The XX Factor

Who Is Mark Crutcher?

Tracy Clark-Flory gives all the arguments for why it’s a bad idea for Georgia to ban race- and sex-selective abortions, as a bill that passed out of committee in the state legislature this week would do. This whole subject is tricky, becaue the notion of an abortion done because a woman doesn’t like the race or sex of her fetus makes most of us recoil. That’s, of course, why the proposed legislation is a good move from a pro-life point of view. Consider also the context for the bill, which Tracy gets right:

It’s important to look at this measure within the context of a recent push to reframe the abortion debate as a battle over racial discrimination. Last week, I wrote about how the Endangered Species Project, which is backed in part by Georgia Right to Life, alleges a “black genocide” at the hands of Planned Parenthood and uses African-American babies as anti-abortion propaganda. Both the bill and the ad campaign are built on the same false premise: That the higher abortion rate in the African-American community is the result of a racist conspiracy by medical providers and pro-choice activists (as opposed to, say, the end result of social manifestations of racism – like poor healthcare and sex education – which Planned Parenthood actually works to address). The only evidence they have offered up of such a conspiracy has been thoroughly debunked .

Who else is behind this false idea that abortion providers are linked to a black genocide? The NYT reports that a “new documentary , written and directed by Mark Crutcher , a white abortion opponent in Denton, Tex., meticulously traces what it says are connections among slavery, Nazi-style eugenics, birth control and abortion, and is being regularly screened by black organizations.” Crutcher’s intended audience might want to take a look at what he’s written about President Obama. Starting here on his blog: “Besides being a Marxist, Barak Obama is the most rabidly pro-abortion, morally defective and completely unqualified person to ever be given the keys to the Oval Office. This man is thoroughly evil and I have little doubt that we are likely entering into the most dangerous period in the history of our country.” See, too, here and here . Crutcher also says that the “pro-life movement is, by far, the most peaceful socio-political movement of its size and tenure,” comparing it favorably with the civil rights, labor, and anti-slavery movements.

There have been several reports on Life Dynamics, the group Crutcher founded. Kathy Seward Northern of the Ohio State law faculty describes a “1992 antiabortion manual the group distributed [that] urged support for abortion malpractice lawsuits ‘to protect women, but also to force abortionists out of business by driving up their insurance rates.’ ” Yale law professor Reva Siegel, who is a friend, picks up on this and did more digging in a 2008 law review article-here’s the link .

Photograph by Photodisc/Getty Images.