“It is time for the government of British Columbia to … stop trying to limit peaceful picketing outside abortion clinics.” Globe and Mail editorial, January 26, 1996

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves. Now if only Ontario’s attorney general Charles Harnick would apply the same principle to the current injunctions banning pro-life picketing in his province.
When Judge E.J. Cronin decided to strike down most of the B.C. NDP government’s offensive attempt to stifle the rights of free speech and assembly of the pro-life movement, it seemed the normally confident members of the pro-abortion industry were in a flap.

“I am very disappointed, obviously,” whimpered B.C. Health Minister Paul Ramsey.

“We are extremely disappointed with the decision,” sniffled Kim Zander, representative of Everywoman’s abortion centre.

“Appalled to discover,” moaned abortion czar Henry Morgetaler.

That’s all well and good but it really should have been the brave souls who stand out in front of the abortuaries offering women one last chance to save babies, who should be complaining. After all, they were the ones who had heir rights abridged by noxious legislation.

At last a judge has recognized that the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms applies to all Canadians – even pro-lifers.

If all judges acted accordingly, there would be no restrictions on demonstrating in Canada – not in B.C. and not in Ontario.

Every application for an injunction against pro-life demonstration takes a similar bent. By picketing in front of abortuaries, claim the abortion industry, pro-lifers are creating a “climate of violence” which threatens the safety of the woman having an abortion, the abortionist and his or her staff.

That’s the charge – but where’s the proof?

No one has ever been able to establish that what pro-lifers are doing in front of the abortuaries is creating this so-called “climate of violence.” They point to Operation Rescue to illustrate their point. What they don’t mention is that Operation Rescue has not played a huge role in the past seven years and even when it did, it was the pro-lifers who suffered the violence – at the hands of the police and clinic escorts.

Next, the pro-abortionists bring out their heavy guns: “What about the fire-bombing of Mogentaler’s abortuary and the shooting of abortionists Garson Romalis and Hugh Short?”

Though accusations have been made, not one of the perpetrators has been caught, tried or convicted. As far as our limited understanding of the law goes, we understand that one is innocent until proven otherwise. Our legal experts say this privilege even extends to the pro-life movement.

Then they point to the violence in the U.S. and say it is only a matter of time before it surfaces in Canada. Interesting hypothesis to be sure – but can you ban peaceful protest in this country based on a prediction?

What the abortion industry has to offer are trumped-up charges based on sketchy detail. Paul Formby, lawyer for the pro-life movement summed it up perfectly when describing the case: “In attempting to show that the purpose of the legislation was to prevent harassment, intimidation or threats from occurring, the Crown failed to produce one independent witness in the proceedings who was a ‘user’ of abortion services who was such a victim.”

So, throw out all the flimsy evidence and what do you have – no victim, no crime, no case.

In B.C., Judge Cronin realized this and threw the bubble-zone legislation out. Again, the Globe and Mail is not far wrong when it editorializes:

“But rights guarantees are worth nothing if they protect only inoffensive messages. They must also protect voices that many find offensive, for what is offensive to some may be simple truth to others.”

We hop Mr. Harnick read his paper that that day.