Mystery Achievements of a Pro-Life Leftist – Part I

  • by:
  • Source: UncoverDC
  • 09/19/2023

This is likely one of the odder tales in the abortion clinic wars. Alternatively, to put it this way, if anyone has ever read an article about abortion that begins in a stranger manner than this one, I would like to be sent a copy of that inter-dimensional periodical if it can be kept from phasing in and out of our world. I was generously offered the chance to interview key members of what may be the pro-life group in the country that is reputedly the most unhinged and potentially dangerous. However, those charges were leveled in Mother Jones Magazine, so you have to put things in perspective. Your grandmother will always lean toward the sky falling when she runs into things beyond her experience.

The article in Mother Jones was a hit piece in which a suburban pro-life group was alternately ridiculed or described as a ticking time bomb. This is how Mother Jones decided to close their expose of the pro-life group BRAVE, with a quote from Michelle Casey, CEO of Planned Parenthood of Central and Western New York. Casey was speaking about BRAVE when she said, "'People actually believe the things that they're saying,' she said. 'That could cause people to do things that would be dangerous.'" 

Considering that the woman at the heart of BRAVE—Carol Crossed—was seventy-eight when her group protested an abortion clinic coming to Brighton, New York, a suburb of Rochester, any physical danger the group presented was a little doubtful.

Left out of Mother Jones' forecast for violence was that actual violence had been done in 2022 when in Buffalo, a city about an hour from Rochester, a pro-life care center was fire-bombed by the pro-abortion group Jane's Revenge. Also unmentioned was that in Brighton, it had only been Planned Parenthood supporters who were aggressive.

I do not know what the Mother Jones writer was thinking as she put her article together. She left the most provocative aspects of the story on the cutting room floor. Or they never made it that far.

A Bizarre Background

Here is some of what—not just Mother Jones, but every other news source—did not include when they reported on Planned Parenthood coming to Brighton. They didn't get into Brighton's strange location, of all places, for Planned Parenthood to demand a clinic.

First, there is a well-known film titled Agnes Of God about a nun who may or may not have had a child, but if she did, she hid her pregnancy from her fellow sisters and asphyxiated the baby upon its birth.

If you know the film, you may think it is based on an event that took place in Montreal, as it is set in that city. Montreal, however, is only where the producer wanted to shoot a film. The film, and the stage play before it, are loosely based on a crime in a convent just a short walk from the Brighton Town Hall.

And then there is also Brighton's infamous abortionist Morris Wortman to consider, who inadvertently had a significant role in the creation of the pro-life group BRAVE or, by their full name, Brighton Residents Against Violence to Everyone.

Before we move on to how Wortman created Planned Parenthood's—and his own— adversary, let us summarize the reason Wortman is known beyond the borders of Brighton. Why, exactly, he is infamous.

Building Your Worst Enemies

Dr. Morris

Dr. Morris Wortman's undoing began when he took on as a patient, someone who had set him on a pedestal for most of her life. She had been told at age eight that she was donor-conceived and that Wortman was the fertility specialist who'd made the miracle possible. When, as an adult, the woman experienced unusual menstrual bleeding, she contacted Wortman, whom she thought of only as an expert on gynecological health. She didn't know that while he had professed to have supplied her mother with sperm from a donor with specified desired traits, Dr. Wortman had, instead, artificially inseminated her mother with his own sperm.

After Dr. Wortman took the woman on as a patient, at some awkward point during their office visits, the patient mentioned that she had been researching her ancestry through genetic testing. She was interested in her father's identity. While unhelpful in providing her a name, Wortman began having the patient back to his private office for chats where he would ask about her life and talk about his childhood.

The patient began putting Wortman's odd behavior together with an ever-growing list of half-siblings she discovered through genetic tests. The siblings were, like her, mysteriously fifty-percent Ashkenazim. The patient's mother had requested a sperm donor without any predominant ethnic or genetic heritage.

