Chantal Daigle, the woman whose determination to abort her 22-week-old unborn baby despite a court injunction obtained by the child’s father, led to an unprecedented special recall of the Supreme Court of Canada last summer, is back in the news. She has re-emerged at the center of a multi-media publicity campaign to hype a book about her abortion experience.
Daigle held a press conference at a downtown Montreal bar on March 7, to launch her new book Le Seul Choix – Le Mien (“The Only Choice – Mine”), co-written with Montreal journalist Suzette Paradis.
To heighten the melodrama, Daigle was accompanied by five tuxedo-clad bodyguards. They were provided by her publicist ostensibly at Daigle’s request, to protect her from the allegedly unpredictable, estranged boyfriend and father of her aborted child, Jean-Guy Tremblay.
Daigle, a secretary from Chibougamau, Quebec, began working on the book at the end of January and required just over a week to produce the final manuscript. It is published by Les Editions 7 Jours, a magazine publisher. Le Seul choix – Le Mein is being distributed through newsstands and corner stores, rather than through conventional bookstores to capitalize quickly on the sensational aspects of the story.
The book itself is essentially a dry, chronological account of events which led Daigle to abort her child. Her efforts to avoid being followed by the media are also described, providing perhaps the only new information to her much-publicized abortion battle.
In a bizarre story, which the Globe and Mail editors believed so important that they placed it on the front page Daigle claims to have defied a Quebec Court of Appeal injunction and aborted her child because the unborn baby urged her to do so in a dream.
“I saw myself as very large on the verge of giving birth. When I looked at my stomach, I saw my fetus swimming and looking inside me. I had the impression he was pushing to get out. I couldn’t see his eyes…
“When I woke up, I looked at my stomach. It wasn’t that big. Immediately I had the following thought, ‘That child doesn’t want to stay there.’ I had the feeling he was transmitting the following message: ‘I want to get out of here, I don’t want to stay.’ He knew what I was feeling. I had the impression he was giving me his permission,” she writes. Two days later, she drove to Boston and underwent the abortion.
Daigle and her publisher deny tat the slim 141-page softcover book, which retails for $12.95, was rushed into print to coincide with International Women’s Day (March 8). The entire first run of 40,000 copies was recalled, however, when journalists discovered numerous typographic and grammatical errors. Apparently a working copy, rather than the final edited version of the book was used for publications. It was reprinted, distributed and on sale the following Monday.