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Mainstream, Militant, and Extremist Antiabortion Activism

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/Proceedings - With ISBN/ISSNChapter

Publication date26/01/2023
Host publicationT&T Clark Reader in Abortion and Religion: Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Perspectives
EditorsRebecca Todd Peters, Margaret D. Kamitsuka
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherT&T Clark
Number of pages8
ISBN (print)9780567694713
<mark>Original language</mark>English


This chapter discusses how far-right Christian antiabortion groups in the United States are distinguished from more moderate ones. The objectives are the same, but Winter details how supposedly “godly” violence is a central tactic of extremist antiabortion Christian groups. The antiabortion movement can be divided up into three wings or sectors: mainstream, militant, and extremist. Yet the relationships and boundaries between these sectors and specific movements or organizations within them are blurry (both analytically and practically) and historically contingent, and they are explicitly contested within political debate, the media, movement propaganda, and scholarship. There is relative consensus on the fact that the distinctions and thus definitions of each wing are based on the distinction between ideology and tactics, and that while all oppose abortion and hold a great deal in common ideologically, they use different tactics to achieve their aim and assert that ideology, from the most mainstream and legitimate tactics to the most violent and extreme.