Just a matter of a few weeks short of his 75 th birthday, pro-life leader Mark Crutcher, President and Founder of Life Dynamics, Inc. passed away in Denton, Texas, on March 9th .
The Celebration of Life that was held in the funeral home chapel on March 14 th was a fitting tribute to a man whom all who knew him consider to be among the most creative and innovative defenders of the unborn. The words and reflections of those who spoke and led prayer at the service — myself included – attested to that, and gave the service something of the feel of a pro-life pep rally, which is exactly what Mark would want.
I got to know Mark even before I became director of Priests for Life thirty years ago. From that time, we collaborated on countless projects both behind the scenes and in news-making public settings, have done countless broadcasts together, and have shared many social occasions with other friends and family members.
Among Mark’s many accomplishments was to give the pro-life movement the single best tool to awaken the African-American community to the genocide of abortion. The documentary Maafa 21 started off as a book project, but Mark found so much material to back up the assertion that abortion is Black genocide that he turned it into a film project instead.
The fact that three Black pastors/pro-life leaders – Rev. Stephen Broden, Rev. Johnny Hunter, and Rev. Clenard Childress – presided over Mark’s funeral service was a testimony to the undeniable impact this project had, and the gratitude of the Black community for the efforts of Mark and his team.
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Mark was ahead of his time. He was a pioneer in undercover work in the abortion industry, laying the groundwork for later projects that got wider attention.
Other leaders and I helped him put together the book “Lime 5,” which documented the malpractice that is rampant in the abortion industry and has since been documented in an even more systematic manner.
And nearly 20 years before the Center for Medical Progress released shocking video footage revealing the sale of baby body parts, Mark Crutcher did exactly that same thing. Moreover, his team revealed, through undercover phone calls, how the abortion industry aids child predators to avoid getting reported, and how abortion clinic workers have a choice of being either whistleblowers or defendants.
This was one of the many arenas where our collaboration worked so well, as he gathered information from these clinic workers and I helped to lead them to leave the abortion industry and find reconciliation and healing.
Mark trained tens of thousands of pro-life activists nationwide, and helped them understand that everything we need to know to end abortion is found inside the abortion industry. He trained them how to be on the lookout for illegal activity which can shut down abortion facilities under existing laws. Those efforts likewise have become more widespread and sophisticated in our movement.
So much more can be said about Mark’s pioneering work, and the most fitting way to honor his life is to learn more about that work and keep building on it. That was certainly the consensus among the pro-life leaders who were at his funeral.
In my remarks at the service, I pointed out that Mark often told the story of the Alamo, where volunteer soldiers defending the independence of Texas from Mexico were told that they were greatly outnumbered and that they could leave the Alamo rather than get killed.
The violent slaughter of these freedom fighters, however, led to a new wave of courage and inspiration throughout Texas, and played a key role in the subsequent victory at San Jacinto, where fighters cried out, “Remember the Alamo!” Texas defeated the enemy, and little could Texas’ first President, Sam Houston, who led that victory, imagine that his would be the first name spoken by men when they would first land on the moon.
Mark used the story of the Alamo to remind us in the pro-life cause that no matter how outnumbered or outspent we might be, our perseverance for the unborn would yield immense fruit. I compared it to the disciples on the road to Emmaus. They were despondent, and overpowered, but the risen Jesus revealed his victory to them.
“The pro-life movement is winning,” Mark would always say. He also predicted that the closer we got to victory, the more violent and unpredictable the behavior of the other side would become. We are living in that moment right now. Perhaps that’s why God called Mark home to himself at this crucial point in time for our movement – to remind us of the need for unwavering commitment and confidence in the victory of the greatest human rights cause of all time.