On April 4, 1989, the following five defendants were sued for one million dollars by the operators of the Morgentaler abortuary in downtown Toronto:  Denise  Wiche, 32; Tom Brown, 52; Anne Packer, 39;  Dan McCash, 42; Joe Bissonnette, 25.  This  unconscionable suit has shocked and dismayed the defendants, all ordinary people with financial as-sets.  These Toronto Five are being singled out, sued and summoned to witness in court for the pre-born  under extraordinary circumstances.  By so doing, they will represent each of us upholding the principle of the sanctity of life.  A Pro-Life Defence Fund helps with court  costs, which threaten to be prohibitive.

In the Statement of Claim and the affidavits filed by Henry Morgentaler and his  abortuary staff, the defendants are characterized by such words as “impeding, interfering, blocking, obstructing, disturbing, intimidating and harassing.”  However, in their affidavits the defendants state they go to the abortuary to witness for the unborn, to counsel and  to pray.  The tensions between good and evil are epitomized at the Morgentaler abortuary, where the struggle for life over death continues.

Denise Wiche

Denise Wiche brims over with energy.  In her pink trimmed apartment the phone rings constantly.  Her ministry of counselling women before and after abortion is growing.  This day she juggles calls for speaking engagements, and with a mind of her own she negotiates with a prominent Toronto lawyer to appeal the Morgentaler injunction on her behalf.

At age 32, Denise has lived a lifetime of sorrow over her past three abortions.  Raped at age 13, she soon quit school and drifted into a lifestyle of “sex, rock and roll.”  Pregnant at age 16, she was advised by her mother to have an abortion to avoid social disapproval.  Later she worked at many jobs from cocktail waitress to insurance agent, saving her money and travelling throughout Europe and the U.S.  Because the law allowed it and her friends condoned it, she had two more abortions.  Not until she stumbled on a book on childbirth, years later, did she discover the astonishing development of the ten-week baby.  Shocked, she began to rethink the abortion issue, recalling that in each pregnancy she had wanted to have her baby, stealing clothes from an aunt’s baby trousseau.  Now, she believes that “the Lord has put a burden in my heart to plead with women to change their minds about abortion I can sympathize with them and their blindness because I’ve been there.”

A born-again Christian, Denise had a spiritual healing in 1987, during a Christian prayer weekend sponsored by “Women Aglow.” She felt compelled “to confess, repent and commit my life to Jesus Christ. “She joined a Pentecostal Church and began to read the Bible daily. Soon her fervor would spill into action.

On January 28, 1988. While watching Henry Morgentaler on national TV gloat over the Supreme Court decision to strike down the abortion law, Denise resolved, then and there, to tell women the truth about abortion and its consequences. Soon she began to picket at the Toronto abortuary, touching women with her compelling personal testimony. One day, while counselling in the laneway behind the abortuary, she met Henry Morgentaler. The affidavit she filed as a defendant says she “asked him to please stop aborting Canadian women.” Since he was having trouble starting his car, Denise had extra time to make her points. She and others began to sing “Awake/ O Israel.” Morgentaler’s affidavit says that Denise “has harangued me outside my clinic shouting. When are you going to stop to counter the “widespread deceit” about abortion and offer women basic information they are often denied. She is distressed over the harsh Morgentaler injunction prohibiting picketing and sidewalk counselling, which she insists must always be done with love and compassion to be effective.

Since 1988, her many pro-life activities include organizing the September 1988 National Rally for Life in Ottawa, attended by Mother Teresa and 25,000 People, as executive director of Toronto Christians for Life: organizing a Shepherding Home Program [finding rooms in private homes for pregnant women]; Contributing her testimony to the book No Easy Answers; co-producing a teen video for 100 Huntley Street called “I’m Alive”; and most  recently heading a new 24-hour telephone and counselling abortion service {spearheaded by Rev. Ken Campbell] called “The Way Out,” to fill in for services at “The Way Inn,” temporarily suspended by the Morgentaler injunction.

Denise draws her inspiration from Scriptures. She quotes Proverbs 24:11 and 12: “Rescue   those who are unjustly sentenced to death, don’t stand back and let them die….”

With her spirit and special testimony, the court is bound to hear a stirring witness.

Tom Brown

Tom Brown’s friendly face often creases into a smile. He is affable and direct in manner, with a self-effacing sense of humour. When I told him I might call this piece “The Pursued” he said, “Why not the poor-sued?”

An only child, Tom was born 52 years ago in Newfoundland and raised in northern Ontario; he has lived with his family in Toronto for the last twenty-two years, working as a life insurance agent. Tom began to picket the abortuary shortly before it opened at the suggestion of  Father Ted Colleton. He expected it to be closed any day. His pro-life activity there is best described in his affidavit filed as a defendant in the million dollar lawsuit:

“Since December 10,1984, I have undertaken to attend at least one day each week outside the Morgentaler centre…[to] witness for life with a picket sign and by handing out to passersby literature which outlines facts about abortion and its victims.” Tom estimates that he has handed out about 10,000 pieces of pro-life literature in four years.

His commitment evolved gradually because “we knew the evil of abortion but didn’t know how else to protest actively.” A Christian action weekend retreat called Cursillo – whose motto is “Piety, study and prayer”-made ten years ago inspired Tom to be more active in the pro-life movement. A father of four sons [one adopted], Tom sees abortion as “a cold-blooded murderous act, morally repugnant.” It breaks his heart to see a girl enter the abortuary. In his affidavit Tom describes his commitment:

“My most important activity is to act as a sidewalk counsellor…standing in the back alley leading into the Morgentaler centre…to speak to women who have appointments to abort their children. Over the last four years, I have spoken to hundreds of women…to offer them an alternative to abortion and to ensure they are aware of the ramifications of what is to be done to them. More importantly, I tell them that we care about them and their unborn child…Though I do not know the exact number, I believe that I have been instrumental in enabling 50 women to choose to bring their babies to term…” Tom is quick to attribute any successful interventions to the help of God.

