“A young couple came toward us. She was wrapped in a scarf and had a toque on and sunglasses and I really felt sorry for both of them because they seemed really nervous.”


So begins Carmen Smith’s story of “sidewalk” counseling with a couple heading for an abortion down the back alley of the Morgentaler abortuary in Toronto.


Carmen and four of her friends had been stationed near the rear entrance of the abortion clinic in the early afternoon of February 21 in order to counsel women that there is help available for them and their babies and that they need not have an abortion.


Carmen spoke to the couple, saying “We would really like to help you with your baby… we have a number you can call … don’t do this to yourself.” Carmen says that she kept talking with them saying that “God really loves you and He hurts with us that you are going through this and He has made people available to help you.”


The couple kept silently walking along and finally entered the abortuary. However, not two minutes later, Carmen reports, the same couple emerged and announced to the pro-life counselors that they had changed their minds saying, “We won’t go through with it.” Carmen said to them, “That’s wonderful, can we give you a number of a centre that could provide you with counseling and support?” They replied “No, we got ourselves into this and we’ll manage somehow.”


Said Carmen, “It was really exciting.”