In Toronto, police constable David Packer refuses to guard the Morgentaler abortuary; he is punished with the loss of his career. In Nelson, British Columbia, Jim Demers rebuilds into a book trolley a machine used to suck unborn children from their mother’s wombs; he is convicted for defending those whom the law will not. And across the world, in Auckland, New Zealand, on the steps of the Epsom Day Hospital abortion clinic, Ross Bolton continues his campaign of silent witness to the killing of the unborn; he is faced with further imprisonment for trespassing.
“All I want to do is lead a happy and peaceful life with my family,” Bolton, a retired labourer said after one court appearance, “but I am terribly disturbed by the thought of little children having their bodies pulled apart.”
Mr. Bolton’s decision to stand up for the helpless child against an evil law has cost him dearly. He has already served time in prison, paid $315 in fines and twice received six-month suspended sentences for nine acts of trespassing since August of last year. He and his wife have fallen out with their families. With his wife Jenny’s agreement and support, Bolton has resigned from his job to devote all of his time to the witness he has undertaken. Knowing full well the financial insecurity such a decision entails.
On the positive side, Bolton’s heroic perseverance has encouraged others. Last December, the day after he had received his first suspended sentence, Bolton slipped through the door of the Epsom Day Hospital abortion clinic. As he was being taken to court one of the policemen denounced him for the time elapsed between his first and second protests; “In all that time while you’ve been waiting, those people have killed hundreds of babies.”
Serving his time in jail, Bolton found his fellow prisoners could not understand the reason for his protest, saying, “they don’t kill babies as such, they’re blobs.” Ross Bolton saw this as an opportunity to patiently instruct them in the humanity and the homicide of the unborn child.
Some time later, one of the prisoners approached him, “The guys have been talking about what they’re doing at that Epsom Day Hospital, and we reckon the doctors should be in here for murder. I’ve drawn up a petition against abortion and 50 of the guys have said they’ll sign it.”
A film on abortion, the example of others who trespassed in an abortuary in the New Zealand capital of Wellington and a conscience deeply troubled by the oppression of a helpless victim all motivated Bolton to undertake his protest. First, however, he had to overcome his own doubts. Was his deliberate breaking of the trespass law the Christian thing to do? After searching his soul, Bolton knew he had to fear God, not man.
“We have become…addicted to comfort and respectability. And that is why we are allowing the babies to be killed – because from Church leaders down, we Christians have become addicted to maintaining our comfort and above all, respectability. I know that feeling very well because I was afraid myself, but both Jenny and I have learnt that when you step out in faith, God gives you peace and the strength.”
Trespassing has become a routine now for Ross Bolton. He arrives at the Epsom Day Hospital abortion clinic in the morning with the first shift of customers. The office staff bolt the front door, but near it Bolton kneels in prayer, helpless and silent, like his little brothers and sisters being exterminated a few feet away. After the police have arrested him, his wife (parked nearby in their car) drives into the city and waits in court for him to be called to the dock, where again he is convicted for his witness to the slaughter of the innocents.