One hot, humid day last summer, Rosemary Connell, who drove two hours from her home north of Toronto to picket at a downtown Toronto abortuary, wondered why she was doing this. So often her efforts seemed futile and today was so hot. At the abortuary, while standing on the warm sidewalk, she noticed a man nearby, pacing nervously and smoking. Quietly, she approached him and asked, “Did you know that they kill babies in there but that they won’t let you smoke?” Struck by the contradiction, he blurted out, “I brought my stepdaughter in there because her stepmother isn’t a good mother.” Seizing the moment, Rosemary, an experienced counselor and founder of the Canadian “Show the Truth” pro-life tours replied, “Look, none of us is a perfect mother but you’re a grandfather now and you’re the only one in this situation who can protect and save this baby.” Startled by her remark, he looked at her in surprise, stepped aside and puffed on his cigarette. Then he butted it, accepted her pro-life pamphlets and strode back in to the abortuary. Five minutes later, he strode out, alone, and anxious to talk.

Obviously troubled, he told Rosemary that he had borrowed money to drive the three day trip to Toronto for his stepdaughter’s abortion; otherwise, she would have defiantly taken a bus alone to do so. “She’s not an easy girl,” he remarked. Responding to Rosemary’s gentle approach, he told her that he was the chief of an Indian band in a northern reserve “and abortion goes against everything we believe in our culture.” He confided that the night before in his hotel room, troubled by the idea of abortion, he prayed to God for a sign whether or not to proceed. Then his face brightened and he turned to Rosemary exclaiming, “You are that sign.” Rosemary was not sure. Then she turned around to see the stepmother and stepdaughter leaving the abortuary. They had changed their minds about the abortion, heeding the chief’s advice when he re-entered the abortuary urging them to cancel it.

With her prayers answered, Rosemary assumed responsibility for the services in their northern area. In due time, Samara Marie Faith was born. Her grateful stepmother, now a grandmother, told Rosemary, “We couldn’t imagine life without this baby.”