Henry Morgentaler’s affidavit refers to Tom by saying:

“Tom Brown is known to me. I have seen him pursue patients very aggressively, sticking pictures of fetuses in their face and trying to dissuade them from having abortions that they have agreed with the Morgentaler Clinic to have performed, by lies, innuendo and distortions of fact….”

Tom has been arrested eight times for trespassing [crossing the line between the Way Inn and the abortuary], while stepping out to hand pamphlets to women about to enter the abortuary. At the end of his full day there, Tom usually feels drained, indignant and frustrated at a legal and judicial system that allows this evil to continue unabated. To compensate for his lost business time, he will work late into the evening.

Heart – warming stories are told about some women who have chosen not to abort their babies at the abortuary. Three of these grateful women swore affidavits in court in support of the defendants, including Tom, who had helped them. Tom and his wife Barbara tell of others who change their minds with no follow-up, like the very young teenaged couple last summer who listened to counsellors, examined the pro-life pamphlets and left saying, “We can’t kill our baby”; or the 20-year- old frightened Polish immigrant women, who spoke little English. Tom arranged a three-way telephone hook-up with Joe Borowski in Winnipeg to translate, while others contacted a local Polish priest who came and rescued her. There are other stories about Tom’s interventions. Small wonder he is named in the million-dollar lawsuit.

Surprised only at the large amount of money sought, Tom is aware of financial and job consequences if the lawsuit is successful. His family is solidly behind him. Michael, aged 21, insisted on giving his dad $100 toward the Pro-Life Defence Fund; and Chris, aged 15, donated $50 left over from last year’s summer job.

Tom’s love spills over to distressed mothers and their pre-born babies at the abortuary. In his affidavit’ spoken directly from the heart by a man of courage and faith, he says:

“My presence and actions at Harbord Street stem from and are governed by Christian convictions which teach me that all life is precious and deserving of protection and that distressed pregnant women should be treated with respect and love.”

Anne Packer

In the Packer living room, two rosy-cheeked preschoolers, Mary aged 4 and Julie aged 3, dance quietly about like two small sugar-plum fairies. Their sister Elizabeth, aged 13,and two older brothers, Matthew, aged 10, and Andrew, aged 8,will soon burst in from school for lunch. Their humble home, sparsely furnished, is a happy hectic place. Their mother, Anne Packer, insists on being at home with her five children. Since her husband David defied the orders of his police superiors to guard the Morgentaler abortuary, he has been demoted with a $10,000 drop in income. The family feels the sting.

A gentle quiet-spoken lady, Anne, aged 39, has a pleasant, no-nonsense manner: she is quick to laugh and quick to empathize with those who suffer. Born  and raised in the U.S., the daughter of a former police chief, she is a daughter of a former police chief, she is a graduate nurse from St.Vincent’s Hospital in New York City, where she specialized in neurosurgical nursing. After graduating she went to England to train as a midwife. In her heart-warming book A Matter of  Conscience, she details David’s police struggle and their earlier lives together, vividly describing how he as part-time orderly and she as a nurse each encountered the horror of seeing aborted babies. The memory is haunting and is partially responsible for their pro-life action.

Anne sees David’s difficult decision to cross his police superiors as a watershed in their lives, “freeing her” to do what she believes she must for the unborn. With his dashed hopes for advancement and “his marked career” [a boring desk job] they have little to lose.

Anne has always had a tender spot for the helpless, recalling how in high school she worked at a nursing home for the aged and “liked helping people”, an experience that confirmed her desire to be a nurse. After graduation she worked in head and neck surgery, where she came to appreciate the courage of patients whose faces and appearances were very deformed by disease or accident. She came “to know the person within” and says, “their souls shone.” Becoming a mother helped her to empathize with distressed pregnant women, especially because she has had three miscarriages. Unlike the women seeking abortions, however, she had the loving, stable support of a husband and home, a situation which made her realize how much more these other women must need love and support. Although Anne has been to the abortuary only occasionally, with Mary and Julie in tow, she was named in the million-dollar lawsuit. The Morgentaler Statement of Claim says:

“[Anne] regularly attends at the clinic to harangue patients in an effort to induce them not enter the Clinic to have the abortion procedure performed. In addition to verbal assaults on these patients she passes out leaflets which contain untruth and cards to them.

As a result of her actions the patients visibly become upset and distressed.” In the affidavit Anne filed as a defendant, she says: “Never at any time was I verbally abusive nor did I harass any woman as that would have been counterproductive to my goal to help the woman and her baby. When I saw a woman approaching the back entrance to the clinic I would introduce myself and ask her in which way I could  help her. Sometimes women would stop and listen to me, and having identified myself as a nurse, I would detail the possible complications of abortion. I would refer to the abortuary permission slip which lists many serious complications for which Dr. Morgentaler will assume no responsibility.” Anne believes her prominent leadership role in Operation Rescue and its success accounts for her inclusion in the lawsuit. The Statement of Claim refers to her role in Operation Rescue:

At the mass demonstration outside the Clinic on October 29, 1988, the Defendant Packer was directing  and exhorting people to trespass onto the Clinic property and to use their bodies to block all ingress into the said Clinic…” Yet in her affidafit Anne says:” The people involved in Operation Rescue are God-fearing people and are deeply committed to the non-violent passive resistance tactics of Operation Rescue.

They sign a commitment to remain peaceful in both word and deed during the rescue. I personally have been observed by the police and the pro-abortionists exhorting rescuers not to respond in any way …[Police Superintendent John Getty of 14 Division referred to us on the CTV program W5 as decent law abiding citizens who would not normally come into contact with police.]”

Of the lawsuit Anne says: “If Morgentaler had to do this , we had to be doing something right.” Her courage is sustained “by the incredible people who get no credit now, but who take abuse on sight and in the media. They are courageous and selfless human beings.”  Anne says the future of the lawsuit is in God’s hands and sees it as a symbol of the inevitable clash between the forces of good and evil. She says that “strong new resistance has arisen from the grassroots as a result.”

