Pro-lifers turned out en masse to witness for the unborn while abortionist Henry Morgentaler spoke at the University of Alberta in Edmonton.
The 1200 pro-life supporters sang and prayed on the campus grounds March 29, as 50 meters away 200 abortion advocates clustered together chanting slogans while awaiting Morgentaler’s arrival.
The rally was a concerted effort by all pro-life groups in the Edmonton area. It was essential to show the abortionist “he is not unopposed, and that his actions and philosophies are immoral,” said Sheila Dollard of Direct Action for Life and one of the organizers of the event.
Morgentaler told a capacity crowd of 500 inside the lecture theatre that he would be willing to set up an abortion clinic in Edmonton, even though he prefers to let local abortionists take the initiative. Nova Scotia, he added, is presently taking up the bulk of his time.
When questioned by pro-lifers, who comprised more than half of the crowd, Morgentaler contended repeatedly that “there is no baby…there’s no baby there.”
By his comments, Morgentaler “completely discredits fetology” and thus “protects his psychic faculties from coming in touch with reality” commented pharmacist Joanne Lewicky, a long-time Edmonton pro-life activist.
She pointed out the abortionist admitted he won’t do abortions past 14 weeks of pregnancy in his clinics because the risks to the mother increase, as do the risks of litigation.
Miss Lewicky also noted that Morgentaler “is going out of his way to attack the Catholic Church to the point where during a local radio show he condemned the Church for not ordaining women. “What does that have to do with abortion?” Miss Lewicky asked.
While the mood was tense and abortion advocates on the alert for disruptions, few occurred. Two pro-life supporters were hauled out for speaking out of turn, and a third threatened with removal.
The evening ended as Wendy Denis, on the 30th day of her Fast for Life, presented Morgentaler with a Talmud, to which he responded, “I don’t believe in God.”
Earlier the same week, American pro-life activist Joseph Scheidler spoke on campus about the reality of abortion. “It is through deceit, it is through lies that you sell abortions,” Mr. Scheidler told a crowd of about 280, most of whom were pro-life. People are by nature “truth seekers. Your will naturally tends toward good,” he commented, adding “When you’re going to do something bad, you have to lie to yourself.”
During his 17 years of work in the Chicago area, Mr. Scheidler has effected the closure of 35 abortion “clinics” and has brought “five dozen former abortionists over to our side.”
Every one of those former abortionists “says in testimony, ‘I was a murderer,’” Mr. Scheidler said, adding, “Even Morgentaler, some day, with prayer and perseverance may see the light, that he is murdering.”
The phrase “I will not give to a woman an instrument to cause an abortion” has now been removed from the Hippocratic Oath for the second time in history – the first time was in Nazi Germany.
Abortion is symptomatic of “a whole disintegration of the moral imperative…we have lost our sense of…the eternal verities,” Mr. Scheidler pointed out. “We’re making up our religion today and abortion is part of it.”
Over 30 million “American kids” have been killed by abortion in the States since the Roe v. Wade decision made it legal. Mr. Scheidler has taken the dismembered bodies of babies out of the dumpsters behind abortion clinics in the U.S. and “I know I have seen murder.”
There are some signs of hope. The polls indicate that 98 per cent of abortions performed do not have majority approval. Most people oppose abortion as a back up for contraception or for reasons of convenience.
And since the Supreme Court’s Webster decision of July 1989, there has been pro-life “agitation” across the U.S. Mr. Scheidler predicted, “I’d say by the mid-90s, a majority of the states will have restrictive abortion laws.”
Legislation passed recently in Guam, a territory of the United States, which recognizes abortion as a felony, might well be “the catalyst for overturning Roe v. Wade.”
But abortion advocates are also mobilizing to protect their right to kill. Scheidler, who has six major lawsuits against him admits, “it’s kind of scary,” but makes light of his own situation. “When a week goes by and I don’t get a death threat, I feel sort of neglected.”
Both Morgentaler and Scheidler were invited to speak for the University of Alberta’s “Equality Week,” which covered a variety of controversial subjects.
Originally, only Morgentaler was scheduled to speak on abortion, but Campus Pro-Life “lobbied the Students’ Union to get a representative of the pro-life aspect,” group president Michael Lambert told The Interim.
Mr. Scheidler was booked to speak four days before Morgentaler arrived in town, but few abortion advocates came to hear his presentation. Commented student Laura Lee Sedgwick, “They’re supposed to be so open-minded and liberal and they didn’t come to listen.”
While Morgentaler received $6,000 from the Students’ Union to speak, Mr. Scheidler received $2,100, Mr. Lambert noted.