One of the fascinating aspects of history is often the history that no one knows about. Every March the abortion industry in both Canada and the United States, seeks to honour and delouse (sorry, I mean de-stigmatize) abortion “providers,” a.k.a. abortionists. A difficult job, to be sure. With so many of them languishing in jail making licence plates (their true calling), it is getting to be a real chore.

I always especially enjoy reading the stories of those who “bravely paved a path for choice.” These brave souls ever out to make a buck were the back-alley abortionists of their day. Little known in public is the fact that most of them were indeed members of the medical community.

Abortion history in Canada is often difficult to put your finger on. It’s out there, and as time goes on, and as archives and databases grow, we are beginning to learn more about the history of Canadian abortionists.

Dr. Francis J. Tumblety was brought to my attention because of a recent documentary on the life and times of Jack the Ripper. I can just hear the howls from the pro-choice crowd, and the snickers from those of you who are pro-life. “What does Jack have to do with abortion in Canada?” you ask.

Well, you see it would appear that dear old Dr. Tumblety is today considered one of the prime suspects in the Whitechapel murders. Tumblety had already had a run-in with the law, due to his abortion practices in Montreal.

Yes, that is what I just said. Dear old Tumblety was a card-carrying member of the pro-choice movement. As an advocate of “choice” on abortion, Tumblety provided abortion services using herbal remedies. While he operated his “medical” practice in Toronto, he had opened up another office in Montreal, where local police officials had him arrested.

The story goes: “Tumblety was arrested on Sept. 23, 1857 for attempting to abort the pregnancy of a local prostitute named Philomene Dumas. It was alleged that he sold her a bottle of pills and liquid for the purpose, but after some legal haggling Tumblety was released on Oct. 1. A verdict of no true bill‚ was reached on the 24th and no trial was ever undertaken.”

Yes, this does call to mind a similar, more recent story. Canada’s premier abortionist, Ellen Wiebe, was recently studying the use of herbs for abortion purposes. I have no way of knowing if Ellen used any of Tumblety’s research, but such links are truly fascinating.

Tumblety has been presented as a credible suspect in the Ripper slayings. If that is true, then it means the man who perpetrated one of England’s most horrendous crimes, was also an abortionist. A Canadian abortionist at that.

Now, this will no doubt create a host of problems when next the appreciation day for abortion providers pops up.

But it gets even better.

Minds much wiser than mine know that once a serial killer, always a serial killer. Dear Tumblety might have killed his first victim in St. John’s, N.B., long before he travelled to England. There are now links to his travels in parts of the United States, and at the same time there are accusations of additional serial killings. I will have more to say on this later, but suffice to say the pro-abortion movement in Canada has a new hero to pay homage to. Dr. Francis J. Tumblety.

I’m not sure if his name will grace the promo material sent out next year advertising National Appreciation Day for Abortion Providers, but we will wait and see.