Of the defendants, she muses: “Unwittingly, Morgentaler picked people the least likely to be intimidated.” She encourages people who want to help to fast and pray and to do whatever else they can and peace will come to them. A former worrier, Anne used to love worldly things [ she’d still love to shop for clothes but can’t]. Still, she has found a new inner peace which she says comes only after “You dare to step out and do what you think you must. God is always there to help.” And surely she must know.

Dan McCash

Dan McCash and his wife Muriel, came to Canada with their two wee sons and infant daughter in 1977 “for a one-year’s stint.” Still here, they are now enthusiastic Canadian citizens.

Born in Glasgow 42 years ago, Dan was raised in a home “rich in love, but poor in material possessions.” His maternal grandparents and many uncles were always nearby to fill in for his ailing father, so he never felt deprived. The Church was central to their lives. His mother had great devotion to the Virgin Mary and he remembers how, unfailingly, many a night after a late party, she would tiptoe into his room or that of his sister and murmur, “Jesus, Holy Mother protect them,” Dan says softly, “I’ll never forget that.” It was she, a cleaning lady, who insisted that Dan go to university after finishing high school with good grades, rather than go to work and help her with money. Dan says his generation was the first to break “the barrier” and go to university. Years later, he fondly recalls taking his mother and grandmother on a car tour of Ireland. They both sat in the back seat exclaiming, “Imagine our Danny doing this for us and in this big car.”

On the abortion front, his faith, shrewdness and a sense of humour will stand him well in whatever situation God places him. And likely his mother, back in Scotland, will ask Our Lady to protect him and all the other defendants, too.

In 1981, in Canada, Dan met Father Colleton at the same Cursillo weekend retreat where he met Tom Brown. Re-awakened to the spiritual commitment of “being the hands, feet and mouthpiece of Jesus Christ,” Dan gradually connected his Christian ideals to the abortion issue. Shocked at the opening of the Morgentaler abortuary in 1984, he began “to witness for life” every weekday on his lunch hour. Eventually, Dan “became marked for his perseverance.” In one of many encounters with the law [he has been charged five times for trespassing], he was banned from the abortuary for eighteen month. Each time , Dan says, he was “found guilty on a complete set of lies.” In one court appearance Dan was particularly disappointed when a judge called his witness, a respected Jesuit priest, “a liar.” He knows the courts are biased against pro-lifers.

What is the meaning and purpose of all this for Dan? He explains it this way: “We’re are all on a journey and in good times like now, lethargy sets in which lessens our awareness that we are all called to sanctification.” He believes the abortion issue is “the end of the tether” for other things society has accepted, such as deviations from normal family values like promiscuity, marital infidelity and homosexuality.  He says, “the devil attacks you where you are.”  Sometimes he wonders,  “Why do I put up with this?  But then he reasons, “God has put me in this situation and on the spiritual side if it is a means of sanctification.”  Yet for all the setbacks there are compensations, “and with God’s help babies are saved.”  Dan tells of Wilma, a Filipino girl, and Debbie, a Jamaican girl, both frightened immigrant nannies, coerced into abortion by their employers; and of Zan and Lee an unmarried Vietnamese couple who reluctantly sought abortion to avoid possible job loss and shame.  Dan and others helped these women save their babies

by offering them practical help and follow-up.

With his analytical mind, Dan could see that more people and practical resources would be needed to help people at the abortuary.  He and other pro-lifers set up a telephone counselling service “Dial for Life,” workshops for sidewalk counsellors, and a “Legal Defence Fund,” and put ads in The Interim to promote these services.

As for the present and future of abortion Dan says two major approaches are necessary-to get a law to protect the unborn and to save babies now.  He believes as do others, that “United we stand, divided babies die.”  For the present, we must continue to help women and to do what each of us can do every day or every week.

For people outside abortion centres and for all pro-life people, “We must become more active politically by joining riding associations and helping to elect pro-life delegates and elected representatives.”  Dan says he and a few others elected a  pro-life M.P. in his riding.  He believes if pro-life people flood each riding and demand pro-life candidates across the country we will succeed in electing a pro-life Parliament.”

As for the million-dollar lawsuit, Dan believes “It was in the cards.  He says its purpose is to deflect the issue of abortion from the killing of babies to one against pro-life people.

Dan is mentioned several times in the Statement of Claim.  One incident is as follows. “…The Defendant McCash attempted to prevent Ms. X who was then scheduled to be a patient at the Clinic, from entering the Clinic by screaming at her such things such as “Why are you killing you’re your baby?  When Ms. X left the clinic after the procedure was completed the defendant McCash followed her off the Clinic property…” Yet in Dan’s affidavit, he says: “I deny the allegations of Ms. X.  When I attended the clinic I did so during my lunch hour. No woman left within the time frame I was there…[Ms. X] fails to specify dates when she alleges events to have occurred although those dates would be available to her from the clinic.” Later he concludes:  The plaintiffs are using fear mongering tactics and attempting to blacken our names with alleged incidents to which they do not connect us.”

Joe Bissonnette

Joe Bissonnette, aged 25,  is the youngest defendant in the million dollar lawsuit.  Born and raised in Toronto, Joe is the oldest of six children (one adopted).  His parents, both teachers, and long time pro-lifers and an inspiration to Joe.  A recent graduate in philosophy and politics, he has studied great Christian writers” and was surprised to find so much reason to the basis of Christian thought.”  Often while taking Joe will relate some meaning of his pro-life activism to the influence to a great religious or political leader (from Thomas Aquinas to Martin Luther King).  A reflective, intense young man, he is concerned about moral and social injustice in Canadian Society and in particular about abortion.

Raised in a home where the issue was openly discussed, Joe came to admire the fortitude of his parents in withstanding criticism from family and friends over their pro-life activism.  Interestingly, when Joe went away to university, one of his first initiatives was to begin a one-hour picket line every Saturday morning outside the local hospital where abortions were carried out. Four years later, it still exists.

