Renovations to the proposed Edmonton abortuary came to an abrupt halt after only two days when Campaign Life Coalition/Alberta applied April 3 to have the matter brought before the Alberta Court of Appeal.

The group filed to appeal the March 28 decision by the city’s Development Appeal Board (DAB), which ruled the board had no jurisdiction to rescind a development permit granted in January.

“I think we have a very strong jurisdictional case that can go to the Supreme Court,” commented Mike O’Malley, president of Campaign Life Coalition/Calgary.

A court date has been set for April 26 and the development permit has been suspended in the meantime.

Mr. O’Malley argues that neither the DAB of Edmonton nor the city has any jurisdiction to rule on abortion, and that by issuing a development permit for an abortuary mill they are using a legal instrument to define abortion as a health service.

That’s something only Parliament has the right to do, according to the Morgentaler decision of 1988, and ironically, according to arguments made by Henry Morgentaler himself in a recent Nova Scotia case, O’Malley told The Interim.  He’s optimistic leave to appeal will be granted, as these jurisdictional issues “have to be resolved.”

Picketing the site continues unabated, says local pro-life activist Gerard Liston, who commented that this public witness gives people “moral courage” to take a stand in defense of human life.

Mr. Liston also organized a picket of the construction company, Gordon Bogden and Sons, and of the electrical company that worked briefly on the mill, Westbrook Inc.

“No stone will be left unturned” to prevent the abortion mill from opening in his city, vowed the native Edmontonian, adding, “We’re pleasantly surprised it hasn’t opened yet and shows no sign of opening.”  Mr. Liston expects delays will keep the abortuary closed until at least August, and, he hopes, indefinitely.

Those delays can be attributed to the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, commented Lianne Laurence, another local pro-lifer.  Laurence, a Catholic, said that a profusion of Miraculous Medals have been planted on the property right next to the building, and that the Rosary is prayed regularly at the site.

“I’m convinced and so are a lot of people that it’s the intercession of Our Lady that’s given us success thus far.  And I know people have been just bombarding heaven with their prayers.  These opportunities we’ve had to fight the development in court are totally providential, just totally a gift from God,” she said.

Hourly recitation of the Rosary and reading from the Bible is also an integral part of the gallant pro-life witness of Wendy Denis, who began her second annual 40-day fast on the grounds of the Alberta Legislature on April 2.

Mrs. Denis, a mother of three, says she undertakes the fast and prayer vigil because “I believe pro-abortion people have taken away my choice.”  Writing letters and signing petitions, fasting in Ottawa have as yet been to no avail, so “I have no choice but to be here to show my opposition to abortion.”

She plans to complete her fast by walking 40 city blocks to participate in the Life Chain planned for May 11.