On Friday February 3, 1984, Joseph Borowski was the guest speaker at the Catholic Register’s First Friday lecture held in Holy Rosary Parish hall in Toronto.
Joe Borowski, a former hard-rock miner and ex-cabinet minister in Ed Schreyer’s N.D.P. Manitoba government, now a Master Herbologist and owner of Borowski’s Vitamins and Health Foods Ltd., has done and sacrificed much to guarantee the right to life of the unborn here in Canada.
Waiting for the talk to begin, I noticed that an empty seat could not be seen from where I was sitting. Indeed, at the previous lecture a loud “ooohh!” had risen from the audience when it was announced that Mr. Borowski was to be the next speaker. So it was a full house, a house full of respect for this speaker that would at the close of the talk express itself with thunderous, long and appreciative applause.
After an opening prayer, Mr. Borowski began by giving a review of the status of his Regina court case that began last May and his view of Justice Matheson’s decision. He said that it would be late spring or early fall before the appeal would be heard in court and that they were looking at least another 18 months and “a great chunk of money” to see it through. Mr. Borowski said that Justice Matheson’s decision stated beyond reasonable doubt that the unborn child is a human being but that it is not up to the courts to decide what to do next; that is the responsibility of Canada’s parliament.
As he pointed out, it was only by 1930 that women were entitled to be appointed to the Senate, and that took a decision from the highest court in the land (at that time the Privy Council in England) to strike down the legal fiction that women were somehow inferior. He also noted that women were not enfranchised in Canada until 1918. With the use of this metaphor of woman’s rights he was suggesting that the fight for the rights of the unborn may not be as strange or as legally bizarre as it first seems, and that there are some large historical precedents within this century, in fighting for human rights through the courts in Canada.
Mr. Borowski then went on to describe his weeks in court, mentioning bits of the evidence of some of the nine expert witnesses that were brought to Regina at great expense especially for this case. He said that only recently have we been able to know when life begins, and he noted that the pro-life position in 1984 is therefore quite different from when the Roe v Wade decision was handed down in the USA in 1973. There is much more information today, information unavailable in 1973.
Dr. Bernard Nathanson, the well-known abortionist-turned-pro-life, testified that life is like a fire: whether started deliberately or carelessly, it had to be started somewhere. He also stated that when he was in medical school there was no problem in knowing when life began; everybody knew.
Dr. Liley, the world-famous doctor who became the first to administer a baby a blood transfusion before birth, testified to blood circulation and brainwaves in the unborn. The court and the press were very impressed with his testimony. It was extremely unfortunate that Dr. Liley died just two weeks after his trip to Regina.
Dr. Jerome Lejeune, Professor of Fundamental Genetics at the University of Paris, stated in court that the beginnings of life can now be recorded by camera.
Mr. Borowski stopped here for a moment and slightly admonished his audience for not offering enough prayers for the unborn and admitted that he too was guilty of this same offence. He suggested that it is the most important thing we can do while awaiting the court’s decisions.
He then related the story of “the miracle of the money.” It seems that, six weeks before the court case was to begin in Regina, Joe Borowski discovered that a $250,000 bank deposit was necessary or the case would not begin. He and his workers prayed. The truth was that $350,000 was necessary but he hoped to perhaps just cover the necessary money for the bank deposit. However, it seemed impossible.
He held a press conference and made his predicament publicly known. With gratitude to the Catholic Register he stated that within 60 days he had to hold five more press conferences to say “Please don’t send any more money.”
In closing, Mr. Borowski then encouraged the audience to support Campaign Life, to speak out on abortion, and to destroy abortion.
He then took questions for about 30 minutes. With regard to a question about the forthcoming election he said, “vote for the man, not the party.” To another, about Morgentaler, he said that Morgentaler has helped a lot of people get off the fence and fight for the unborn. Another questioner wondered whether or not we should have a referendum as they did in Ireland. Mr. Borowski replied in the negative, saying that in his opinion Canada was not a referendum-conscious country. A most telling question came at the last when a woman asked “What if pro-lifers succeed legally …What can be done for all the unwed mothers and pregnant women who need help?” To that question he replied that then pro-lifers will have to work a little harder and dig a little deeper to help the unborn: he acknowledged that this was a very important question, and that these women and children must be provided for.
Walking away from Holy Rosary that could February night one couldn’t help feel good: it had been a fine talk. At one point Joe had simply added, “God is pro-life” he said, “… believe me.”