During the month of July, Canada’s media headlined the Dodd-Daigle injunctions, interviews and court cases, and overwhelmed the country with their pro-abortion slanted articles, editorials and columnists. During the same month pro-lifers had their own injunctions, and court-appearances, which went mostly unreported of, received brief local coverage only.
On Monday, June 26, Marc Somerville, Cambridge, Ont. Lawyer for abortion doctors Norman Assad and Clifford Chan, requests from District County Judge Janet Scott of the Ontario Supreme Court that Cambridge Right to Life be prohibited from picketing the doctors’ offices. He alleges that the term “killing unborn babies” is “defamatory” (i.e., harmful to reputation). Judgment is reserved to July 11.
On June 27 in Montreal, seven pro-lifers participate in Quebec’s second Operation Rescue at Morgentaler’s abortuary. They are arrested and released.
On Wednesday, June 28, Operation Rescue close the Toronto abortuary of Robert Scott from noon till three o’clock. Arrested rescuers numbered 114, 80 women and 34 men. All are released at the end of the day. Another 50 pro-lifers are present to extend support.
On Tuesday, July 4, eight people, six women and two men, defy the BC injunction by once more blocking the entrance to Vancouver’s only private abortuary, Everywoman’s Health Centre. Some 100 people sing hymns and call for the “saving of the unborn” while the eight are being carried to the paddy wagon. Two men and woman have their necks chained to a concrete block with bicycle locks. Police use acetylene torches to cut the locks.
Three of the eight, Doreen Wright, 72; Helen Thibeault, 56; and Bill Benson, 34, all of Vancouver.
On the same date, July 4, Crown Attorney Bruce Miller, in Winnipeg, stays the charges of trespass and petty mischief against 43 pro-lifers who participated in Manitoba’s first Operation Rescue last April. The protesters, he said, are peaceful and co-operative when arrested. Said defense lawyer Scott Kennedy: “these are law-abiding people…”
Ann Nacci of the Morgentaler abortuary says they are considering an injunction.
Saturday, July 8. Five more pro-lifers block the Vancouver abortion “clinic,” with one protester fastened to a cement block. Donald Spratt, 37, and Christine Hendrix, Frances Butt, 61, Hubertina Polfliet, 63, and Robert Pickering, 32. Two are jailed. Crown attorney Lance Bernard tells the court that their screams of pain while being removed by the police, which could be heard a block away, were put on for show (Province, July 9). Trial date is set for August 8.
Also on July 8, in Kitchener, Ont., eleven pro-lifers – including seven minors – are arrested, then released, for blocking a Planned Parenthood “clinic.” The office promotes moral permissiveness and refers for abortions. PP cancelled its appointments for the day. Next day a group of 35 people picket the home of abortionist Fred Uffelmann.
Both rallies are organized by Barry D’Costa, 18, and a new Kitchener organization called TRUTH (Teenagers Rescuing Unborn Tiny Humans). Charged with causing a disturbance are D’Costa, Anna Maria Canhoto, 37, and Antonio Canhoto, 48, of Kitchener, and Betteena Sinclair, 33, of Toronto.
On July 11 five more protesters are arrested in Vancouver. Maybelle Nordick, 59, of Kamloops, and Tim Vincent, 20, Nelson, are ordered to serve three months’ terms that had been imposed but suspended in March after a previous demonstration. James Hanlon, 23, of Langley, who was released from jail on June 7 after serving three months, was remanded to July 14 with Nancy Van Aert and Theresa Van Tunen. Judge John Bouck sentenced the last two to five months in jail, while James Hanlon received six months.
NOTE: Justice John Bouck of the BC Supreme Court also changed the injunction. Under his orders demonstrators may now be held overnight or longer, before being brought before a judge. Until hitherto those arrested were required to be brought before a judge “forthwith” – meaning judges would be called upon during the weekend or later in the day.
Judge Bouck claims there is a “conspiracy” to defy the law, which must be stopped. He orders three July 8 protesters to post $1,000 bonds each to back their promise to stay away. Two others, Spratt and Hendrix, are kept in jail. Defense lawyer Charles Lugosi protests the use of the term “conspiracy.” It implies, he says, “that there is a civil or criminal wrongdoing in respect to these protests and that’s not the case.” (See extracts from judge John Brouck’s judgment elsewhere in this issue.”
July 11, Cambridge Ont., Kitchener District Court Judge Janet Scott issues an injunction prohibiting Cambridge Right to Life from picketing within 150 meters the offices of abortion doctors Assad and Chan. Scott also forbids the use of the word “kill.” She rules that the picketers use of the word kill is an accusation of an illegal or criminal act.
NOTE: Newspapers reported the Judge ordered Cambridge Right to Life not to carry the word “kill” on their signs. But the injunction is much broader and much more threatening than that. (See article “Assault on civil rights widens” elsewhere in this issue.)
July 12, Vancouver. Pro-lifer Barry Stack, 37, school bus driver, having been refused a jury trial, declines to promise not to defy the injunction and instead “chooses” two months in jail. He was charged on April 13. Sentence is imposed by Mr. Justice Reginald Gibbs.
NOTE: By handing out suspended sentences, suspended on condition that the protester does not defy the injunction again, judges leave the impression that their hands are clean. The protester himself “chooses” to go to jail by voluntarily returning to the scene covered by the injunction.
July 12, Toronto. Pro-life lawyers Angela Costigan and Peter Jarvis ask Ontario Supreme Court Judge Jules Isaac for leave