Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Bartkowski, John P.

Committee Member

Loewe, Ron

Committee Member

Estes, Yolanda

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Abortion remains a controversial contemporary social issue, spawning disparate and strongly held opinions among the American public. Pro-life activists play a central role in opposing abortion, mobilizing a disinterested public to public activism, and collectively working to restrict abortion access. This study focused on pro-life activism in Mississippi, the state with the most restrictive laws governing abortion, abortion clinics, and abortion doctors. Contrary to previous studies and media portrayals that homogenize pro-life activists and public pro-life activism, I find that diversity, rather than consensus, characterizes Mississippi pro-life activists who engage in public activism and direct action to stop abortion. Specifically, this study focuses on the diversity in turning points that propel activists into public activism, the multivalent ways activists construct abortion as a moral problem, and the ways activists create and use strategies of action to disseminate their worldviews and to stop abortion.