A pro-life woman who entered a Toronto abortion facility Dec. 14 intending to hand out pro-life cards and pray, was able to stay for a considerable time praying, avoiding arrest only after a man in the waiting room begged staff not to call the police. Making the event even more unusual is that the abortion facility is the exact same one that pro-life activist Mary Wagner was arrested earlier that week.
Nanci, who asked to be identified by her first name only, entered the Bloor West Village Women’s Clinic alone just after noon], intending silently to hand out small pictures of unborn children and information cards and to pray the Rosary. “I don’t want to go to prison,” Nanci, who is self-employed and engaged to be married, told LifeSiteNews, adding that she knew that by entering the abortion centre she risked arrest. “My strategy was to raise as little commotion as possible,” said the soft-spoken woman. “I haven’t done this before … my heart was just thumping.”
She had heard Mary Wagner speak and had been inspired by her example, Nanci told LifeSiteNews. Wagner, who has spent more than four years in jail for attempting peacefully to intervene at abortion facilities, is again in jail awaiting trial on charges of mischief and breach of probation order after her Dec. 12 arrest.
Nanci also attended Wagner’s appeal hearing two weeks earlier, where Wagner’s lawyer offered an argument that Canadian law actually protects her interventions to save the unborn.
“Going to the appeal intensified my sensitivity to the issue,” Nanci said. “I was there to support Mary, there to support the cause. I was thrilled by (Charles) Lugosi’s arguments.”
“I felt a growing hope and a growing confidence that victory has got to come,” Nanci said.
After hearing Wagner speak and then attending the appeal, “I was gradually getting to know her better,” Nanci said. Then “I just last night found out she had been arrested.”
That’s when it occurred to her that “I support Mary 100 per cent. If I support her 100 per cent, then why don’t I follow suit?”
So “I thought about it. Why don’t I try a different strategy? Go in and silently hand out cards, offer that to people in the waiting room. I’ll sit and silently pray.”
When she arrived at the door of the Bloor West Village Women’s Clinic, which has a secure entry system that staff operate from inside, “I pressed the button, not knowing what I was going to say.”
But at that moment, a woman came out, so Nanci went in. There were about two men and two women in the waiting room, but they were not obviously couples. They took the cards and said, “thank you,” she said. “I was surprised.”
The “young man took it and said, ‘I believe this’,” she said. Then “a staff member came out and invited me to leave. I didn’t respond. She said, ‘OK, I’ll call the police’.”
At that point, the young man in the waiting room “pleaded, ‘Don’t call the police’,” Nanci related. “I said, ‘Thank you,’ and stayed and prayed the Rosary … My plan was to stay until closing time.”
When at a little after 1:30 p.m., staff turned out the lights and told her the abortion centre was closing, she left. “They were displeased but polite.”
Her strategy differed from that of Mary Wagner, who tries to persuade women not to abort their children, she acknowledged. “Everyone has to follow their own conscience and their own discernment … It is a battle, but the pro-life side is pro-love and pro-peace,” Nanci said.
“I do hope to go back,” she told LifeSiteNews. “I can’t tell others how to approach things, I just hope that they would be there out of love and sensitivity toward the people involved, including the staff. It might be a good idea to take turns going in to pray, rather than several people at once.”
Jim Hughes, president of Campaign Life Coalition, lauded Nanci’s efforts. “It goes to show the type of response people have to the courageous acts of pro-lifers who are prepared to go to the wall on the issues for the babies,” he told LifeSiteNews. “To see that this woman was inspired by what Mary Wagner has been doing, and that inspiration led her to pray about it and then to go and do something about it, that’s wonderful.”
This article originally appeared Dec. 16 at LifeSiteNews and is used with permission.