- Life Dynamics Inc.
Life Dynamics Inc. (LDI) is a
pro-lifeorganization founded by Mark Crutcherin 1992. It is headquartered in Denton, Texas. The organization's mottois, "Pro-Life: without compromise, without exception, without apology". [" [http://ldi.org/Pro-life_Group/ About Life Dynamics] ." (n.d.). Retrieved August 23, 2006. ]
Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) lists LDI on its "Profiles of 15 Anti-Choice Organizations". Weiss, Deborah. (2001). " [http://www.plannedparenthood.org/news-articles-press/politics-policy-issues/abortion-access/antichoice-organizations-6127.htm Profiles of 15 Anti-Choice Organizations] ." Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Retrieved August 23, 2006.] According to Planned Parenthood, LDI's income for fiscal year 2003 was $1,115,258. PPFA notes that LDI is opposed to
abortion, fetal tissue and embryonic stem cell research, Planned Parenthood, and the International Planned Parenthood Federation.
In founding Life Dynamics, Crutcher said that he wanted to fill in the gaps left by other organizations. One shortcoming he noticed was in what he called "professional
counter-intelligenceor intelligence-gathering". Thus, Crutcher focuses much of his organization's efforts on operations involving gathering new data on abortion facilities and pro-choice organizations. [Gosgnach, Tony. (April 2005). " [http://www.theinterim.com/2005/apr/14qanda.html Q & A with: Mark Crutcher] ." "The Interim." Retrieved August 23, 2006. ]
LDI is endorsed by
Alan Keyes, who referred to LDI as, "a cutting edge approach to spreading the message of the pro-life movement"; Joseph Scheidlerof Pro-Life Action League, who says, "I appreciate everything Life Dynamics does"; Judy Brownof American Life League, who praised LDI for "aggressiveness" and "accuracy"; Dr. Jack Willke of Life Instituteand International Right to Life Federation, who calls LDI "a spear carrier"; and Father Frank Pavone of Priests for Life, who appears regularly on LDI's" LifeTalk" program. " [http://www.loraincountyrighttolife.org/plannedparenthood.htm Endorsements For Life Dynamics] ." (2003). "Lorain County Right to Life." Retrieved August 23, 2006.]
LDI has been criticized by Dr. Warren Hern, an abortion provider in
Boulder, Colorado, who said, "we cannot underestimate the determination of Life Dynamics to destroy us". Vicki Saporta, executive director of the National Abortion Federation, said of LDI in 2000, "This is an organization that should be investigated for some serious illegal activity". [" [http://www.kaisernetwork.org/frame/index.cfm?goto=http://www.kaisernetwork.org/reports/2000/03/kr000322.4.htm Life Dynamics: Antiabortion Group's Tactics Draw Criticism] ." (March 22, 2000). "Kaiser Daily Reproductive Health Report." Retrieved August 23, 2006.] Planned Parenthood Federation of Americacondemns LDI for "harassment and intimidation" and "public misinformation campaigns".
LDI operates a number of simultaneous projects, often with a separate web site targeting that aspect of the group's work.
*ChildPredators.com: One of LDI's "sting" operations involved taped telephone calls to approximately 800 abortion facilities affiliated with the
National Abortion Federationand Planned Parenthood. Audio files from these calls are a key feature of LDI's [http://www.childpredators.com ChildPredators.com] web site. The site includes an overview of research into the age gap between underage girls and the males responsible for their pregnancies, and alleges that abortion facilities are not only failing to report possible child sexual abuse, but that they are aiding the perpetrators by aborting the pregnancies that would bring the abuse to light. Life Dynamics encourages the families of these girls to file suit against providers who performed abortions, pro-life activists to call the police when underage girls are brought into abortion facilities by people who don't appear to be their parents, and state-level pro-life organizations to push for intense scrutiny of abortion providers. Critics argue that the facilities in question are in compliance with reporting laws, and that the allegations are part of a program of harassment and intimidation of abortion providers.
*ClinicWorker.com: LDI encourages pro-life activists who congregate at abortion facilities to promote [http://www.clinicWorker.com ClinicWorker.com] , a site urging abortion clinic staff to report wrongdoing, such as statutory rape, income tax evasion, Medicaid fraud, health and safety risks, and insurance fraud to authorities. LDI admits that part of the goal of this project is to sow discord and strife within abortion facilities. ClinicWorker.com is promoted by many pro-life web sites, but unlike other LDI projects has not generated much mainstream or pro-choice attention. Vicki Saporta, Executive Director of the
National Abortion Federation, called ClinicWorker.com another attempt by Crutcher to drive abortion providers out of business, and said, "His attempts at these methods have not been successful in the past, and we're not concerned about his success in the future." ["Abortion Foes' New Net Strategy", "Wired News", May 11, 2001]
*AbortionInjury.com: [http://www.abortioninjury.com AbortionInjury.com] offers referrals to attorneys to represent women injured by abortion. Critics of this aspect of LDI's mission claim that the lawsuits thus filed are "frivolous".
