Pro-abortion counter-protestors arrested
Grisly photos of aborted babies greeted motorists and pedestrians at Queen’s Park Circle in Toronto July 10.
“Some motorists give you the finger and others give you the thumbs up and honk,” said Rita Vangelderen of London, as she held a huge photo of a dismembered baby aborted at 21 weeks. “I let the pictures talk for themselves.”
Rita was one of about 50 pro-life demonstrators taking part in this year’s Show the Truth tour, which visited eighteen cities in Southern Ontario July 8-12. In Toronto, as in most of the cities visited, approximately another 50 local pro-lifers joined the core group, which included about 22 Americans.
At the Queen’s Park demonstration, one male motorist shouted, “You should be shot!” at pro-lifer Christina Milan, 22. Others told activists, “You should be ashamed of yourselves!” and “You’re sick!”
A group of approximately 60 pro-abortion counter-demonstrators screamed two hundred feet away, holding placards mounted menacingly on baseball bats. Pro-lifers obeyed police requests to keep a safe distance from the abortion supporters, which included representatives of the Canadian Abortion Rights Action League, the Ontario Coalition for Abortion Clinics, the International Socialists, and Anti-Racist Action. Some of the abortion supporters broke through police lines onto the road, briefly blocking traffic. Eleven of them were arrested after scuffling with officers.
The most controversial aspect of “showing the truth” on the street is whether children should be exposed to such gruesome images. Rosemary Connell, national organizer of Show the Truth Canada, believes that children under five “don’t really take it in.”
‘Developing a conscience’
“Older children will ask more difficult questions, but children ask difficult questions about a lot of things all the time,” she said.
“They’re developing a conscience. Pro-life parents can give solid answers about the sanctity of life, that life is given from God and is precious and that we always protect it. We can make them feel very secure by telling them, ‘You live in a family that knows how valuable you are. We work to protect all children, not just those in our family.'”
“Children know lies when they hear them,” continued Connell. “Pro-abortion parents are at a loss for an explanation. If they say, ‘Well dear, that’s just a blob of tissue,’ the child’s going to say, ‘But Mum, that blob of tissue’s got fingers, toes, a nose.’ If mum says, ‘Well dear, a mother can make that choice,’ then you’ve got a terrorized child.”
“A child knows a baby’s a baby before birth, so the thought that goes through a child’s mind with the pro-abortion answer is, ‘If a mum can do that, I’m only a little bit bigger. Will mum have a reason some time to harm me?'”
If a child asks, “Mummy, what happened to the baby?” Connell would reply, “We live in a world where some people harm other people. Sometimes big people feel they can harm little people. But we work very hard for all children because we know that after conception you’re a child in this world.”
Sharon, 9, was with her mother on the tour. She said the photos made her “sad.” She hopes the signs “will stop (people) from aborting babies.”
Joanne Dieleman will turn her sign around to prevent a child from seeing the image. “We don’t target children. We’re addressing this to adults.”
Literature was handed out, and parents with small children approaching the protests were warned in advance by some of the organizers. Protestant and Catholic clergy, as well as an experienced pro-life counsellor, were also on hand at the demonstrations.
Dominic Jalsevac, 15, who took part in the Toronto protest, feels teens should see the signs. “Guys are often using girls for pleasure,” he said, so it is good for teenage boys to “realize what they’re doing” when they pressure their girlfriends to have abortions.
Show the Truth organizers say one of their demonstrations directly saved a baby’s life. They said that an abortion-minded mother changed her mind after driving past their signs in Whitby.
Question: Should these graphic signs be allowed in such a public place?
“We’re bombarded by images every day when you turn on the TV or watch a Schwarzenegger film. We live in a visual world.” Toronto woman, 26
“It’s a democracy. If you don’t bother anyone physically, it’s okay – just no bombs.” Middle-aged man, Toronto
“It’s not a good idea. It’s okay, if kids don’t see it.” Father with his 8-year-old son
“Of course it should be allowed. It’s a democracy. I don’t like it, but it should be allowed.” Mother with a baby in a stroller and a teen accompanying her
“These (pro-life) demonstrators are more peaceful. It is difficult to take the other side seriously. It’s hard to listen to them. There is a different attitude here, (although) it is a bit gross.” Dave, 22, who works in Toronto
“Sure. You should live your life the way God says in the Bible. I don’t find it pleasant, but if this is reality, we have to answer for reality. The world is so corrupt – test-tube babies, renting out wombs, babies sold. A lot of these abortion doctors should be answering up. They do it for the money. The medical profession hides behind medical terms.” Frank, who lives in Toronto shelters