FEAR AND DARKNESS: ANTI-ABORTION TERRORISM AND THE UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT
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Relative deprivation theory (Davies, 1962) suggests that acts of anti-abortion terrorism result from the general widening of the gap between the individual's goals and expectations to a point of intolerance, whereas rational choice theory (Cornish and Clarke, 1986) sees such acts as the product of the individual's cost/benefit analysis. This thesis endeavors to improve upon our knowledge of the causal mechanisms associated with anti-abortion terrorism, within the context of relative deprivation theory and rational choice theory using a macro-level research design. The results of this study suggest certain Supreme Court decisions have a significant influence on whether some within the pro-life community view the use of violence as an appropriate method of protest. Additionally, the results suggest that anti-abortion offenders make decisions according to a rational, cost/benefit analysis. This suggests that policy makers may effectively reduce the number of anti-abortion attacks by raising the penalties associated with the crime.