The Edmonton Court house was the scene of a massive pro-life demonstration on the afternoon of Saturday, February6, 1988, just ten days after the Supreme Court decision declaring S.251 of the Criminal Code unconstitutional. Undeterred by- 15 temperatures and a stiff, northerly breeze, n estimated crowd of between 1,500 and 2,000 people from all over Alberta marched round, totally encircling the city block containing the Court House and the Edmonton Art Gallery. Carrying signs that said “ Abortion-babies can live without it” and “ Justice for the unborn,” the pro-lifers protested the Supreme Court ruling on the Morgentaler appeal.
The protest was organized by Campaign Life Alberta with the co-operation of other pro-life groups in the province, and with the assistance of the Knights of Columbus who spread word of the protest to al their Councils, and who came out in their regalia and with their banners to show their support.
After the playing of pro-life song, sung by Paul Eisentrager, the official program got off to a tremendous start when the M.C. asked, “ How many people here believe in life?” The crowd responded with a tremendous roar. This was followed by a one-minute silence in memory of the deceased unborn. The silence was broken by a group of about five young people wearing NDP pins, who started shouting pro-abortion slogans. The media descended on them like vultures onto carrion. The M.C. quieted the booing crowd and asked them to pray for the “ goon squad.” The crowd yelled “ Amen.”
Speakers included Ed Van Woudenberg of the Christian Heritage Party, Dr. Stan Cassin MLA (PC), Stockwell Day MLA (PC), Walter van de Walle MP (PC), and Bill Lesick MP (PC). Mr. Lesick, who did not vote for the Mitges Motion, gave a strong pro-life message, which we hope signifies a conversion o a pro-life position. He is the Member for Edmonton East, which is one of the areas of the city, which went NDP in the recent provincial election, unseating PC cabinet Minister Bill Diachuk.
Following the politicians, a spokesman from the Catholic Women’s League, who promised the support of the League’s 100,000 members, briefly addressed the gathering. Chuck Smith, President of Alberta Pro-Life, gave a moving speech explaining his involvement in pro-life work, in which he brought to the mike his wife, Achness. Speaking tremulously to a hushed crowd, Achness described the abortion she had been talked into many years ago. “ I killed my baby,” she said.
The last speaker was James Albers, President of Campaign Life Alberta. “ We are here to send a clear message to the Federal and Provincial governments that there are still Canadians who are not willing that this country’s image be marred with the blood of abortion,” he told the cheering crowd.
The 45-minute program closed with the people joining hands and reciting the Lord’s Prayer. Afterwards, petitions were circulated demanding the removal of abortion funding from Alberta Health Care Insurance. (Minister of Hospitals, Marv. Moore has just announced that for the present government will fund only those abortions performed in accredited hospitals, at the present rate of $ 84.75.) The demonstration ended, as it had begun, with the people again encircling the Court House, as they waited for their chartered buses to collect them.