The Ontario government is aware of two abortuaries that are run out of doctors’ offices in Toronto in violation of a pledge that Mike Harris made to the voters June 2, 1995 when he was running for premier of Ontario the first time. Despite that Harris pledge seven years ago, the Tories have failed to close them down.

But first, let’s go back to the 1995 election. Two Ontario newspapers ran headlines on June 2, proclaiming Harris’s promise. The Toronto Star said, “Harris: No new abortion clinics,” and the Ottawa Sun said, “Harris nixes new abortion clinics.”

These crumbs offered to pro-lifers were enough to garner him the pro-life support which is believed to have helped get him elected premier of Ontario. (The solidly pro-abortion Ontario Liberals and NDP had nothing on their plates for the pro-life movement.) Harris said at the time that he would not cut off “money to existing clinics,” but added there was “no cash … for new ones.”

Indeed, five years earlier, the Nov. 29, 1990 Ottawa Citizen reported that then Tory leader Mike Harris said that a decision by the Ontario NDP government to fund new private abortuaries would “lead to an increase in the number of abortions.”

As recently as March 6, 2002, the Canadian Abortion Rights League website listed existing non-hospital facilities authorized to commit abortions in Toronto and included among the five that were open in 1995 – the Morgentaler Clinic, Choice in Health Clinic, Bay Centre for Birth Control, Scott Clinic, Cabbagetown Women’s Clinic – and one that has opened since, the Women’s Care Clinic run by Zarif Markovic at 960 Lawrence Ave. W. (The website has since removed this information.)

CARAL’s website fails to mention Dr. Katherine Chu at 1371 Nielson Ave., in Scarborough. That would make seven. This clearly violates the pledge the Tories made that there would be only the existing five free standing abortuaries allowed. (Abortions are also done in hospitals.)

Thomas Walkom, a Toronto Star columnist, wrote earlier this year that “14 (Ontario) clinics are allowed to do invasive procedures, ranging from plastic surgery (seven clinics) to abortion (five) to cataract surgery (one).”

Chu’s abortions are also done in her office. She does them Friday and Monday evenings. Chu’s secretary, in an interview on Oct. 19, 2001 with someone whom the secretary thought was a prospective client, actually encouraged later-term abortions, discouraging an abortion before six weeks and saying it was best between six and 19 weeks.

Chu, the secretary said, does no counselling, “that you have to come with your mind made up.” This abortionist appears to be an obstetrician doing abortions on the side. Pro-life activist Rosemary Connell asks: “Do you really want a doctor caring for you who will be killing babies tomorrow?”

At a picket that took place outside Markovic’s Women’s Care Clinic in February 2002, the building manager of the five-storey building denied that there were abortions taking place there and said “there are many people with that name (Markovic) in the building.” He was contradicted by a protester who told LifeSite News that he had just gone up to the fifth floor and talked to a man whose girlfriend was in Markovic’s office for an abortion at the time. Also, the abortuary is listed by CARAL on its website at that address under that name.

Dr. Will Johnston, president of Canadian Physicians for Life, said in an interview, that late-term abortions done in an office present an even greater risk to the woman than ones done in an abortuary or hospital. Dr. Johnston was concerned that known hazards to women of this kind of late-term abortion might not be adequately managed in an office setting and it sounded unsafe to him. Neither of these two “clinics” appear to be a licensed facility under the Independent Health Services Act.

The Interim presented evidence and extensive detailed information about the existence of these two abortuaries, both of which were visited, to David Jensen, media person in the Ministry of Health in Toronto and “Monique,” a spokeswoman for Jeff Morgenstern in the Independent Health Facilities department in Kingston, Ont. Neither of them took issue with the facts presented to them. However they would put nothing in writing and when urged, failed to take any action.

Whatever happened to the Common Sense Revolution and all those pledges the Tories claimed they kept? They say a clear conscience is often the result of a bad memory. Do the Tories suffer from that?