Friday, May 12, was the date of Toronto’s latest Operation Rescue (Op-R). As rain came down relentlessly, chains had to be cut from 73 men and women. Police took more than three hours from 8:00 o’clock to 11:15 before the entry to the Scott abortuary on Toronto’s Gerrard Street East was cleared.
Op-R is intended to save babies. Participants were confident that they succeeded in doing so despite the usual denials of abortuary spokesmen. With two people in wheelchairs up front, 80 year old Mrs. Gwen Barnett of Toronto and Mrs. Donna Johans of Buffalo, the police did not discover the chain at first, causing an additional delay.
While 84 people participated in blocking the clinic, only 73 were arrested. They were charged with trespassing and released later in the afternoon and evening. Among those who were bodily removed and placed in paddy wagons were six clergymen: Baptist Pastor Fred Vaughn and Evangelical pastors Callum Beck and Richard Des; and three Roman Catholic priests, Fathers Stephen Somerville and Bill Comerford of Toronto and Father Arnold Loebach of Stratford, Ontario.
The Rescue attempt at the Scott abortuary was staged one week after Henry Morgentaler obtained a wide-ranging injunction against picketing and counseling at 85 Harbord Street. Despite this, several people have continued to pray there. While Op-R was in progress on Gerrard Street, one priest, Father Alphonse de Valk, openly picketed the Morgentaler abortuary for just under 40 minutes, carrying a placard “Stop Abortion.” While approached by police, no attempt to arrest him was made before he departed.. The priest has picketed Morgentaler’s place on Friday mornings for over four years. Also present was supporting rescuer Rev. Ken Campbell, the Baptist pastor who has given up his pastoral charge in Milton, Ontario to devote himself to full-time pro-life work. As President of the counseling centre The Way Inn next to Morgentaler’s, the Rev. Campbell has now opened a similar centre, The Way Out, at the Jarvis Street Baptist Church almost across from Scott’s place.
Future actions against all abortionists and abortion chambers in Toronto will develop as time passes.
Mother’s Day March
On Sunday, May 7, the annual Mother’s Day March, organized by Right to Life of Toronto and Area, passed by several of Toronto’s major abortion hospitals. Over a thousand marchers walked in silence to commemorate the massive killing lf preborn babies carried out at these places.
The annual walk was strengthened this time by the presence of a large group of Croatian Canadians who joined after their own protests against Serbian domination had been concluded. Their flags and banners lent an air of festivity to the march. The Toronto Walk for Life was held on May 7 because Bob Rae of the NDP had booked Queen’s Park for an ad hoc pro-abortion committee on May 14. As Laura McArthur, president of Right to Life, Toronto, explained, this has been going on for years. No sooner does Right to Life book another place such as City Hall, than the pro-abortionists cancel their appointment having achieved their purpose of blocking pro-life. For 1989 they had booked both places, forcing Right to Life to an earlier date. But on May 14, Mother’s Day, no walks or demonstrations of any kind were held either at City Hall or Queen’s Park.
Bob Rae is an outspoken champion of Morgentaler and a committed pro-abortionist. So is the entire federal and Ontario NDP leadership.