Friendly and somewhat shy, Joe has a refreshing sense of humour.  An aspiring

Writer, he loves observing people and doesn’t mind a little adventure.  After high school, he did a stint in the navy, where he “learned to tie lots of knots.  Later, in university, he worked as a bouncer in a club and was attacked one night by five men and stabbed.  He recovered and got another job.

Joe began picketing at the Morgentaler abortuary when it opened in 1984, and was one of the first people charged with trespassing.  After the infamous Supreme Court

Decision of 1988, he knew more vigorous, visible action was needed.  He joined Operation Rescue and believes his  high profile caused him to be named in the lawsuit.  When asked what drives him, Joe replies that the acceptance of abortion is the acceptance of evil by people (otherwise good) who are unaware or apathetic about it. He believes that ultimately Christians will have to pay a terrible price for this crime against God and against humanity and compares it to slavery, recalling Abraham Lincoln’s statement that the blood of civil war was necessary to purge the sin of slavery.  Similarly, he sees pro-life activism as one means of collective atonement for abortion.

Recently, Joe had plenty of time to think (“That’s all there was to do”) while in jail for a weekend.  Incensed by the Morgentaler injuction, he returned to picket the next day and was arrested (along with Mike Massin).  Here he felt more freedom peace than on the outside where he was legally prohibited from pleading for the unborn.  At least now he had done what he believed necessary to publicly challenge  “the unjust injunction.”  Placed in protective custody near child molesters and other abusers, he “felt the evil around me.”  Consequently, “Jail was a very spiritual experience and a crash course on one side of humanity.  Never were the words ‘Thy will be done’ more profoun d of powerful.”

In Joe’s affidavit he tells what he does at the abortuary and why:

“When at the clinic my principal object has always been to bear witness to the truth for both victims, the mother and the child…(it is) the one chance that many women get to hear the truth…(while) in front of the abortion clinic just before they enter…The women have been told that we will harass them, so it is especially important that we be kind and gentle…to show them the facts and their alternatives in the few short seconds we have…Predictably clinic personnel would prefer we were not there…Neither do they like having people grapple with their own consciences again…as we remind just what it is they are doing.  They attempt to portray us as mischievous, malicious and violent.”  Henry Morgentaler aged 67, must have peeked out of his frosted abortuary window to see young Joe aged 25, for Morgentaler says this: “Joseph James Bissonnette is known to me.  I have seen him parading in front of the Morgentaler Clinic with placards bearing pictures and slogans urging patients who have agreed to having abortions performed at the Morgentaler Clinic not to have these procedures performed.…”Later in the Morgentaler affidavit he says, “Some of these signs…bear the inscriptions “Remember Auschwitz.  They are killing babies here.  Sue the abortionists for complications .  All are offensive to me.

Of the million-dollar lawsuit, Joe a substitute teacher says that at first he was surprised, even number, but then realized, “We’re succeeding if the other side is that upset.”  His super-supportive parents organized a fund-raising dance to launch the Pro-Life Defence Fund” for the defendants.

Joe thinks hard and then acts decisively.  Possibly he was targeted in the lawsuit for being a young activist in a second generation of pro-lifers.  Through his pro-life beliefs and activism at the abortuary and in jail shine his courage and faith

The million-dollar lawsuit against the Toronto Five will probably not be heard in court for two years.  Until then, life continues as usual for the defendants, who see the lawsuit as an attempt to suppress their civil rights in offering last minute help to distressed pregnant women at the Morgentaler abortuary.  For them and all pro-lifers, the lawsuit is not a question of money, but of principle.

