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Longtime pro-life demonstrator Paul Charron stands across the street from an abortion center in Ottawa. Donald Andre Bruneau / YouTube
John Sikkema

Opinion

Abortion bias: Columnist fails to get the facts about pro-life demonstrators

John Sikkema

OTTAWA, April 24, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — The Toronto Star's Heather Mallick has written another doozy.

In her article, “Ottawa police won’t protect abortion clinic despite pleas” (April 19), Mallick contrasts the recent celebration of Malala Yousafzai on Parliament Hill with the “cruel and abhorrent scene” playing out daily at a nearby abortion clinic.

She’s not referring to the abortions being performed there. She’s referring to the people holding posters “showing pictures of cut-up bloodied meat” – aborted children, that is – who “torment those entering.”

It’s not human life the demonstrators hold sacred, says Mallick. “No, they’re holding sperm sacred,” she jokes, apparently ignorant of the difference between a male reproductive cell and a developing human being, despite having just referred to the bloody pictures of the latter.

The demonstrators are “omnipresent and creepy” and some are “threatening,” Mallick claims. How threatening? There is a security video of one protester holding, according to Mallick, “a large body of ‘holy water’ – or gasoline or kerosene? – and … throwing the fluid and screaming at patients and staff.”

Does Mallick seriously think that someone throwing gasoline and screaming would go unnoticed and unconfirmed by the police or anyone else? Has Mallick ever smelled gasoline or seen what spilled gasoline looks like? Is there a shred of evidence supporting this frightening insinuation?

No, but Mallick is determined to manufacture some. Mallick notes that “The use of accelerants by protesters is increasing.” She knows this because “Last week a Toronto church was set on fire by a man using accelerant in a large water-dispensing bottle.”

Somehow a man lighting a church on fire using liquid fuel in a bottle is evidence that a protestor at an Ottawa abortion might have been throwing gasoline around. You know, as one does. Nobody checked it out. Nobody can confirm. But hey, it could have been, right?

Think Mallick might be stretching the truth for a good story? Well, “go to 65 Bank St. and see for yourself” Mallick, who lives in Toronto, challenges. As it happens, I work two blocks from that abortion clinic and walk up Bank Street often. I must confess, while I’ve seen a few quiet people with signs, I have yet to see the “cruel and abhorrent scene” Mallick describes.

Ottawa’s Chief of Police has responded to Mallick’s claims that the police do not protect the clinic. The police are enforcing the bylaw, he said, but Mallick reads it wrong. If the clinic wants a “bubble zone” in which no demonstrating at all is allowed, it will have to obtain one in court. But in that case it would, unlike Mallick, need some evidence to support its case.

 

John Sikkema, Hon, B.A., J.D. is the legal counsel for the Association for Reformed Political Action.

 

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