This Latest Effort to Close Abortion Clinics Is the Strangest One Yet
An anti-abortion group backed by a billionaire fracking tycoon has embarked on an unusual campaign to shut down abortion clinics: direct mailing DVDs to lawyers in order to entice them to sue doctors.
This unorthodox legal strategy is a new twist on a strategy long employed by Life Dynamics, an anti-abortion group based in Denton, Texas. Two decades ago, the group’s president, Mark Crutcher, began a mail and advertising campaign urging lawyers to take up malpractice lawsuits against abortion providers. The organization’s manuals for attorneys argued that these suits could be used to “force abortionists out of business by driving up their insurance rates.” Crutcher’s campaign was never successful, but he’s still at it—now sending slick DVDs sent to tens of thousands of lawyers.
In the videos, two actors made to look like television news anchors allege that there’s a “child sex abuse scandal” underway. They claim that most minors who become pregnant are not impregnated by a peer, but by an older man. Thus, any pregnant teen should be treated as if there is “reasonable suspicion of child sexual abuse,” they contend. The 11-minute DVD urges lawyers to sue abortion providers, on the premise that clinics are potentially covering up the crime of statutory rape.