  • Out of the Mouths…..children’s letters
  • When Virginia Ku and her fellow religion teachers in Toronto wanted to illustrate “love in action” for her class of 8 to 12 year olds, she found no better models than James and Karen Hanlon, David Forsyth and a B.C. couple who went to jail for trying to save babies by blocking the door to Vancouver’s abortuary.  Ms. Ku asked the children to write the Hanlons commending them for their sacrificial and heroic act of love.  Their letters follow:
  • Dear Karen:
  • Hi, my name is Afija..
  • I think what you did was very good and you standing up for eyeryone’s rights.
  • Thank for giving courage.
  • I pray you can go home soon.
  • I feel abortion is cruel to a child but you were only doing what you felt right.
  • I hope you get out of prison soon.  No way should you go to jail for something that was right.
  • Sincerely,
  • Afija
  • Grade 5, age 11
  • Dear Karen:
  • I’m sorry about the way you are being kept prisoner.  I hope that the government will realize the people would not have abortion.  I hope you get out of prison soon because people should not go to prison for something good.  I think you are a good person to try to stop this.  I hope that the Lord help you.
  • Annie
  • Age 10
  • Dear Karen,
  • Hi, My name if Kelly.  I am 10 years old and in grade 5.  In my opinion I think you did a great thing by trying to save the unborn babies from being killed before they were born.
  • I hope abortion will be against the law.  I also hope that you will get out of prison very, very soon, maybe even next week. Please, along with others, keep fighting against abortion.  You’re very, very, very, very, very, BRAVE!!!
  • May God bless you
  • Kelly
  • Age 10
  • Dear Karen,
  • I’m sorry you had to go to jail just because you want to stop people from killing little babies.  I think it’s dumb to be killing little babies in their mothers’ stomach.  I think that what you did is smart and good.  I hope you can go home now.  Bye.
  • God Bless You,
  • Julie
  • Grade 4, Age 11
  • Dear Karen:
  • The thing that you did was very smart of you because they should not be killing babies just because they don’t want them.  They should do something else than kill little babies.  Thank-you for showing us what is right and what is wrong.  We hope you get out of jail soon.
  • God Bless You, Karen, Julie L
  • Age 10, grade 5
  • Dear Karen,
  • I think you did a very good thing.  Women who want to get an abortion should be put in jail instead of the people who don’t want women to get abortions.  When I grow up I want to fight for a law that will stop abortion.  I am 10 years old and I’m in grade five.  I hope you get out of jail soon.  I think that you are very brave.  Like I said, I think you did a very good thing. Have hope.
  • Dear Karen
  • Thank you for showing courage.  We hope you can go home soon.  I am 8 years old, my name is Heather.  I am in grade 2.
  • You are very, very brave.
  • Heather
  • Dear Karen
  • How are you?  I’m fine.  I think what you are doing is right.  I don’t think it’s fair for the baby to get killed.  I hope that abortion will end very soon.
  • Jennifer
  • 11 years old
  • P.S. I hope you will get to go home soon.  May God bless you.
  • Dear David and James,
  • I wish you good luck on your baby.  I hope you are having a good time.  Be brave, don’t worry about the babies in Toronto, they are fine.  I hope the people are in jail after killing a baby.   I hope it will end soon.
  • Age 9
  • Dear David and James,
  • I hope in your heart there are no hard feelings.  I know you were trying to do something good.  Thank you for showing us courage and hope.  I really hope that abortion will stop really soon.  I can tell you one thing, keep praying.  God will bless you many, many times.
  • Age 9
  • Advice—“
  • Keep cool.”
  • Dear David and James,
  • I know you tried to save unborn people, that was very nice of you.  I hope that you go home soon.
  • Age 8
  • Dear David and James,
  • We hope that you might try again to save children’s lives.  You were very brave to do that.  Thank you for showing us how brave you could be and giving us all hope.  Other people could do this but they just don’t have the power.  But you David and James, you care for children
  • Love
  • Age 8
  • Dear David and James
  • I sorry to hear hope in the future, they will ban abortion.  I’m you’re in prison.  Thank-you for showing me the hope you had to help the unborn.  We also pray you may go home soon.
  • God Bless You
  • Age 11
  • Dear David and James,
  • How are you?  Thank-you for showing me courage and hope.   I hope abortion will end soon.  Other children are writing to you from Toronto.
  • God Bless You
  • Homosexual agenda expands
  • By Interim Staff
  • On April 13 the federal Human Rights tribunal in Ottawa ruled that homosexual couples constitute “a family.” This decision was based on the premise that “there shouldn’t be any special privilege for being heterosexual.” Naturally, the ruling was hailed by the homosexual community, which includes MP Svend Robinson – who is their spokesman in the House of Commons.
  • What are the implications of this ruling? According to Michelle Falardeau-Ramsay, deputy chief of the Canadian Human Right Commission, “It’s staggering the kinds of changes it could mean,” affecting the Income Tax Act, the Unemployment Insurance Act and welfare legislation.
  • Sweden
  • Similar ideas are spreading in other countries. In the US, San Francisco’s board of supervisors has also accepted homosexual “marriages.” This is the first US city to have couples register their relationships with the city.
  • Sweden legalized “marriages” between homosexuals in 1987 and just recently Denmark did the same. These “achievements” cap a 40-year campaign by the local homosexual communities to acquire the same rights as normal married people, whom they refer to as “heterosexuals.”
  • Neither Sweden nor Denmark have yet to grant homosexuals the “right” to adopt children. This is still too radical for the movement even for the “liberal” Swedes and Danes. But in Toronto, homosexuals attempted to acquire this “right” as long as four years ago.
  • Opposition
  • Opposition to the ever increasing demands of homosexuals remains feeble at best with fears of being labelled bigots or discriminatory. Among those who objected to the federal Human Rights ruling were BC Premier Vander Zalm and the Salvation Army’s weekly War Cry. The latter demanded a review of the role of the Human Rights Commission (HRC). The editorial calls on MPs to monitor groups “which have set themselves up as watchdogs of public morality, regardless of the cultural, historical or religious tradition of the society in which they operate.”
  • But the situation is worse than the War Cry editorial indicates. In Ontario the provincial HRC announced that it would have a booth at this year’s Lesbian and Gay Pride Day, showing where its commitment lay. Miss Falardeau-Ramsay, of the federal HRC, also indicated that she strongly advocates legal protection of so-called sexual orientation.
  • “Gay Pride”
  • In the meantime, homosexual activists continue to demand that homosexual activity be protected and promoted as an alternate lifestyle in a number of different ways. One way, for example, is the demand for public recognition of so-called “Gay Pride” days. Such recognition was rejected by Edmonton Mayor Terry Cavanagh on April 23, but the same request led to a see-saw battle in Toronto, lasting for several months, leading first to victory then to defeat of the request. Vancouver, however, is proudly preparing itself for the “Gay Games” of 1990. Torontonians should take note of how their councilmen voted on this issue (8 against to 7 for), and seek the defeat, two years from next fall, of the following who voted in favour of “gay” recognition: Nadine Nowlan, Jack Layton, Howard Levine, Marilyn Churley, Robert Maxwell, Martin Silva, Elizabeth Amer.
  • When the municipal elections of 1991 come around, they should remember to support those who opposed it: Mayor Art Eggleton, Kay Gardner, Tom Jakobek, Michael walker, Tom Clifford, William Boytchuk, Chris Korwin-Kuczynski, Betty Disero.
  • “Personal religion”
