Bishop Pearce Lacey of Mississauga and John Oostrom, former MP for Willowdale, Ontario, charged recently that they suspected that many social workers were forcing or encouraging their women clients to have abortions.

Bishop Lacey, speaking at a confirmation recently in Brampton, Ontario, talked about a young friend of his who obtained secretarial work at the Toronto General Hospital, infamous for the large number of abortions that it does.  She became upset when she learned that many of the hospital social workers were counseling girls to have an abortion and complained to her employer.  They refused to take action and she was fired for refusing to be a party to abortion.  The Bishop told the young people that it took courage to stand up and be counted.

Oostrom charged that some employers attempt to directly or indirectly influence women employees to have an abortion and some social workers attempt to do the same thing.

Terri Winters (not her real name), a 31 year old single mother who lives alone with her two children, a five-year-old girl and a six-months old boy, told Oostrom that she was dismissed from her job as a $28,000 a year electronic technician in 1982, because she was off several days with morning sickness resulting from her pregnancy.

She was on a three months probation and claimed that she had a good employment record with the firm.  Her employer had said that if she had an abortion she could keep her job.  She refused, was fired and, after her savings had been used up, was forced to go on welfare.  She recalls a social worker at the time urging her to have an abortion and return to work again. Again she had refused.  She insisted that she would never consent to an abortion.  Looking today at her two children, she said that she has never regretted her decision.

Terri said that she knew of several other women on welfare who told her that attempts have been made recently to pressure them into having an abortion.  One, she stated, is a friend of hers, married but now separated with a daughter and two sons.

Articulate and informed, Terri claims that her inheritance rights – rights that protect a woman and her unborn child – were violated by her former employer and the social worker.  She cited a body of laws by Judge Blackstone, a noted London jurist, created at the request of Queen Elizabeth I, that allow for the rights of women and their unborn children, assuring them of complete protection and the inalienable right to inherit.

What we need is a test case, Oostrom stated.