Death in the afternoon

One day this winter, while picketing the front of the Toronto Morgentaler abortuary, I looked across the street and noticed two young girls walking back and forth on the opposite sidewalk.  They were obviously nervous, glancing and pointing at us picketers while at the same time whispering to one another.

They appeared to be “nice high school girls,” perhaps 14 or 15 years of age, attractive, dressed in the contemporary teen uniform of tight jeans and loose tops.  When they finally sat down on the steps of the store across the street from the abortuary, I went over to them for a chat.

They did not want to talk and they did not want to read any of the pro-life literature that I offered.  They thought that the ten-week-old plastic fetus I showed them looked very much like a full-term baby.

I left them as they were sharing a chocolate bar and went back to the picket line in front of the abortuary.  I mistakenly assumed they did not have an appointment to meet with the abortionist. Shortly afterward they sneaked by the picketers and entered the abortuary by way of the back door.  Minutes later they came out. Their attitude had changed.  They were confident now, and, when they returned for the abortion later in the day, one said laughingly, “It is my choice, my body and I can do with it what I want.”

Two are saved?

It was late in the morning and there had been few seeking abortions this day when suddenly a spotter warned us of an approaching “client” for the abortuary.

Three women appeared.  One older, one young and lively with a baby in a stroller and a younger girl following hesitantly.  As a pro-life counsellor, the younger hesitant girl was the one I wished to talk to.

At the same time, I directed my questions first to the mother and then to the sister, all the while making a fuss over the beautiful baby boy, trying to articulate as gently as I could the subtle similarity between the unborn and the already born.

The younger girl blurted out her story.  She was pregnant and without a husband. Her father, she felt, “would not permit such a disgrace.”

I convinced her to follow me to the Way Inn, a pro-life counseling center next to the abortuary, where I advised her of the alternatives to abortion.

This girl did not keep her appointment with the abortionist.  She was helped further by the North York Crisis Pregnancy Centre and a home was found for her while she awaits the birth of her baby.


Some “cases” are easy and some almost impossible.  However, some like the couple yesterday, were just waiting to be talked to.

A pregnant woman approached us to say she had eight children and could not face a ninth.  Carefully, we directed information and sympathy her way and worked on the conscience of the father, who was already doubtful that abortion was the way to go.

We diverted them at least for today.  They did not keep their appointment with the abortionist.

We need your help

There are many stories to tell.  Some are sad ad some are joyful and almost all of them deal with a life-and-death situation in one way or another.

Many hours at the back of the abortuary are filled with prayer, talking and laughter.  It is easy, for example, to recall the annoyance of the abortuary security guard when he found yet another pro-life sticker on the fence or even Morgentaler himself driving away with an “Abortion Kills” bumper sticker on his car.

The Lord has given us a task to do and it’s a difficult one, but it is a beautiful one too.  Sometimes we (the counsellors) are the instruments to change the heart of someone who was about to hire somebody to kill their child.  Sometimes (we feel) we are simply the conscience of everybody involved in this senseless killing.

We pray daily for more committed counsellors to lighten the burden.

Can we really live with the thought of an unoccupied back alley, save for the Metropolitan Toronto Police Force who are protecting the illegal abortionists?

Can you spare two hours weekly or bi-weekly?  Can you take turns with a friend for a difficult but extremely rewarding experience?  Can you help share the babysitting?  We need your help now.

Please pray about it and decide.

If you can help, call (416) 368-8479 and ask for Jennifer.

Joanne Dieleman is a mother of eight and has been a regular picketer and counsellor at the abortuary since it opened.