In April, the pro-life movement marked 25 years of legalized abortion by placing signs and placing crosses on church lawns in memory of the millions of lost lives.
The gravity of the event was marked with respect and most of the signs and crosses were left untouched. There were, however, some instances of vandalism which were not lost on pro-life leaders.
One case in particular occurred in the normally quiet town of Schomberg, north of Toronto. The sign which read “We mourn 25 years of abortion 1969-1994: It hurts us all,” was placed on the lawn of St. Patrick’s church by Newmarket Right to Life.
Soon after the sign went up, vandals came in the middle of the night and burned it to the ground. Newmarket RTL responded by erecting a replacement sign. It too was torched.
Janet Smith who organized the commemoration in her area says the St. Patrick’s parishioners are leery of putting up a third sign. “The mentality of someone who burns down a sign is such that they might next burn down a church,” she said, noting that one of the signs was attached to the church. With his church’s safety in mind, Fr. William Swift, pastor at St. Patrick’s, still has not decided whether a third sign should be installed.
The police were notified but so far have not been able to locate any witnesses.
Several other incidents of vandalism to the commemorative signs have been reported. Graffiti was spray painted on the signs at St. Michael’s Cathedral in downtown Toronto. Holy Cross Church in Toronto also experienced vandalism.