On March 1, 1986, a mock trial of the 1969 abortion law took place at Trinity-St. Paul’s United Church. It was part of a cross country consciousness-raising campaign organized by pro-abortionists in favour of abortion on demand. In Toronto it was also the first event leading up to International Women’s Day on March 8. Some 500 people were in the audience, according to the Globe (March 3).
Other similar events were and are scheduled for Winnipeg (February 27), Edmonton (March 27), Halifax (April 14) and Ottawa (late spring).
The Toronto “trial” had Sandi Ross as prosecutor and Susan Seagrove as “the law.” Charges of “limited access and long delays” were brought before 11 “jurors,” among whom were Laura Sabia, Toronto Alderman Jack Layton, NAC’s Kay McPherson and Carolyn Egan, counselor at the birth control and VD information centre. Judge Dr David Carr (Member of the abortion committee at Chedoke-McMaster Hospital in Hamilton) presided. Dr. Nikki Colodny, who now performs abortions at the Morgentaler abortuary, was among those giving testimony. The law was found to be “in contempt of Canadian women.”
A letter to the editor of the Toronto Star (March 7), noted that prosecution, defence, jurors and judge were all members of the Ontario Coalition for Abortion Clinics. “Given the nature of this kangaroo court,” the writer stated, “it should probably be represented with an empty marsupium” (Oxford dictionary: Marsupial: “of the class of mammals that produce their young partly developed and carry them for a time in a pouch.” (Editor)
The Toronto mock trial was only one of a series, which began in Vancouver on January 15. In Vancouver, spokesman Lynn Gary said the sponsors advocate “unbiased sexual education, including all the alternatives available for unwanted pregnancies…”
Suzanne Arundel-Ross was one of those who presented testimonies. “In her 50’s and a single mother by choice with two children – both of them wanted,” Arundel-Ross said that without abortions, between 1959 and the 1970’s, she would have been the mother of eight. “I have had six abortions – two illegal, three self-induced and one legal.”
The “tribunal” was supported by NAC, attended by about 400 and held at St. Andrews-Wesley United Church. The “judges” comprised former NDP MP Grace MacInnes, United Church minister Ken Wotherspoon, BC Federation of Labour president Art Kube, psychiatrist Ingrid Pacey, Lauris Talmey, president of the National Women’s Liberation commission and Lorna Zaback, Women’s Health Collective.
The meeting was also attended by Betty Green, president of Vancouver Right to Life, who afterwards noted that abortion law “is legalized killing of innocent human beings … It’s the worst law ever (North Shore News, Jan. 24, 1986).