On Thursday, December 15, 1988, at six o’clock in the morning, Operation Rescue went into action at Everywoman’s Health Clinic at 44th and Victoria Street. Goal: to shut down, if only for a few hours, Vancouver’ free-standing abortuary opened the previous month. More than six hours later abortuary personnel were ready to resume executions after police had removed 69 protestors blocking the way.
Vancouver’ rescue action follows that of Toronto on October 29. The idea comes from the United States where since the summer of 1988 thousands of people have risked arrest and jail in order to save babies. CBC’s Thursday’s Newshour, reported Vancouver Sun columnist Trevor Lautens, “wacked away at the theme that the fuss here was brought on by non-Vancouverites – the very first work of the newscast was ‘American.’ ”
For the CBC’s peace of mind, it must have been reassuring to discover that most of the protestors were Vancouverites after all, ordinary peace-loving Canadians who Christmas hymns while rendering passive resistance to the killing business.
Another local television station and some radio stations deliberately misconstrued the protest of R.C. Archbishop James Carney against arrests as an attack upon the police, according to Rev. Bill Mendenhall. The Archbishop’s comparison with the Nazi system was not an attack on policeman at all he said, but was a criticism of a system which demands such use of law enforcement. Subsequently the Vancouver Sun printed the Archbishop’s full text.
Lorraine Carbonneau, a counsellor at the Nippising Transition House, North Bay, a home for battered women, was fired on December 23, 1988 for refusing to do abortion referrals. Transition House receives most of its financing from the Ministry of Community and Social Services.