*Abortion Malpractice Program ("Ab/Mal"): a collection of services LDI provides to attorneys representing plaintiffs filing suit against abortion providers. The services range from advertising materials for attracting clients to linking with co-counsel. [" [http://www.lifedynamics.com/Abortion_Information/Malpractice/ Abortion Malpractice Program] ." (n.d.). Retrieved August 23, 2006.] Life Dynamics Inc. launched this program in 1993 by mailing a 72-page booklet on how to pursue suits against abortion providers to 4,000 attorneys in the United States,Rice, Charles. (March 3, 1994). " [http://www.priestsforlife.org/articles/malpractice.html The Malpractice Option] ." "The Wanderer". Retrieved August 23, 2006.] and followed up with a two-day continuing education conference for attorneys the following year. Lewin, Tamar. (April 5, 1995). " [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?sec=health&res=990CE0D91130F93AA35757C0A963958260 A New Weapon In an Old War] ." "The New York Times". Retrieved August 23, 2006. ] Again, critics assert that the lawsuits in question are "frivolous". Crutcher himself admits that the mission of the Ab/Mal program is not only to provide legal redress, but also "to force abortionists out of business by driving up their insurance rates".
*Direct Mail Program: aims to "reinforce the stigma attached to abortion." LDI has pre-printed materials other groups can mail out, or works with groups to develop material and/or generate a
mailing listtargeting a specific provider. [" [http://ldi.org/Abortion_Information/Abortion_Mail/ Direct Mail Program] . (n.d.). Retrieved August 23, 2006.]
*"Spies for Life": a strategy in which LDI encourages people to send
newspaperclippings, copies of lawsuits, or other documents about their local abortion providers. [" [http://www.lifedynamics.com/Anti-Abortion_Prolife/Anti-Abortion_Clinics/ Spies for Life] ." (n.d.). Retrieved August 23, 2006.]
*"LifeTalk": a one-hour
televisionprogram produced for broadcast on religious or public-access stations. [" [http://ldi.org/Anti-Abortion_Prolife/Abortion_Program/ Get LifeTalk & Spread the Word] ." (n.d.) Retrieved August 23, 2006.]
* "Bottom Feeder" was a 16-page
cartoontract filled with off-color humorabout abortion practitioners which LDI mailed to 30,000 medical students. The jokes were mostly recycled lawyer jokes such as the following:
::"Q. What's the difference between an abortionist and a cat fish?::"A. One's an ugly, smelly, garbage-eating bottom feeder, and the other one's a fish." Bower, Anne. (July 1994). " [http://www.publiceye.org/ifas/fw/9407/choice.html Project Choice = Project Hoax] ." "Freedom Writer." Retrieved August 23, 2006.]
:"Bottom Feeder" outraged pro-choice activists not only because of the "underlying tone of contempt and hatred for abortion providers", but also because it was mailed out in 1993, the same year abortion provider Dr. David Gunn was murdered. [Bower, Anne. (1996). " [http://www.publiceye.org/body_politic/mag/back/art/0610pg06.htm Lime 5: Making Mountains Out of a Pebble] ." "Body Politic, 6 (10)." Retrieved August 23, 2006.]
Medical Students for Choicewas founded, in part, as a response to "Bottom Feeder". [Edwards, Christy & Buitrago, Karla. (May 1999). " [http://ms4c.org/update/599lead.htm Fighting the Extremists] ." "MSFC Update." Retrieved August 23, 2006.] "Bottom Feeder" also angered some pro-life activists who criticized the "distasteful and downright pornographic" nature of the booklet. [Baker, Janet. (2004). " [http://defendlife.org/newsletters/Dec2004/training.shtml Deliver Message With Flair, Humor] ." "Defend Life, 15 (6)." Retrieved August 23, 2006.]
*"Project Choice" was a survey LDI sent to abortion physicians about their experiences. Ostensibly a project by Texas students, the "Project Choice" survey was mailed to approximately 1,000 abortion providers, and with
telephoneand postcardfollow-up, attained a 30% response rate.
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