Books in Review
Lime5, Mark Crutcher, $19.95 Life Dynamics, P0 Box 2226, Denton, IX 76202; Orders: (817) 380-8800.
Victims of Choice, Kevin Sherlock, $19.95 Brennyman Books, P0 Box 2629, Akron, OH 44309; Orders: (330) 882-4686.
Abortion is inherently dangerous, both to the physical and psychological well-being of women. But these dangers are made worse by the fact that the abortion industry tends to attract-or create–emotionally dysfunctional physicians who are warped by callous greed, racist and misogynic attitudes, and outright criminal tendencies.
Nearly two decades ago, in his classic book Aborting America, Dr. Bernard Nathanson, former abortionist and director of one of the largest abortion clinics in America, noted that abortion tended to attract a “venal band of scoundrels” who were “vicious, even sadistic with patients.” Furthermore, he observed, competent and compassionate physicians either could not long endure the grisly business of abortion, or if they persisted in the trade, their “personality structures” quickly began to “dissolve.” Broken marriages, substance abuse, sexual perversions, and a general alienation from life are rampant among abortionists.
In 1996, two books were published that extensively document American abortionists’ incompetence, disrespect of women, and general cruelty. The first of these two books was the cryptically named Lime 5 by Mark Crutcher, president of Life Dynamics.
A primary strategic goal of Crutcher’s is simply to reinforce the bad reputation of abortionists, so as to discourage young doctors from ever wanting to be associated with the word “abortion.” To this end, Crutcher and his staff have collected hundreds of autopsy reports, court documents, and newspaper reports to document the ugly reality of the American abortion industry. Lime 5 documents how profit-driven, cost-cutting abortion facilities have little or no emergency equipment, employ unqualified “medical technicians,” use unsanitary practices, and reduce their liability risks through poor and fraudulent record keeping.
Nearly seventy pages are devoted to brief case histories of over two hundred women who suffered physical complications from abortion. To name a few, these include punctured uteruses, hysterectomies, amputations, coma, and death. Especially appalling is that many of these injuries were made worse by lack of prompt treatment because the attending abortionist was frequently more concerned about implementing his coverup than treating his patient. Such negligence allows moderately serious injuries to become life-threatening, or even fatal.
This listing of botched abortions is not particularly news to abortion critics, but it is handy to have these cases conveniently collected in one place. More surprising, even to harsh critics of the abortion industry, is that Crutcher has documented thirty or more cases of abortionists involved in rape and sexual assault charges, often committed against patients at their abortion clinic.
Perhaps most useful are two chapters on how pro-abortion organizations and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) have contributed to the cover-up of abortion industry scandals and the suppression of information about how truly dangerous abortion is. This is especially serious in that the CDC is a government agency charged with protecting the health of American people. But the CDC’s Abortion Surveillance Branch, it would appear, is more interested in protecting the health of the American abortion industry than the health of women. Part of this problem arises from the fact that this unit of the CDC has been filled not only with unabashed abortion proponents, but with actual abortionists. “Who will watch the watchers?”
The weakest part of Lime 5 is that Crutcher has concealed the identities of abortionists behind code names such as John Roe 22. The names of their victims, and generally the city in which they were injured, are also concealed. If one had the time or inclination to find the court records, police reports, or newspaper articles that Crutcher cites, one can fill in the details. Or, if that sounds like too much work, turn to Victims of Choice for a no holds-barred expose of who did what to whom and where.
Author Kevin “No-Kidding” Sherlock (his real name) is a former investigative reporter and an expert in sleuthing through public records. (He is also author of a book called How to Be Your Own Detective.) Sherlock has spent over 10 years collecting information on abortion related injuries from death certificates, autopsies, police reports, and civil suits.
In Victims of Choice, Sherlock concentrates solely on abortion related deaths. He reports extensively on every aspect of the abortionist’s malfeasance in these deaths and gives a sate by state breakdown. Thoroughly indexed, readers can also look up cases as referenced to each abortionist or abortion facility. These features will make it easy for pro-lifers to go to their legislators to show what kind of butchery is occurring in their own state.
Sherlock admits–and even insists–that with his limited resources, and the tendency of pro-abortionists to minimize or obscure the paper trail surrounding abortion related deaths, he has documented only a fraction of the deaths that are actually occurring as a direct result of abortion. Still, this one man, working part-time on this project with a handful of cooperating “agents,” uncovered 30 to 40 percent more abortion related deaths than the “professionals” at CDC who are getting full time salaries to track abortion-related mortality. Furthermore, Sherlock accomplished this without any assistance from the CDC, which has obstructed his every effort to examine their records.
Sherlock did an extensive amount of footwork in Los Angeles County. He discovered that a lot of abortion related deaths were being reported as due to “therapeutic misadventure.” Other deaths are certainly hidden elsewhere. But even with this limited search, Sherlock was able to document 29 abortion related deaths, in LA County alone, between 1970 and 1987. Four of these deaths occurred in a thirteen-month period, during which time the entire state of California reported zero deaths related to abortion and the CDC reported only 12 for the whole country.
Victims of Choice is a large book, filled with details on hundreds of deaths-and almost as many put-downs and sarcastic remarks. It is not a genteel book. Readers will quickly see that Sherlock is a muckraker and proud of it. He plans on releasing a companion volume, The Scarlet Survey, in 1997 which will cover non-fatal injuries caused by abortionists, plus other criminal charges related to fraud, drug peddling, child pornography, and sexual assault.
Neither of these two books is easy reading. One can only slog through the muck of so much callous butchery for a short while before you will feel the need to take a shower and begin a week long fast of reparation for the sins of our nation. Still, both books are essential reference tools. They belong in every pro-life lending library and would certainly make a good donation to public and university libraries. (Librarians report that books on abortion are heavily used. Students doing research papers on abortion, or girls considering abortion, would be well served by spending fifteen minutes with one of these exposes.)
These books should prove especially valuable to pro-life lobbyists and public relations people. They make it easy to document the scandalous behavior of the abortion industry for both politicians and reporters. Pro-lifers who work on the front lines of shaping public opinion should be using these books regularly to bolster our demands that abortions be made more fully liable for the injuries they are causing to women. Readers of Making Abortion Rare will recognize how important this information will be in our efforts to pass laws that will expand the rights of women against abortionists who routinely violate their rights.
In my opinion, these books are an important contribution to our effort to pass pro-woman/pro-life laws. Unfortunately, even though Life Dynamics was in a position to spend a considerable fortune on a major PR campaign intended to wake up the nation to this scandal, many pro-life groups, plus most conservative publications and radio programs, refused to run their ads. It is easy to understand why the liberal media suppressed advertising for a publication that would expose the abortion industry’s ugly secrets, but why purportedly pro-life publications and conservatives like Rush Limbaugh would contribute to the coverup by refusing the inoffensive ads for Lime 5 is inexplicable.
In part, this doesn’t surprise me. Over the last several years I have learned that the closer we get to victory, the more likely we are to be shot down by “friendly fire.” At this advanced stage of the battle, when we have the tools and the strategy to achieve a total victory, it is not the other side that is holding us back so much as our own side’s egos, territorial tendencies, and a general fear of grappling with the whole ugly truth.
Still, despite these obstacles, I remain confident that our Lord is continuing to put the pieces into place with which, in His own time, He will crush the abortion industry under the weight of its own corrupt evil. These books are two of those pieces.
– David C. Reardon, Ph.D.
Originally published in The Post-Abortion Review 5(1) Winter 1997. Copyright 1997 Elliot Institute