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Populists: The Texas Green Party now has a free e-mail discussion group with discussion of environmental and political issues. It is utterly democratic and open to all to read or post. To subscribe, e-mail to: [email protected] with the message “subscribe texgreen [yourmail @ address]” or e-mail to: [email protected] . manual for anti-abortion activists called “Firestorm,” and his harassment of Smith the wanted posters, the targeting of her Methodist church conforms to the model he laid out in that manual. “Two or three years ago was their first big campaign,” Smith says of Life Dynamics, “they did the posters, and they were hanging them on overpasses, and there are people now who will stand out by the mall with a huge picture of me, and sometimes I’m coming home from Dallas and they’re standing out beside the freeway with a huge picture of me.” In February of 1997 Life Dynamics which is headquartered in a fenced-off building on the east side of town opened the Susan B. Anthony Women’s Centre in the building next to Denton Health Services. “They’ve gotten some of the patients in there before they’ve actually gotten here, and do a whole song and dance. They’ll say that they’re us, take their urine, give them a pregnancy test, and then start talking to them,” Smith says. A writer for Glamour magazine visited the Women’s Centre just after it opened, posing as a someone who thought she might be pregnant, and was treated to a long and erroneous lecture on the supposed health risks of abortion. \(The Centre staff has since become more cautious: on the day I was in Denton I walked in and asked the woman who greeted me whether this was the women’s health services office; she said that it wasn’t, and when I asked where it was she stammered, “I can’t help you.” When I said, “Well, I thought it was right around here somewhere,” she was speechless for a moment, gave an aggressive In its front yard the Centre has planted a large sign, visible to women leaving Smith’s office: “Injured by Abortion? You Have LEGAL RIGHTS. In Denton Call 387-4030.” And the Centre does still manage to waylay some of Smith’s patients or potential patients even though the Denton Health Services staff does its best to warn everyone it can about what’s next door, some first-time clients don’t call ahead. “It gets them very upset. You really have to work with them to get them calmed down…. [The women are told] they’re going to die, they’re never going to get pregnant again, you’ll lose your uterus, that kind of stuff,” Smith says. Crutcher’s group doesn’t seem to be making much progress either in scaring off Smith’s clients or in turning Denton against her. “They’re not gaining any ground, and they’re getting more and more strident,” Smith says, particularly as people in the community who are sick of driving by gory fetus images while taking their kids to school, or seeing wanted-style posters stuck to trees, are beginning to look more closely at Life Dynamics. Last fall Donna Fielder, a columnist for the Denton Record-Chronicle, obtained copies of Life Dynamics’ 990 tax forms, and in so doing discovered that Crutcher is also the president of another nonprofit called National Lifesource. \(“You’re all sons of bitches!” Crutcher told her after she requested the information and discovered several irregularities such as the fact that National Lifesource is listed as the owner of various recentmodel cars that Crutcher and his small group of colleagues drive, and that National Lifesource and Life Dynamics exchanged hunYet whether or not Life Dynamics is on its way down, there are Courtesy Annetta Ramsay other Crutchers out there, some violent, and what ultimately worries Smith is not Crutcher’ s particular shenanigans but the climate of harassment which discourages medical students from becoming abortion providers. \(The number of U.S. doctors performing aboris eager to enter a political minefield, she says, and for younger doctors who didn’t see what it was like before Roe v. Wade, “there’s a complacency…. People think it [abortion access] is always going to be there. I think it’s going to be chipped away at: regulated and more regulated. “Parental notification, that just sounds nice. I wish all children could [tell their parents] but I know how parents are. Some do the song and dance… you’re going to leave home, you’re going to hell.” In Denton, the absurdity of Florence Shapiro’s attempt to reduce the politics of abortion to a nice matter of opening channels of family communication becomes apparent. And what’s at least as alarming as any hypothetical link between, say, talk radio rhetoric and clinic violence is the relationship between Plano and Denton, between Florence Shapiro and Mark Crutcher. The rich, suburban, pro-choice Republican who courts the middle class Christian right vote is a frightening creature indeed, ready to risk the well-being of a few young girls \(who can’t tell their parents and are intimidated by the ju”[WOMEN ARE TOLD] THEY’RE GOING TO DIE, THEY’RE NEVER GOING TO GET PREGNANT AGAIN, YOU’LL LOSE YOUR UTERUS, THAT KIND OF STUFF.” 12 THE TEXAS OBSERVER APRIL 2, 1999