Planned Parenthood is on the defensive in Indiana after a pro-life group’s undercover work led to a state fraud investigation and a judge’s decision ordering the agency to turn over medical records for abortions done on girls under the age of 14.
Mark Crutcher, author of a new handbook that aims to re-energize and equip the pro-life movement, sparked the Indiana probe and others like it across the nation with a well-documented survey revealing virtually all Planned Parenthood affiliates fail to report clear cases of statutory rape to authorities.
Girls under age 14 are presumed to be victims of rape, but Planned Parenthood argues that compliance with the underage reporting law would breach the doctor-patient confidentiality agreement.
Nevertheless, Crutcher, president of Texas-based Life Dynamics, insists Planned Parenthood understands the law, noting his group has a tape recording of the abortion provider’s top two national attorneys admitting that child-abuse reporting laws override confidentiality requirements in every state.
Planned Parenthood is preparing an appeal of the May 30 ruling by Judge Kenneth H. Johnson of Marion Superior Court, who said in his 23-page decision, “The great public interest in the reporting, investigation and prosecution of child abuse trumps even the patient’s interest in privileged communication with her physician, because in the end, both the patient and the state are benefited by the disclosure.”
Betty Cockrum, CEO of Planned Parenthood of Indiana, told the New York Times she’s fighting the ruling to protect the 100,000 patients who went to the 40 Indiana health centers last year.
“It’s surprising and disappointing,” Cockrum said. “Patients beyond Planned Parenthood’s are looking at this decision with some anxiety. People believe their medical records are sacred.”
A similar case is pending in Kansas before the state Supreme Court.
In addition to the Planned Parenthood probe, Crutcher’s Life Dynamics brought about the 1999 congressional hearings on the sale of aborted baby parts. His unique 1996 book, “Lime 5: Exploited by Choice,” documented that women are being sexually assaulted, mutilated and killed inside legal abortion clinics in numbers never before been made public.
Staying on message
In his latest book, “On Message: Understanding and Communicating the Pro-Life Position,” Crutcher provides succinct responses to 90 arguments commonly posed by abortion-rights activists.
He believes the handbook comes at a time of unprecedented opportunity for the pro-life cause.
But Crutcher contends that since the Supreme Court’s landmark Roe v. Wade decision in 1973 overturning all state laws banning abortion, the movement has strayed from the simple message that life begins at conception and, therefore, must be protected from that moment.
“If you go back to the early years of the movement, the message was, ‘We must stop abortion, period,’” Crutcher explained in a WorldNetDaily interview. “But over that period, we’ve drifted, we’ve compromised, allowing abortion for this reason or that reason.”
He contends there is no such position as “pro-life with exceptions.”
In his introduction, he asserts the “exceptions” arguments can be exposed as fraudulent by simply paraphrasing them — such as in the case of rape, saying, “I am pro-life, but I think it should be legal to butcher babies who were conceived in rape.”
The arguments in the book, presented in an easy-to-read format, are vital, Crutcher believes, because the pro-life struggle is a grass-roots campaign that will be won by people talking to their co-workers, relatives, friends and neighbors.
“We’ve got to stay on our message, the fundamental pro-life view,” he said. “I’ve just seen so many instances where people who call themselves pro-life are so far away from the pro-life position that it means nothing.”
One reason he wrote the book is because of a new generation of activists.
“We have all these polls showing we have an enormous influx of young people coming into the pro-life movement,” he said. “It’s incumbent on those of us who have been around for a while to educate these people.”
But the book has been helpful even to pro-life advocates active for many years.
A 20-year veteran of the movement, noted Crutcher, said she got the book for her daughter but decided to read it first to make sure it contained nothing inappropriate for young people.
The woman didn’t anticipate learning anything, he said, but after reading it, commented, “I was astonished at what I didn’t know, and I was astonished to see what were very simple no-nonsense answers to questions.”
Topics include contraception, women’s rights, “back-alley abortions,” sex education, constitutional rights and overpopulation.
Crutcher believes the abortion-rights movement has been able to gain ground because of its “lockhold” on the American media.
“The mainstream media has been a giant newsletter for the pro-abortion lobby,” he said.
But Crutcher also belives pro-lifers have been misguided in their strategies.
“People have said erroneously, if we can soften the pro-life edge a little bit, we’ll make it more palitable,” he explained. “But all you’ve done is confuse people.”
The genius of the pro-abortion movement, he says, is they have been unwilling to compromise.
“If a state proposes the most innocuous, meaningless restriction on abortion, these people fight it like it’s a complete ban,” Crutcher said.
In contrast, the pro-life side has been willing to compromise by allowing exceptions, such as the health of the mother and fetal deformity.
“In the process, what we did was confuse the American people,” said Crutcher. “If we had stuck to our guns, to say absolutely no abortion during the nine months of pregnancy, I think we would have won this a long time ago.”
When the American people are given too many different options, he added, they “look at it and say, that’s too complicated and don’t make a decision.”
“The irony,” Crutcher continued, “is that it’s been pro-lifers who are most willing to compromise, but when you take a poll of the American people, asking which side seems to be the most intractable, the vast majority would say us, despite the fact that we are the ones to compromise.
The incremental approach, he maintains, has “cost us enormously.”
“We started over 30 years ago to return legal protection to unborn children,” he said. “But after an enormous amount of money, unimaginable man hours, going to jail, divorces, we have not returned legal protection to one baby in one state yet.”
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Crutcher said some pro-lifer leaders are promoting his new book to their own people, who find the responses to be compelling ways to articulate their beliefs.
“I honestly think I completely blow [the opposition] out of the water,” Crutcher declared.
For example, he said, abortion-rights advocates argue abortion is necessary to curb many social problems brought about by parents who believe they’re unable to cope with having a child.
“But every one of these social problems got worse when abortion was made legal,” he said, noting government statistics show child abuse up ten-fold in recent years.
Crutcher also argues it’s a fallacy that abortion serves the interest of women.
“If you look at history of feminism in America, abortion serves the interest of predatory men,” he said, pointing out the highest percentage of support that comes from males.
Looking to the future, Crutcher said it’s a misconception that simply overturning Roe v. Wade would end abortion.
“Nothing could be further from the truth,” he said. “All it will do is send it back to the states, many of which have codified Roe in their constitutions.”
However, it would be a substantial victory for the pro-life movement if the justices overturned Roe because the case doesn’t recognize the unborn child as a human being, Crutcher said.
“What we have to keep ultimately striving for is the biological reality that life begins at conception. Any other point is strictly abitrary.”
Get “On Message: The Pro-Life Handbook” from ShopNetDaily.