Eventually, the suspicious patient and one of her newly-discovered-and-just-as-confused-about-their-heritage siblings contacted a daughter of Wortman's from his first marriage. Wortman's daughter agreed to take a blood test and solved the mystery. The patient eventually found she had six half-siblings fathered by the doctor.


If you've read about the potentially malignant pro-life group BRAVE, you probably do not picture that at its center is a left-wing seventy-nine-year-old serial protester. Carol Crossed was before she began protesting abortion clinics, an anti-nuke demonstrator and had also devoted considerable time to a slew of other left-wing causes.

The first member of BRAVE I spoke with—conservative and religious—told me not to talk conservative politics with Crossed, pronounced: "Cross Ed." BRAVE's founding member Crossed told me about herself, "I'm a Democrat. I've been arrested 19 times for ... anti-war … all sorts of things."

A run-in with Dr. Wortman—years before he'd been outed for his fertility doctor hi-jinx—set Crossed on a pro-life path. The story is quite remarkable.

Crossed received a phone call in 1996 from a young man with a problem. He was a friend of her son who thought she could help him. He had a pregnant girlfriend, and his family was excited about the pregnancy. It was seen as a gift from the universe coming as it did after the recent death of the young man's father. There was only one problem. The pregnant girlfriend was, at that moment, headed to a clinic to do away with the baby.

I asked Crossed if, before the phone call, abortion had been one of her issues. She said:

"No. I had worked against abortion ... not as actively. I wasn't as centered on that issue ... The anti-nuclear thing was huge. But that was pretty much wrapping up about twenty years ago, so that was early 2000, but I was very involved in all the anti-nuclear stuff that was going on more than anything."

While Crossed did not have a game plan for a situation like that of her son's friend, she knew about the late-term abortionist Morris Wortman. The real estate firm her husband worked for—run by an evangelical—rented office space to Wortman. The rental situation had been problematic for Crossed.

Crossed knew where the girl was most likely headed, told the boy to sit tight, and that she would go to Wortman's office to handle things with the girl. There was one issue, however. She didn't know what the girl looked like. Crossed was given a descriptor that helped. Crossed said:

"We had to walk upstairs, and I knew who she was because her boyfriend described her shoes. She was going to be wearing these sandals, and she came in with a young man who was her brother. So, that's how I knew her.

"I had a book ... I'm trying to think of where I got the book of people who were interested in adopting children to present to her. These are families that are interested in adopting children.

"The brother was extremely angry, was just like, 'What are you doing? Get out of here.'"

Wortman, foreshadowing many of his future interactions with Crossed, called the police and had her arrested. Crossed attempted to stay in the doctor's waiting room to be with the girl in spirit as the girl was whisked away into the office.

Wortman may have had Crossed forcibly removed, but he'd built a solid enemy. Crossed began working on the conscience of the man who rented office space to Wortman, which resulted in Wortman having to find a new location for a clinic when his lease came up. Crossed said:

"His landlord decided not to renew his lease and let him know that. His landlord was in great admiration of what I had done. He felt that the least he could do—and he didn't agree with what Wortman was doing, and so he felt—I would not be at all remiss to say that he felt relieved to not renew that lease. It was bothering."

Once Wortman reopened the clinic in a new location, Crossed and BRAVE held demonstrations close enough to the clinic to have Wortman call the police on them 199 times.

Crossed had this to say about Wortman and his degree of cunning:

"Did we go onto the property? I can't say that we did. We probably did, but he was building a berm in the back of that property, and it was our understanding that he told someone that it was a bomb ... something to prevent an explosion or a bomb. He was afraid of a bomb.

"He didn't really strike me as someone who was afraid, though, who was paranoid. I think he was more strategic.

"I think his phone calls were more just to annoy. That's my reading because I don't believe he was a fearful person."


Continued in Part II


Get the latest news delivered daily!

We will send you breaking news right to your inbox

© 2024 UncoverDC