“Pro-lifers terrorize defenceless women,” said the caption over an April 10 letter in the Toronto Star. The letter writer was a high school student.  He described the tactics used by Operation Rescue protesters as a disgrace to the city:  women facing an abortion should not have to face “hordes of screaming, abusive adults….”

The writer presented no evidence that he had actually seen or heard these “hordes of screaming adults.”  Why, then, did the paper publish his letter?  The answer is that the daily papers now take for granted the stories which their own columnists and letter writers have spread so zealously: that pro-lifers are fanatical extremists.

Full Advantage

Naturally, the pro-abortion side is taking full advantage of this situation.  On April 6 Toronto Councillor Jack Layton and Metro Councillor Rodger Hollander felt “obliged” to bring the matter to the attention of the Metro Toronto Board of Police Commissioners.  (In October 1988 Layton actively encouraged pro-abortionists t break through the ranks of the Rescuers.)  The protesters are breaking the law and should be charged, they stated.  Hollander then described some leaders of the demonstrators (unnamed, of course) as “pro-life thugs.”  “They are aggressive – they are attacking,” he said.


Are they?  Videos in possession of Campaign Life show members of Operation Rescue enduring attacks by Morgentaler supporters.  The so0called thugs who are their leaders require them to take a pledge, in which they promise to be peaceful and nonviolent in both words and deed.  We print this pledge below, to make clear the basis on which Operation Rescue operates.  We are satisfied that the conduct of the protesters has indeed been orderly and above reproach.

But pro-lifers throughout the country better not be surprised that the smear tactics are having their effect.  The Henry Morgentaler-Clayton Ruby team are using it as their chief reason for requesting a court injunction against all picketing and counseling at the Toronto Harbord Street abortuary.


The following is the pledge which must be signed by Rescuers:

“I understand the critical importance of Operation Rescue being unified and peaceful.  An act of repentance precludes violence in word or deed.  Operation Rescue is our loving response to distressed mothers and their children.

“I realize that some pro-abortion elements of the media would love to discredit this event (and the whole pro-life movement) and focus on a side issue, in order to avoid the central issue at hand – murdered children.

“Hence’ I understand that for the children’s sake, this gathering must be orderly and above reproach.


  1. As an invited guest, I will co-operate with the spirit and goals of Operation Rescue as explained in this pamphlet.
  2. I commit to be peaceful and non-violent in both word and deed.
  3. Should I be arrested, I will not struggle with police in any way (whether deed or tongue), but will remain polite and passively limp, remembering that mercy triumphs over judgment.
  4. I will follow the instructions of the Operation Rescue crowd control marshals.
  5. I understand that certain individuals will be appointed to speak to the media, the police, and the women seeking abortions.  I will not take it upon myself to talk to anyone, but will continue singing and praying with the main group, as directed.

I sign this pledge, having seriously considered what I do, and with the determination and will to preserve by the Grace of God.