  • Barbara Hall was absent from the final vote, but she voted in favour the first time. Tony O’Donohue was also absent, but he voted against, the first time around. The one who should get special credit for bringing the issue to a second vote defeating the motion is Betty Disero. Martin Silva, of Portuguese Catholic background, on the other hand, defended his vote for “gay” day with the arrogant claim that his “personal religion” was one of “compassion,” while those who opposed the measure did so because they were “full of hatred.” It is remarkable how the ability to turn the truth upside down is so common to both homosexual activists and those who favour abortion.
  • Public Schools ban Christian Prayers
  • By Frank M. Kennedy, The Interim
  • The teaching of Christianity in the public schools is not on the ropes – it’s gone down for the count.
  • The tail wags the dog when it comes to public school education in Canada. A minority – no more than a handful of people really – under the guise of multi-culturalism demand that Christianity be banned in the public schools. It’s like having the NDP’s Ed Broadbent running the country even though he didn’t win the election!
  • Manitoba is the only province in Canada that still has mandatory prayers, but it is soon to be challenged. BC Attorney General Bud Smith ordered all that province’s school boards to cut out prayers and scripture readings. Ontario still requires schools to devote two half hour periods a week to religious education, but this is also being challenged by the Canadian Civil Liberties Association.
  • In March 1989, the Ontario Haliburton County Board of Education demoted Charles Hughes, the able principal of Wilberforce Public School, to a teacher’s position (but without a drastic reduction in salary). He was canned from his job for insisting on saying the “Our Father” in his school.
  • Haliburton
  • One man wrote the Haliburton County Echo, a local paper, stating, “The removal of Christianity from primacy in our school system is just another step in what is becoming the systematic destruction of a heritage and culture embraced by the majority of Canadians.
  • Mr. Hughes thought that he had found a way around the board policy of a minute’s silence, telling the pupils to say the “Our Father” after “O Canada,” so he could include it as part of his allotted two half-hour sessions of religious instruction. The board pounced on him for that.
  • Provinces across Canada want their boards of education to replace Christianity in the schools with multi-faith readings. This covers the religious spectrum from Christianity to Zoroastrianism, with secular humanism thrown in for good measure.
  • In a way the goals are admirable – to establish tolerance and understanding for various beliefs. The multi-faith readings range form the innocuous, “The world is full of a number of things. I’m sure we should all be as happy as kings,” to the powerful, “Whoever rejects evil and believes in God has grasped the most trustworthy handhold that never breaks.” But the danger is obvious. This book itself threatens to become a substitute bible.
  • David Horrow, a trustee with the Scarborough Ontario Board of Education and an evangelical Christian, thought that substituting a hodgepodge of sentiments for Biblical Christianity would bring Jesus Christ, the Son of God, down to the level of just another philosopher. To avoid this mockery, he favoured a moment of silent prayer. His views did not prevail.
  • This attack on Christianity is a further reason why parents are moving their children into the numerous alternatives available, sometimes at great cost and inconvenience to themselves. In Ontario alone, private schools have soared from 125 in the early 70s to 500 today. Many are Christian-oriented.
  • New Study
  • A newly-commissioned study of religion in the Ontario public school system is expected to affirm religion in general, but not a particular religion. What is proposed is to compare religions with each other and encourage tolerance. For children without a religion at home, it was suggested that the education system could fill the void.
  • It has been said that it is impossible to teach about religion without teaching a religion. Many people are sceptical about this new study. Rabbi Philip Rosenweig, an Orthodix Jew who sends his children to public schools in Kitchener, Ontario, for example, is doubtful. In John Allemang’s report on religion in public schools, (Globe & Mail, Feb. 11,1989), Rosenweig had this to say:
  • “It’s a sure road to failure. The trouble is, it’s too innocuous. Religion is very strong and very meaningful, but we’re trying in school to undo that strong direction and make religion palatable and pleasant.”
  • Christianity, it is said, must be left out of history in the public schools, presumably because nobody can agree on how it should be taught in a “pluaralistic” milieu. Or, it is said, new ethic and cultural groups should not be taught about Catholics and Protestants in Canada in the nineteenth century or any other century. That kills 2000 years of history because the history of Western Civilization is principally the history of Christianity.
  • Where are you, Solomon, now that we need you?
  • Book Review : A Matter of Conscience
  • By Pat Loughran, The Interim
  • A Matter of Conscience
  • By Anne Packer with Paul Knowles
  • Toronto, 1988
  • Interim Publishing CO. Ltd.
  • “If this book can change one person’s mind about abortion, if it can spur just a few people to more involvement in this fight to save children, it will have been worth the effort, the energy, and the difficulty I face as I let strangers have a long look into my life, and the lives of my family,” writes Anne Packer in Chapter 14 entitled “And what did you do?” Her book, A Matter of Conscience, does succeed in convincing us that we too, like her husband, Constable David Packer, must obey our conscience that “tells you to do something you don’t want to do, something which is going to disturb your life, disturb the lives of your family, and is a general pain.”
  • Anne packer has written an absorbing account of their lives before and after her husband’s courageous refusal to guard the Harbord Street abortuary in Toronto. She describes their backgrounds and their backgrounds and their first meeting at Churchill Hospital in Oxford, England, where they, separately, “encountered the appalling reality of abortion.” After their marriage in 1974, David decided to become a police officer in England in order to put a roof over their heads (bobbies in Britain are given a house to live in), but they eventually emigrated to Canada. For a decade, Constable David Packer was a “model cop” with the Toronto police force, receiving ten commendations for good police work . One commendation was for bravery in saving a baby from a burning apartment building.
  • With obvious love and sincerity, Anne Packer draws a portrait of a man who loves his chosen work and does it well, who prefers to stay out of the limelight and who is a family man who delights in his five children and his wife. One could think that David Packer was leading an ordinary life. However, the reader soon realizes underpinning this seemingly ordinary life is a very active conscience. Thus, on April 8, 1987, at 12:30pm, Constable David Packer put his career and his reputation at risk because he “could not, in good conscience, be party in any way to the killing of babies that was taking place at the illegal Morgentaler abortuary. He was ordered to report to the police tribunal and to face the charge of insubordination.
  • The furor and controversy that broke out following Constable Packer’s doing what no other policeman in Canada has yet done are discussed and the record set straight in Chapters Seven to Twelve. On January 26, 1988, Superintendent Bernard Nadeau decided that David Packer must resign from the force within seven days or be immediately dismissed. This harsh decision on hold as David follows through the various appeal procedures. On March 10, 1989, the Metro Toronto Police Commission upheld the dismissal. As a last resort, Constable Packer has appealed to the Ontario Police Commission which will hear his case in the fall.
