On behalf of the Toronto Right to Life Association, I have sat in the courtroom on University Avenue almost daily, listening to the testimony presented at the Morgentaler abortion clinic pre-trial hearing.
Defence Counsel Morris Manning is challenging the validity of the abortion law in light of the new Canadian Constitution with its entrenched Charter of Rights. Mr. Manning is arguing that charges of conspiracy to procure a ‘miscarriage’ laid against his clients, Henry Morgentaler, Leslie Smoling, and Robert Scott, are contrary to sections of the Charter which deal with rights, freedoms and fundamental justice. These, he claims, guarantee women the right to have abortions and guarantee doctors the right to perform them.
This pre-trial motion of Manning’s, estimated at taking one week, has so far consumed 50 days of court time. Mr. Arthur Pennington, Q.C., legal counsel for the federal government, and Mr. Alan Cooper, prosecuting counsel for the Crown, finished their oral summations on April 12. Mr. Manning asked for, and Judge Parker granted, a recess until April 24 when Mr. Manning started his final wrap-up. Judge Parker cautioned against further delays, and said decisions should be made.
A chilling experience
Sitting in the court for over seven weeks listening to pro-abortion testimony and the arguments by Mr. Manning was an experience I would not want to relive. However, with every segment of the abortion industry being represented by witnesses and with Mr. Manning’s personal pro-abortion movement bias coming through, it did give us a very clear picture of the pro-abortion movement as a whole in action, and we saw just how far they are prepared to go to attain their goals of abortion-on-demand and freestanding abortion “clinics.”
It was an ugly picture and a chilling experience. In spite of the fact that the whole hearing is supposed to be about rights, freedoms and fundamental justice, the pro-abortionists are determined to deny and deprive any rights, freedoms, or even basic justice to a child before birth.
For lesser mortals, taking away rights from a whole segment of our human family might pose a problem, but not for the pro-abortionists. As history has shown, once you take away a man’s humanity it is very easy to ignore his innate rights or even to eliminate the man himself. The pro-abortionists have done just that with the unborn child. They have dehumanized him – he simply does not exist in abortion-land. They have taken a quantum leap over his dead body and dwell solely on the woman’s right to have an abortion.
Nineteen clones, all in a row
Witnesses ranged from the President of the National Abortion Federation in the United States, whose affiliates perform about half of the 1.6 million-yearly abortions, to Canadian pro-abortionists who knock on doors trying to raise money for abortion “clinics” so that Morgentaler et al. can continue to “control women’s bodies.” In between, there were female abortionists, young male abortionists fresh out of medical school [who have forsaken a future in medicine to become abortion technicians operating a suction abortion machine], and a variety of people who either refer women for abortions or work in abortion facilities.
Nineteen of them, one after the other, took the stand and, as far as the “high-lights” of their testimony were concerned, they could have been clones. So mechanically-similar were their performances that one suspects they had memorized the answers to a prepared script. While being questioned by Mr. Manning, they toed the party-line and delighted him with their rote responses. However, under cross-examination, when crown counsel asked the questions, their armour began to crack and the misrepresentations and distortions of their testimonies were exposed.
While some of the pro-abortion witnesses voluntarily spoke of their abortion connection, others appeared to hide it by giving the appearance of merely being experts on a particular subject. However, under cross-examination all admitted that, one way or another, they were personally involved in the pro-abortion movement.
The mind-set of the abortionists
I cannot adequately summarize all of the testimony given during the hearing, but a few examples will give you a glimpse of the pro-abortion mentality.
Dr. Phillip Stubblefield, the President of the U.S. National Abortion Federation, whose clinics reap a major part of the profits from the $1.5 billion annual abortion industry, stated that “abortion in clinics are the biggest bargain in health care.”
As part of his job, Dr. Stubblefield helps others set up new “clinics,” and trains doctors to perform abortions. He himself performs abortions at a Planned Parenthood Clinic.
During sympathetic questioning by Mr. Manning, it was easy for the witnesses to sidestep the reality of abortion by referring to the aborted baby as ” a product of conception,” or “contents of the uterus,” and to abortion as a safe, simple “procedure.” However, under cross-examination, when they were faced with facts, they admitted that thee was more involved in an abortion than the removal of some lifeless tissue.
Dr. Jeanne St. Armour took her abortion training in Morgentaler’s Montreal office. She now performs abortions in a Community Clinic in Quebec. Dr. Armour admitted under cross-examination that “some” women are troubled by abortion. When asked by Crown Counsel why they were bothered, her message was very clear, even though as a French-speaking person she had a bit of difficulty expressing her thoughts in English. She said: “I’m not a specialist, I am just a woman. If it was not a child [being aborted] it would be no problem. If it was just a pencil it would be no problem, but because we know well, as women, that there is a child, when they have an abortion they know there is no child.”
She added that even a fourteen-year-old child knows that when she is pregnant, she is going to have a child.
Chilling! Yet, Dr. Armour travels all over the province of Quebec helping to establish new abortion “clinics.”
Dr. John Lamont is an obstetrician and gynecologist from McMaster University Hospital in Hamilton, Ontario. He says he performs abortions up to 20 weeks, but appeared very “testy” during cross-examination when he was faced with the actuality of it.
Question: Have you ever looked at what was expelled by a saline abortion at 20 weeks?
Question: Did it look like a regular 20-week baby?
Lamont: Certainly not.
Lamont: Because it was macerated [reduced to a soft mass because of the soaking process in the saline abortion solution].
Question: Did you see fingers, toes, eyes, ears, nose, ribs, probably hips?
Lamont: Yep! And it had genitalia, legs and knee joints, heels and fine hair all over its body.
Dr. Lamont admitted the “procedure” was “gruesome.”
…. And the cracks in the armour grow deeper and deeper.
Dr. Augustine Roy is the President of the Corporation of Physicians in Quebec and sits on the General Council of the Canadian Medical Association. Back in the early seventies, when Morgentaler was charged on several counts of performing illegal abortions in his Montreal office, Dr. Roy was listed as an endorser for the Toronto Committee to Defend Dr. Morgentaler.
In his testimony, Dr. Roy said that “we all know” that very few abortions are done to preserve the life of the woman and that women seeking abortions are healthy, not sick. Still, he maintains that “medically, morally, physically, mentally,” abortions must be made easier.
Over and over in a dozen different ways, Dr. Roy insisted that an abortion was a personal decision and only the woman should make it. For example: ” …It is up to woman to assess her condition, not up to me or anyone else. I do not impose my opinion on her; who are we to judge whether or not a woman should an abortion?” He added that he respects the “wishes” of the woman. He said also, that if a woman is old enough to have a child, she is old enough to make the decision whether or not to have an abortion [some “women” become pregnant in their teens].
Yet, when Dr. Roy was asked if he personally believes that a woman should be entitled to ‘abortion-on-demand,’ he bristled, and said that it is up to the physician to decide if she has a good reason. Still, Dr. Roy is pressing for more abortion “clinics” in Quebec, because, he says, we “must meet the demand.”
Dr. Roy stated that he represented the general feelings and views of his profession. If this is so, then it would appear that the medical profession is prepared to perform surgery on perfectly healthy women, to destroy perfectly healthy babies. Perhaps then we should heed the warning of Dr. Christoph Hufeland (1762-1836):
If a physician presumes to take into consideration in his work whether a life has value or not, the consequences are boundless and the physician becomes the most dangerous man in the state.
Laura McArthur is President of the Right to Life Association of Toronto & Area.