The anti-choice movement has tried to brand itself as a benign and compassionate group of people who want to gently guide women away from abortion. They do this because women are victims of abortion rather than autonomous humans who make informed decisions about what’s best for them. Donald Trump pulled back the curtain on the true logic of the anti-choice movement with his bumbling response about punishment for women who seek illegal abortion. And Sharona Coutts tore their self-image to shreds with a harrowing investigation into the lengths a crisis pregnancy center went to keep a teenager from obtaining an abortion. Coutts talked to a woman who tried to take her daughter to an appointment for an abortion and found the police there threatening to charge her with fetal homicide:
With assistance from her lawyer, over the course of the next few days, AJ would learn that in addition to the anonymous phone calls that had been made to the clinic while she and her daughter waited for her procedure, people unknown to AJ had faxed her daughter’s personal information—her name, medical information, and even her social security number—to countless numbers of doctors, police, and other strangers in at least two states, without AJ’s knowledge or consent. She would discover that her daughter had been picked up from school and driven across the state border by a person that AJ did not know. And before the saga was resolved, AJ would even find out that an attorney she’d never heard of had purported to represent her daughter, and had sent threatening letters to the abortion clinic, directly interfering with her daughter’s medical treatment.
A Rewire investigation has found that at the center of the drama that unfolded in AJ’s life was a document produced by Life Dynamics, the prominent anti-choice group that is based in Denton, Texas, which receives the majority of its funding from the fracking billionaires Dan and Farris Wilks. The Wilks brothers are also the main backers of Sen. Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign.
The document is a bogus “notice” that tricks women into believing they have signed away their legal rights to receive an abortion. Providers throughout the country have told Rewire that this document has been used for years to deceive and intimidate both patients and providers by threatening them with legal action should they go through with obtaining or providing an abortion.
The deceptiveness and manipulation of crisis pregnancy centers is well documented. I’ve immersed myself in the issue for the last couple of years, and just when I think they can’t surprise me with their devious tactics, I read something like this that makes me more angry than anything I’ve read in a long time. There is much more to this complex and infuriating story–go read the whole thing now and spread the word about the harm these people do to women.