According to the Kitchener-Waterloo Record (March 19) almost 2000 students filled the bleachers and the floor of the University of Waterloo’s physical activities complex and heard Morgentaler release “a vitriolic attack against anti-abortionists.” As some 300 or 500 (according to the student newspaper The Imprint), pro-life protesters paraded silently outside, Morgentaler said “I am pro-life, I am pro-choice,” and called the demonstrators “totalitarian fanatics.” “The demonstrators know,” he said, “if abortion is not available, women will go underground. Women will be butchered on kitchen tables again. Yet, they don’t care. They don’t care about the tragedies that women suffer, about children who are brutalized and neglected. “It’s a small band of religious fanatics who parade out there.”
Outside the hall, the K-W Record reporter was putting the accusation to the test by interviewing some who were parading there: “I don’t feel any anger toward him. I think I feel more sorrow or pity,” said Manuel Costa, 33, a painter. “I don’t hate him. I’m just sorry he can’t see the things the way we do,” said a woman.
John Devlin, president of Stratford Right to Life said Morgentaler was “dishonest in his comments,” but that he didn’t feel anger toward the doctor. “I feel sorry for him and for people who can’t see through the transparency of him.”
Meanwhile, inside, Morgentaler, “frequently applauded throughout and given a standing ovation,” told is audience that the threats, harassment and intimidation tactics used by the anti-abortion lobby across Canada “is a sign of one of the worst fanaticisms, religious fanaticism.”