Beating Abortion: Killing the Industry's Lifeline

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DENTON, Texas -- For decades, the fight against abortion has focused on protests, prayer, and elections. Now the strategy is to go after the lifeline of the abortion industry -- its money and its workers. And the new strategy is getting results.

"Since 1992, two-thirds of the abortion clinics in America have shut down permanently," Mark Crutcher, founder and president of Life Dynamics Inc., said.

Crutcher and his organization, headquartered in Denton, Texas, have been fighting hard against the abortion industry for the past three decades. In 1992, there were more than 2,100 clinics open. Today, there are fewer than 650. 

It was a recent Life Dynamics video in which three former workers describe the horrors at a Houston abortion clinic performing late-term abortions that helped inspire the Texas legislature and Texas Gov. Rick Perry to pass tough, new regulations on clinics in July.

Another tactic of the group is to present information about hundreds of women who've died from botched abortions in recent years.

The fact that the procedure sometimes leads to the death of the mother surprises many people who've assumed since abortion is legal, it must be safe. 

One grieving mother actually pushed Crutcher and Life Dynamics to spread photos of her deceased daughter, a victim of a botched abortion.

Warning: these are graphic, autopsy photos

"This is what it looks like when a girl walks in to exercise her so-called constitutional right to have an abortion and climbs up on an abortionist's table, and two hours later is on a coroner's table," Crutcher pointed out about the photos.

Crippling the Abortion Industry

Life Dynamics' latest strategy could cost the industry billions of dollars, possibly crippling it. It involves shining a light on a rarely reported crime: many females seeking abortions are underage girls made pregnant by grown men.

"Sixty to 80 percent of them were impregnated by adult men. So it's statutory rape and sexual abuse and aggravated sexual abuse of minors," Crutcher explained.

By law, abortion clinics must report such crimes when an underage victim comes to them. But Life Dynamics' undercover investigations found otherwise.

Many clinics "are openly flaunting their state mandatory laws," Crutcher said. "They're not reporting these situations. They're protecting the predators."

On the website ChildPredators.com, Life Dynamics posted transcripts and voice recordings from a sting it launched against abortion clinics.

In them, a young woman posing as a pregnant teen is advised by clinic after clinic how to protect the man who impregnated her from the law.
 
In one such recording, the young woman asks a worker at a New Jersey clinic, "Would you have to tell anybody?" The worker replies, "Here? No. We don't tell anybody anything."

A Colorado clinic worker advises the same young woman after hearing she's 13 and her boyfriend 22.

"What you need to do is you need to call completely anonymously and talk to someone on our appointment line. And don't tell us anything about your partner," the worker advises.

Suing Abortion Clinics

Crutcher's group has reached out to more than 53,000 personal injury lawyers in this country to let them know there's money to be made by suing abortion clinics over their failure to report sexual crimes involving adult males and minor females.

"You're talking about thousands of new victims every day," Crutcher said. "So you're looking at something that could easily be $25 or $30 billion before it's all over."

Life Dynamics is offering lawyers and law firms a free television ad to help them reach these underage victims.

In part it says, "If you are one of these children or the parents of one of these children, your legal rights might have been violated."

It then recommends calling a number that each lawyer or law firm can have superimposed on the free ad.

Since beginning this campaign to go after the abortion industry, Crutcher said lawyers have been ringing his phone off the hook.

Helping Workers Quit

Hundreds of miles away in the Austin suburb of Round Rock, Texas, one of the pro-life movement's more controversial figures pursues a different tactic.

Abby Johnson, herself a former director of a Planned Parenthood facility, wants to convince abortion clinic employees to quit. She started an organization last summer to help them do so.

"There are probably about 3,200 abortion clinic workers in the United States and we've already reached 50," Johnson said of workers who've quit after contact with her group. "So we've almost reached two percent of that population in a year."

Johnson worked for Planned Parenthood for eight years, the last of those as a director at their Bryan, Texas, clinic. But she suddenly quit in 2009 and began working with the pro-life group, 40 Days for Life.

Other pro-abortion defectors in the past have made a good living doing speeches and appearances before pro-life groups, which is pretty much what Johnson is doing full-time now.

But she insists her goal is much bigger than making money. She said she has a vision to help kill off the very abortion industry she once worked for.

Witness to Death

Johnson tells in her autobiographical book, Unplanned, how her pro-choice outlook changed when a visiting abortionist to her clinic asked her to do something unexpected during a day in September 2009 -- help with an ultrasound during an abortion.

"I was holding the ultrasound probe," Johnson told CBN News. "And I stood there and watched as a 13-week-old unborn child fought and struggled for his life during that abortion."

Johnson related how Planned Parenthood told its people to inform clients that young fetuses couldn't feel pain. But that didn't fit with what Johnson saw as she watched the abortion.

In Unplanned, she describes what happened as the tube used to suction out the unborn baby approached him.

"As the cannula pressed in, the baby began struggling to turn and twist away. It seemed clear to me that the fetus could feel the cannula and did not like the feeling," she writes.

A few seconds later Johnson saw "the cannula was already being rotated by the doctor, and now I could see the tiny body violently twisting with it."

"For the briefest moment, it looked as if the baby were being wrung like a dishcloth, twirled and squeezed," she said. "And then the little body crumpled and began disappearing into the cannula before my eyes."

Starving Abortion Clinics
 
Johnson told CBN News she knew at that moment she'd been lied to by Planned Parenthood.

"But then I, in turn, had lied to thousands of women," she admitted.

She said the question she'd most been asked by women planning to get abortions was, "Will my baby feel this?"

Around the same time Johnson witnessed that abortion, she had come to realize Planned Parenthood's goal was not to make the procedure safe and rare, but to sell abortion.

"To Planned Parenthood, abortion always is the best thing for a woman," Johnson stated. "Ninety-eight percent of women who are pregnant that go into a Planned Parenthood clinic will get an abortion."

And she's come to believe one of the best ways to stop this is to starve the clinics of their employees.
 
And Then There Were None

Which was the reason to start the group And Then There Were None. It offers abortion clinic workers who will quit up to three months of financial support while they look for another job.

One of Johnson's allies in this fight is nurse Angie Andino, also a former worker at Planned Parenthood. She offered a challenge to those still at the clinics.

"Listen to your heart. Pray about it. Let God show you the truth," she said.
 
Andino fell into deep depression after her Planned Parenthood work. But she told CBN News that it lifted after God woke her up late one night and whispered, "Save the babies."
 
"And I thought, 'Wow, God. Save the babies. Okay. I don't know what that means right now, but I'm sure you're going to let me know,'" she recalled.

Then a job opened providentially at a nearby pro-life pregnancy center where Andino began a career saving and delivering thousands of babies. It was a turn-around she believes could happen for any abortion worker who flees the industry.

"Their stories can be just like that," Andino said.

And if they all fled the abortion industry, that would fulfill the vision statement of Johnson's group.

As she says: "No abortion clinic workers -- no abortion clinics -- no abortions."

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Paul  Strand

Paul Strand

CBN News Washington Sr. Correspondent

As senior correspondent in CBN's Washington, D.C., bureau, Paul Strand has covered a variety of political and social issues, with an emphasis on defense, justice, and Congress.  Follow Paul on Twitter @PaulStrandCBN and "like" him at Facebook.com/PaulStrandCBN.