” about the consequences of the GOP’s position on women’s health. The ad was released to MoveOn.org’s 5 million members, viewed by 205, 963 users on YouTube, and earned national media coverage on major networks, such as MSNBC (O’Donnell, 2011). The commercial features actor Lisa Edelstein 2 , who walks toward a closet door and opens it to reveal a single wire hanger. Edelstein asks: Only decades ago, women suffered through horrifying back alley abortions or they used dangerous methods when they had no other recourse so when the Republican party launched an all-out assault on women’s health, pushing bills to limit access to vital services, we had to ask: why is the GOP trying to send women back... to the back alley? Prior to Roe v. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court case that legalized abortion, the number of illegal abortions was estimated at 1.2 million per year (Tietze & Henshaw, 1986). After Roe in 1973, abortion deaths plummeted fivefold in a twelve-year span (Coble et al., 1992). 2 Actor Lisa Edelstein plays Dr. Cuddy on the television series, House. 3

Authors: Sundstrom, Beth., Briones, Rowena. and Janoske, Melissa.
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Running head: RESPONSES TO ANTI-ABORTION TERRORISM
Judiciary Committee, sought to expand the definition of the state’s “justifiable homicide” statute 
to include individuals who commit murder in defense of a fetus. This bill seeks to justify 
violence against abortion providers by providing a legitimate legal defense for perpetrators of 
violence against health care providers. Again, non-profit women’s rights organizations 
successfully responded to this crisis by implementing a public campaign, which resulted in the 
indefinite postponement of a House vote on the bill (Sulzberger, 2011). 
Nonprofit organizations dedicated to women’s issues responded in force to rally public 
support against bills of this kind. One example of the activist response to the GOP agenda 
included a MoveOn.org Political Action advertisement, “We Won’t Go Back,” about the 
consequences of the GOP’s position on women’s health. The ad was released to MoveOn.org’s 5 
million members, viewed by 205, 963 users on YouTube, and earned national media coverage on 
major networks, such as MSNBC (O’Donnell, 2011). The commercial features actor Lisa 
Edelstein
, who walks toward a closet door and opens it to reveal a single wire hanger. Edelstein 
asks:
Only decades ago, women suffered through horrifying back alley abortions or they used 
dangerous methods when they had no other recourse so when the Republican party 
launched an all-out assault on women’s health, pushing bills to limit access to vital 
services, we had to ask: why is the GOP trying to send women back... to the back alley?
Prior to Roe v. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court case that legalized abortion, the number of 
illegal abortions was estimated at 1.2 million per year (Tietze & Henshaw, 1986). After Roe in 
1973, abortion deaths plummeted fivefold in a twelve-year span (Coble et al., 1992).
2
 
Actor Lisa Edelstein plays Dr. Cuddy on the television series, House.
 
3


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