Lawyers representing pro-lifers against the Ontario government tried to introduce dramatic testimony from a young woman who says counseling outside abortion clinics should be encouraged rather than banned.

But the judge hearing the case, Justice George Adams, refused to allow the woman’s evidence because he said it came too late in the court case whch wrapped up at the end of January.

The 19-year-old community college student says she was pressured into having her abortion last March when she was 9 months pregnant.

She went to the Toronto Cabbagetown Clinic, which specializes in late abortions, July 7, 1993.

”I saw three or four woman waling out front with picket signs,” the woman recounts in the affidavit which was not allowed in court.  “They were not abusive.  They did not try to touch me or grab me or prevent me from going into the clinic.”

She remembers one of the woman offering her a pamphlet.

“Someone talked to me and said that I had other choices and asked me if I could come upstairs to talk with them for a few minutes.  They did not yell or scream at me.  I wanted to talk to them but my mother wouldn’t let me.”

The woman says she wishes she had a chance to speak with one of the counselors outside the clinic and she wants to publicly oppose the action by the Attorney General to stifle their pro-life activity.

“I wanted to have a chance to talk to someone about the abortion,” she says.  “I felt that I was being rushed into the abortion.”

When she got inside the clinic she spoke to a nurse for about five minutes and filled out some forms.  She says she was crying because she wasn’t there of her own free will and “I didn’t have a choice.”  Without telling her of any of the other options or referring her to other counseling, the nurse had her sign papers for the abortion.

Sometime after her abortion, the woman phoned Straight Talk, a post-abortion counseling agency, and then went back to speak to the people outside the clinic who had tried to help.

“They were very kind to me,” she relates, “I now know that there are other options available to women other than abortion.”

Contrary to statements by the Attorney General and the abortionists, the lawyers representing the pro-lifers argued the sidewalk counseling provides important help and information when women need it the most.  They were hoping to use the testimony to counter government allegations of harassment outside the clinics.

“I strongly believe that other women should not be denied the benefit of talking to these women and receiving their help,” the woman said in her testimony.

Justice Adams is deliberating over the testimony from the lawyers representing the 18 pro-life defendants in the case and the arguments of the Attorney General.  The Ontario New Democrats are trying to ban pro-life activity outside 23 locations province-wide.  They are also seeking damages for $500,000 from the 18 pro-lifers.  The pro-lifers have established a Legal Defense fund to help defray the legal costs in the case which is being co-ordinated from the office of Campaign Life Coalition.