  • Anne writes “David is more committed to this [abortion battle] than he has ever been. The courage he has found has grown has grown in him, by the grace of God, ever since that pivotal day.”
  • The list of readers who have been influenced by Constable David Packer’s action is also growing. To read this book is to be inspired to take a stand and to act to bring the killing of pre-born babies to an end. “And what are you doing?” is a new question that each new reader should ask himself or herself.
  • Business for Life
  • By Father Ted Colleton
  • A priest friend of mine claims that there are no such things as “coincidences” but only “God-incidences.” He is more pious than I am but sometimes I think he has a point! For a number of years now, Campaign Life Coalition has been trying to interest the business community in the pro-life movement in the practical way of financial assistance. But to no avail – until a few months ago. Here’s how it all “happened.” I “happened” to be saying Mass and preaching in a parish in another diocese. After Mass, a young man – named Tom – who had been the lector, invited me to have brunch with him and his wife. After a very enjoyable meal they drove me back to the Rectory and Tom said, “We’d like to have a talk with you, Father.” Briefly, the story was this. Tom owns a concrete factory and is doing very well. But his conscience keeps telling him that there is more to life than making money. Having talked to his wife, Anne, they decided that they should become more involved in the pro-life movement. The question they put to me was, “How can we be most useful?”
  • There are different ways of saving babies
  • It was obvious that, with his flourishing business – to hours’ drive form Toronto – and many employees, Tom did not fit into the daily picketing scene. He is a successful businessman with plenty of personality and contacts in the commercial world and that would be where his contribution could be most effective. So, from the first idea of Tom and Anne becoming more personally active, we began to envisage getting other people involved. Tom said he believed there were quite a number f business associates who did not agree with abortion. But they didn’t know what they could do about it. He would contact them and see if a “business” pro-life group could be formed.
  • As we say in Ireland, “Between the jigs and the reels” things got going. Ten of us met for dinner in a Toronto hotel one evening and discussed the whole matter. Before the evening was over, we had formed an association and named it “Business for Life.” Its principal objective would be to raise funds for pro-life projects. Tom was unanimously elected President, and another enterprising young businessman named Steve, Secretary-Treasurer. We dispersed late at night, feeling that we were going places.
  • Meetings
  • At the next meeting, held in Neil McNeil High School, we had a few new members. One was Dave, President of a Canada-wide company. Dave is a member of the Christian Missionary Alliance. He is a delight to know. He is totally pro-life and obviously a force in the world of commerce. His Christian principles are impeccable and he believes that God is “alive and well” in the business arena. At the same time, Dave is gifted with an acute business-sense. His suggestions are always practical, to the point, and workable. We now hold our monthly meetings in his well-appointed Toronto offices. We begin each meeting with a prayer; then we get down to the business of fund-raising; and we end with a prayer. My only contribution seems to be “leader of the prayers.”
  • Never too old to learn
  • I am learning quite a lot by just sitting and listening. I am not a businessman, as anyone who knows me is aware. My middle name is “Inefficiency.” My desk always looks like a small garbage heap and I would never have “made it” out there in that “Big Bad World.” So, it is very interesting and instructive to watch these experienced and successful business people in action. A suggestion is thrown out. It is discussed and voted on. If it is passed, someone is assigned to implement it. For instance, at the April Meeting it was decided to publish a brochure. With the guidance and advice of Campaign Life Coalition, a really attractive folder was produced and handed out at the May meeting. It takes literally two minutes to read but the whole story is told in a few masterly strokes. Here is just one example: “Our objective is to make elected representatives and government officials aware of their responsibility to protect the lives of the handicapped, the elderly and the pre-born. We believe that this can best be done by supporting and funding pro-life efforts to educate and politicize the public to prevent all abortion, infanticide and euthanasia.” There is also a challenge to business people to think about the effects of abortion on society even from a commercial point of view. For example, this is my application of the principle – is the killing of more than 65,000 consumers each year a boost to business? Even the funeral homes don’s benefit, as aborted babies become part of the garbage. Yes, that is true!
  • On one page of the brochure there is a lovely quote from an anonymous author: “I waited patiently for somebody to do something; then I realized I was somebody.” The world is full of “somebodies” who become “nobodies” because instead of doing something, they do nothing! I imagine everyone has heard the pronouncement of the Irish statesman, Edmund Burke (d.1797) in the British House of Commons – “All that evil needs in order to flourish is that good men [and women] do nothing.” Apart from the abortionists themselves, I believe that the greatest enemy of pre-born babies is the apathy of good men and women. Every gardener knows that you don’t have to plant weeds in your garden. They flourish if you do nothing. But roses don’t!
  • Scripture
  • On the last page of the brochure there is a quote from the book of proverbs. It must be the most apt Biblical text on the abortion issue. “Rescue those who are unjustly sentenced to death; don’t stand back and let them die. Don’t try to disclaim the responsibility by saying you didn’t know…” (Proverbs 24: 11,12)
  • Since the March meeting we have acquired two lovely ladies, both in real estate. So we are neither an “All Catholic” nor an “All Male” Club. While we have an executive hat meets once a month, membership is open to anyone who is prepared to help financially. That is the “raison d’etre” of Business for Life.
  • You may not be the owner of an airline or an oil well or even the president of a Canada-wide corporation. But perhaps you know one or two people who are in business. Why not have a Business for Life brochure sent to them? You might just become the “Somebody” who did “Something!”
  • The In Basket
  • By Michael Otis, The Interim
  • At Home
  • The recently-formed Ottawa chapter of the Ontario Association of Catholic Parents (OACP) wants to kick out the “failed philosophers” and “clean up the religion program” offered in the Ottawa Separate School Board. “Sex they do learn about, with no regard to chastity,” says OACP member Dr. Jeanne Ferrari, mother of six adopted children.
  • When Probe, an Ottawa-based polling company, sampled 416 people, 78% wanted some form of religious and moral instruction in the schools. Only 1 per cent thought the schools should provide sex education. And when the Muslim community of Ottawa did an internal survey, 78% of their families were in favour of religious values education in the public schools.
  • Don Rikley, Education Director for Renfrew (a county north of Ottawa), proposed at the end of April to establish an agreement with the area’s alternate Christian and private schools. But parents of children in these schools may be sceptical. Among the terms of the proposal – the Ontario Ministry of Education will set the school program and the Renfrew board will appoint the school principal.
  • On the subject of religious education in its public elementary schools, Ontario’s Ministry of Education giveth with one hand and taketh with the other. A February 1989 memo to the public boards sets up a ministerial inquiry into religious education, but the “mandate for this inquiry does not include the issue of opening or closing exercises in public schools, or the Lord’s Prayer.”

