Anti-Choice Group Uses Questionable Tactics Aimed to Discredit Clinics

Texas-based anti-abortion group Life Dynamics (LDI) recently released a report, alleging that its secretly-taped telephone exchanges with receptionists and staff at abortion clinics in 49 states demonstrate that clinics are complicit in child sex abuse, according to Women’s Enews. Conducted in February and March of 2002, the telephone surveys involved an LDI representative, pretending to be a young teenage girl (13- or 14- years old) who impregnated by her 22-year-old boyfriend was interested in obtaining an abortion. The report charges that both the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) and the National Abortion Federation (NAF) violated state laws requiring that evidence of child sex abuse be reported to local authorities. However, PPFA litigation director Roger Evans argues that, “No one has an obligation to report or to conduct an inquisition based on a phone call because you have no idea who is on the other end, and what the truth is.” Furthermore, the receptionist’s role is to help direct the individual to the appropriate professional, not “scare people away,” reported WE. Despite sensationalized coverage of the LDI report by conservative media outlets, various investigations by state authorities have found the charges baseless, stating that the clinics examined were in compliance with reporting laws.

Litigants are now reviewing state wiretapping laws to see if LDI committed violations in states where consent from both parties is required.

LDI received incorporation status in 1992. The organization, led by president Mark Crutcher, seeks to “make abortion unavailable by any means necessary.” Previous campaigns include unproven claims “linking” abortion and breast cancer as well as fabricated charges that PPFA engaged in the trafficking of human body parts. In the latter case, which appeared before the House Commerce Subcommittee on Health and the Environment in 2000, LDI’s key witness admitted to lying and accepting payments from the organization.


WomenÕs Enews 11/10/02; PPFA Fact Sheet 11/2001, LDI profile; Life Dynamics Special Report 11/13/02; Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 6/1/02; Christianity Today 3/27/02

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