On December 10, 1984, Morgentaler reopened his abortuary on Harbord Street in Toronto. The “Day of Death” had begun and has continued uninterrupted for a period of a full year.
The pro-life movement in Ontario believed that the anniversary of death could not go by unnoticed. The regular picketers at the Harbord Street abortuary were joined by many other Torontonians, as well as many who traveled into town especially for the occasion. A protest was simultaneously staged in the Ontario Legislature Gallery and a sit-in took place in the Premier’s office.
Ontario pro-lifers were joined by supporters in Vancouver, who picketed Premier David Peterson on his visit to B.C. later that day.
Two contingents of pro-life individuals entered the public galleries separately during the question period in the Legislature on December 10. The first contingent was led by Agnes Lansink, of London, Ontario, who was protected on either side by two other pro-life supporters. Agnes is well known by Premier Peterson, who represents a London riding. When he saw Agnes enter the public gallery, he waved welcome to her in a friendly fashion. During the course of question period, Agnes suddenly stood up and in a loud, clear voice said “Justice for the unborn” and “Shut the Morgtenaler abortuary.” She held up the “Justice for the Unborn” sign for all to see. She was then promptly escorted from the gallery by security guards.
About ten minutes later, in another part of the public gallery, Leo Beecher, one of the steady picketers at the abortuary, repeated the same action (and was the subject of photographs in the National Section of the Globe and Mail, as well as the Toronto Star and Toronto Sun, on the following day).
The results of these actions were that the Legislature was disrupted and every M.P.P. that day was very much aware of the injustice to the unborn and the injustice of the Peterson government in refusing to uphold the law impartially, as it had sworn to do.
Simultaneous to the action taking place at the public galleries of the Legislature, another was taking place in the office of Premier Peterson at Queen’s Park. 27 stalwart pro-lifers – representatives from across the province-from North Bay to the southernmost tip – sat in the Premier’s office, stating that they would remain in his office until such time as the Premier met with them to discuss the closing of the Toronto abortuary. Mr. Peterson refused to do so, but told the press that the protesters were welcome to stay. His staff refused to let the pro-lifers sitting-in to use the washroom located in the office, and, in an effort to hasten an end to the protest, brought in coffee and drinks. The “sit-ins” declined the offer to drink and remained until after midnight, ensuring that their point had been well made. (A photograph of the “sit-in” graced the front pages of the national edition of the Globe and Mail on December 11, and every radio and TV station in the Toronto area picked up the story.
Mr. Peterson departed for Vancouver that afternoon – but he didn’t leave the pro-life protests behind. When he arrived at his hotel in Vancouver, over 50 B.C. Campaign Life pro-lifers were present with picket signs as a reminder of Peterson’s refusal to uphold the law.
The next day when Peterson rode the new LRT line he was met at New Westminster with yet more pro-life picketers.
Pro-lifers picketed at the abortuary throughout the day, thus disrupting the gruesome work of the abortionists inside. Overall, nearly 300 people participated in the picket, although not all stayed all day. It was a day well co-ordinated, well organized and was a testimony to the absolute determination of pro-life individuals in the Province of Ontario.
The following is a list of those who took part in the sit-in in Premier Peterson’s office.
Carol Morton Kirkfield Gloria Munroe Toronto
Elaine Podbielski Toronto Gerald Furey Cambridge
Julia Duggan Callander Antonio Canhoto Cambridge
Box Baxter Toronto Marjorie Bolger Cambridge
Phally Long Toronto Dr. Reg Bannister Cambridge
David Bissonnette Scarborough John VanDenassem Wingham
Mary Deryaw Brockville John Dykstra Goderich
Lidwien Grafe Kingston Archie Robertson Seaforth
Kay Moon Kingston Tina Nykamp Clinton
Mary Ellen Douglas Kingston Pauline DeJeu Goderich
Stuart Halpine Toronto Laurie Erb Goderich
Mark Lalonde Barrie Peter Dykstra Kingsbridge
Anna Freundorfer Shanty Bay Greg Benoit Thornhill