Mike Harris promised in 1995

his government would not increase abortion services

Ontarians dismayed by a provincial government calling itself conservative, when it has demonstrated itself to be anything but, have cause for further grief after discovering that yet another, publicly funded abortuary has been operating in Toronto. This despite Premier Mike Harris’s pledge, made prior to his election in 1995, that no new such facilities would be allowed to open.

The Abortion Care Clinic, housed inside a five-storey medical complex at 960 Lawrence Ave. W., has apparently been the site of abortions for at least two years. It reportedly does not perform them full-time, but schedules them for certain days of the week. It is situated across from an Italian community centre and just down the street from a Catholic church.

Toronto-based pro-life activists stumbled onto the existence of the abortuary when women who had appointments for abortions at the site, and either carried through with or cancelled them, later came to pro-life crisis pregnancy agencies for help.

The discovery prompted a surprise picket and pamphlet distribution exercise in front of the Lawrence Avenue medical complex by about 30 pro-life demonstrators on Feb. 1, led by Joanne Dieleman and Linda Gibbons.

“It seems to be a good turnout,” said Dieleman as she surveyed the demonstrators trudging through melting snow on a pleasantly mild winter morning. “We found out they do [abortions] on Thursday mornings, so we decided to come from 9 to 11 a.m. to make this gentleman aware that we know what he’s doing, and to talk to him and see if he would change to [providing] real health care.”

“This gentleman” is apparently a Dr. Zarifi Markovic, who has been working under something of a veil of secrecy in a now-futile attempt to evade controversy. In fact, Dieleman noted that a prospective client has to dial two phone numbers before ultimately being able to reach the Abortion Care Clinic.

That abortions are being carried out at the site has been all but confirmed by former, prospective clients. As well, a pro-lifer at the picket said he spoke to a man who was a companion to a woman undergoing an abortion there while the picket was going on.

Six police cruisers descended on the protest site after the picket began. An interesting turn of events happened when a man identifying himself as the medical complex property manager came forth, accompanied by several police officers, and spoke to Steve Jalsevac, who was videotaping the scene for LifeSite News.

The man, who refused to give his name, denied that abortions were taking place inside his building and claimed that there were “many” persons with the last name Markovic there. But the website www.toronto.com reveals otherwise. It lists the Abortion Care Clinic as operating from that address. “I think we have to investigate this a little further, and of course we have to give this man a chance to stop,” said Dieleman. “This is an information picket. We want him to know that we know about it, and to let the neighborhood know about it. He should stop doing abortions. If he does not, we will have to do something else, maybe picket his home or picket again here.”