In a time of massive government cutbacks, the Attorney General’s office has spared no expense in its single-minded effort to gag pro-life expression in the province.
There are at least four government lawyers working on the case plus four articling students. Two lawyers representing the province are present at most cross examinations.
When they were before Justice Adams to get the order for Marion Boyd to testify there were two lawyers gowned and making arguments and two others looking on at the proceedings. The cross examinations of the defendants and some witnesses has been going on for almost a month. The hearings for the temporary injunction in January could last three weeks. And if it goes to trail after that it could drag on for up to two months. The whole thing started with a government-funded report written by abortion activists calling for greater abortion access in the province and a crack-down on pro-life expression.
In spite of the daunting nature of the government action and the public tax dollars lavished on the case, the pro-life defendants have refused to roll over and die.
“At times, it’s almost a full-time job with a lot of work at night and on the weekends,” David Brown,, one of the lawyers defending the pro-lifers says. “But I think Peter (Jervis) and I have been able to handle the volume of the Attorney General’s materials pretty well.”
The government has almost endless resources to call upon but the pro-life movement has no such luxury. Clare Dodds, legal counsel for Campaign Life Coalition, says a Legal Defence Fund has been set up to maintain the fight for basic civil rights for pro-lifers.
“Without adequate resources the defendants will find it very difficult to proceed,” she says. “These pro-lifers are up against the full might of the government and the only way they can hope to win is if they get substantial support.”
Donations to the Legal Defence Fund should be sent to 53 Dundas St. E., Toronto, M5B 1C6.