Pro-abortion feminist and Minister Responsible for the Status of Women in the Trudeau/Turner government (1980-1984), Judy Erola has been appointed President of the Pharmaceutical Association of Canada (PMAC).

“Abstinence as a pre-marital lifestyle promotes thinking in moral options and healthier choices,” says Dr. Robert Ferland. He is committee Chairman of a group of  Alberta doctors that collaborated with Teen Aid’s Edmonton District Association to present a brief on the rising rate of teen pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) to the Alberta Caucus Committee on Health and Social Development Among their recommendations: no teen birth control clinics; no government-promoted contraception; no cover-up on the ineffectiveness of condoms; no exclusion of parents from teen sexuality education.

Noting in his pastoral letter of April 4 that for too long “an energetic and committed minority” has lead the “campaign in favour of life,” Bishop John M. Sherlock urged all the priests and laypeople of his London, Ontario diocese to work and pray for a law to end the “national scandal” of mass child-killing.

On May 14, nearly 800 members and supporters of Windsor Area Right to Life kept vigil at western Hospital where the majority of pre-born Windsorites are killed.

Zion Lutheran Church in Prince George, BC is circulating a petition in the hope that many will use it to stress the importance of protecting the lives of pre-born Canadians.

South of the Border

Lies, damned lies and statistics I – Author Nicholas Davidson took aim at five Myths of feminism in the May 1989 issue of the national review. Myth: Most women work or want to work outside the home. Fact: This is a government category so broad it includes baby-sitters. Myth: Women need day-care to mind the kids. Fact: There is more illness and more aggression in dumped children than in their home-reared peers. Myth: Women are almost always divorced by unfaithful husbands. Fact: Wives with kids under 18 instigate 70% of all divorces. Myth: Women are the principal victims of male family violence. Fact: Studies based on the general population show that women pull the trigger or wield the knife 48 per cent of the time. Myth: Women are an economic underclass. Fact: For many reasons, most married women use their “earnings capacity” the least of any population category. The recent narrowing of the wage gap is a tragic sign of government coercion. These fables, endlessly and uncritically repeated by the mass media, further the assault by courts and governments on the traditional family, Davidson argues.

Lies, damned lies

Lies, damned lies and statistics II –

Today’s abortion fellow-travelers are reduced to trotting out long-discredited statistics in a desperate effort to hold back the onrushing pro-life tide. Writing in the May issue of Mother Jones, Brett Harvey asserted that “at least five thousand women a year died from criminal abortions.” This is a purely fictitous figure concocted in the late ‘60s by those seeking to legalize abortion. In 1972, the year before the Supreme Court unleashed the American holocaust, 39 mothers died of criminal abortions.

Sixteen years ago, under the name of Mary Doe, Sandra Cano helped the US Supreme Court rule in Doe v. Bolton that the state could not restrict late-term abortions. This year, on April 29, the same Mrs. Cano stood in front of an Atlanta abortuary with 100 fellow rescuers and declared her willingness to go to jail if it would help end the holocaust begun in her name.

Not a hireling –

After “lots of prayer” and a heartfelt struggle, South Dakota Bishop Paul V. Dudley, 62, decided to commit civil disobedience and join his fellow rescuers in blocking a Sioux Falls abortuary on the national day of rescue, April 29. Dudley is the third US bishop and the first head of a diocese to be arrested during a Rescue.

Breaking ranks –

Two employees of an abortuary in Anchorage, Alaska quit after a May 1 rescue. Later, one of them contacted a sidewalk counselor and offered to help with future rescues.

Birds and bees, but no babies –

The National Audubon Society and the Sierra Club are prominent members of a coalition of environmental and pro-abortion groups pressing for repeal of the 1984 “Mexico City policy.” This policy choked off US foreign aid dollars to private organizations pushing legalized abortion in the Third World countries.

300,000? Not so

So often did the US megamedia repeat the figure of 300,000 as the number who took part in the April 9 pro-abortion march in Washington that even some pro-lifers have accepted it as an unassailable fact. No way, claims the May newsletter of Greater Cincinnati’s Right to Life. According to an “extremely reliable” inside source, before Park Police released their official count of 150,000, a “higher up” ordered them to double it.

Drug company down for the count –

Kalamazoo, Michigan’s Upjohn company has lost another appeal of a Broward, Florida court ruling that found the drug giant “negligent” in its marketing of the infamous abortifacient, Depo Provera. The plaintiff, Anne Marie McMurdo, 38, and hundreds of other women have experienced “excessive bleeding” and irreversible gynecological damage after taking the drug.

Sex-ed – a national tragedy –

Dr. Melvin Anchell is an implacable foe of school sex-ed programs and of their principal advocate, Planned Parenthood. With twenty years of the study of human sexuality behind him, Dr. Anchell concludes in Killers of Children: A Psychoanalytic Look at Sex Education, his most recent book, that “Free love and perversions promoted by school sed programs cannot exist side by side with mature love and family life.”


North America’s newest export? Rescue –

In mid-March, Jim Gallagher and fifteen others went to jail for blocking the doors of an abortuary in Manchester, England, a nation with child-killing on the lawbooks since 1967. In Madrid, many Spanish pre-born were saved despite violent opposition from clinic workers and police when rescuers shut down an abortuary there on April 8.

Compassionate drownings

Four Vienna nurses have confessed to the “mercy killing” of at least 49 elderly patients by forcing water down their throats with the nose held shut. The four admit, however, that what began in 1983 as “kindness” to the terminally ill ended in 1988 as the murder if those they considered to be a nuisance.

Abortion ripples

In Australia, one baby in four is killed by abortion each year. That comes to more than 80,000 dead Aussies. But the figure doesn’t include the people implicated in their deaths – the 160,000 ,others and fathers, the 320,000 grandparents, the unknown numbers of brothers and sisters and the hosts of friends and relations.