Reacting to the news that Bill C-43 had just been passed by the House of Commons, a group of about 25 pro-lifers marched on Mary 29th from Parliament Hill and laid a wreath at the door of the Ottawa offices of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops. According to a pro-life source, this action was taken to once again express the sense of betrayal many Catholics felt when Bill C-43, which will guarantee abortion on demand in Canada, was given qualified support by the CCCB last January. The sash attached to the wreath read “Lest You Forget – From the Future Millions of Unborn Canadians.”
Earlier in the day, pro-lifers who had gathered on Parliament Hill to hear the result of the Commons vote on Bill C-43, were subjected to physical as well as verbal abuse. When it was announced that the vote had passed, about 50 pro-abortion feminists and their male supporters began to screech, moan and shout obscenities. They also lay down, blocking the entrance to the Centre Block. Shaking with anger, Cherie MacDonald and Judy Rebick, the new president of the National Committee on the Status of Women, addressed reporters.
Noticing that media coverage was being exclusively focused on the anti-life protesters, four Ottawa pro-lifers, Monica Tanner, Edna Atkins, Margaret Mountain and Miriam Doylend, attempted to present the opposing view. Mrs. Atkins immediately had her sign torn from her hands by a young man who shouted obscenities at her. A pro-abortion woman, her head shaven and safety pins dangling from her ears, then scratched the arm of one of the pro-lifer’s children. Many school children were within hearing range, but this didn’t stop the pro-abortion mob from continuing to shout obscenities at the top of their lungs. They also scrawled obscene slogans with yellow chalk on the pavement around the entrance to the Centre Block. All of this activity was tolerated by the police, who did throw some abortion supporters out of the Parliament Buildings, but made no motion to try to restore a semblance of order outside.
When one policeman was told of the attack on Mrs. Atkins, he refused to act, stating that he couldn’t be expected to take on the pro-abortion people alone. A number of pro-lifers present found this response ironic. About two months previous, and just a few feet away, Father Tony Van Hee had been arrested by a gang of burly RCMP officers for maintaining a quiet and dignified vigil on behalf of Canada’s unborn children.