Joseph Borowski and the trial of the century

This article will appear later this month in pamphlet form from: Life Ethics Centre, St. Joseph’s University College, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, T6G 2J5)


In May, 1983, with the re-appearance of Dr. Henry Morgentaler and his publicity campaign for abortuaries across the country, abortion once more began to take pride of place among domestic news items. Henry Morgentaler’s promised opening of his clinic in Winnipeg on Good Friday, April 1, did not come to pass. But the delays, and subsequent obstacles, arguments and demonstrations allowed some newspapers to regale their readers with blow by blow accounts. Almost every day there was a report to be made. Morgentaler, the champion of progress, or Morgentaler, the long-suffering martyr either image pointed to a seemingly inevitable victory of “enlightenment” over “obscurantism”, of “modern science” over “outmoded religious morality,” Then, in the midst, as it were, of this presumed advance, Joseph Borowski of Winnipeg, as he had done before, moved the limelight to the other side of the spectrum. Commentators forecast that his court case would bring the divisive debate to a fever pitch. Newspapers decided to send their reporters to Regina.

Joseph Borowski’s court case in defence of the unborn opened in Court of Queen’s Bench, Regina, Saskatchewan, on Monday, May 9, 1983. His counsel, Morris Schumiatcher, well known constitutional lawyer, referred to the case “as the most important since the Louis Riel trial.”

Whether of not the Borowski case will become as famous as that of the Metis leader of almost a hundred years ago, only the future will tell. But the comparison is not entirely inappropriate. Then as now the issue concerned defenceless human beings, a champion abused and disliked by the intellectual establishment of the day, an effort to belittle him and his cause and an attitude of a national press corps which shows more interest in side issues than in analyzing the significance of the testimony presented.

Joseph Borowski

Joseph Borowski, born in 1932, one of ten children of Polish immigrants to Wishart, Saskatchewan, began drifting through the mining, logging, and fishing camps of Northern Manitoba at the age of 15. He first came to national notice in mid-1971 when as Minister of Public Works and Highways in Ed Schreyer’s NDP Manitoba government he objected to government funding for abortion-referring clinics.

As a former hard-rock miner, popular with working men and elected for the northern Manitoba nickel town of Thompson, Joe was never a person to mince his words.  He accused the Winnipeg Mount Carmel clinic which regularly referred clients to New York State abortion mills of “illegal pimping for abortionists,” Not restricting his actions to words only.  Mr. Borowski attempted to get both the United Way of Greater Winnipeg and the Department of Health to cut off their subsidies to the clinic. He failed.

Being a man of principle, and being unable to reconcile government policy with his own conscience, he resigned his position in the Manitoba cabinet. His sacrifice was not entirely in vain: the Premier cut off funding for out-of-country abortions.

In politics it is not unusual for Cabinet Ministers to resign when they can no longer compromise deeply held convections. This examples draw attention to the fact that public servants must have a conscience, a fact which unfortunately is not to be taken for granted. Joe Borowski’s witness to the limits of compromise is the more outstanding among such actions for three reasons. First, Mr. Borowski, unlike may others in similar situations, was not a man of independent wealth and the loss of a Cabinet Minister’s salary must have been severe. Second, most politicians who resign do so because of disagreements about financial, social or economic policies. While important, these matters do not rank among the first few principles which form the foundation of human society.  The right and duty to preserve innocent life, however, is definitely one of those principles. Third, Mr. Borowski was surrounded by politicians, of his own as well as of other parties, who, after having reduced abortion to a “private” matter in their own minds, had adopted the view that even though it concerned life or death they had no right to “impose their views” upon society. Nothing would have been easier that to follow their example.

When Joe Borowski resigned his Cabinet seat pro-abortionists undoubtedly breathed a sigh of relief. When he began to sit as an independent M.L.A at the end of 1971 because the Manitoba N.D.P rejected his views, many no doubt could see the end of his career. In a way they were correct. In the late 1973 provincial election the Thompson constituency did not return him to legislature.

Already before his departure from the legislature Mr. Borowski had decided upon his future conduct. On the occasion of a debate on the budget for the Department of Health, he quoted Martin Luther King on the need fro civil disobedience when it was the only way possible. He announced that he had resolved not to pay taxed if one cent of it went for therapeutic abortion- “child murder before birth”. When the Speaker of the Assembly asked him to withdraw what he considered an implied suggestion that government members were child killers, bedlam broke loose with an avalanche of charges, interruptions and threats. At the first moment of relative calm. Mr. Borowski resumed his speech, noted recent examples of newly born handicapped babies being killed in the United States and concluded with the statement that anyone who thinks were going to stop at abortion is “just plain crazy”. Once committed to this slippery slope, he said, euthanasia and disposal of the unwanted after birth will come next in a slide similar to Hitler’s method of dealing with the undesired, first one kind, then others.

Joseph Borowski followed through on his promise to stop paying taxes. Already in 1973 he had refused to return his 1972 income tax form. Now, despite a wife and three children and less security in a new job selling insurance, this mild-mannered, slightly stoop shouldered man refused to file his 1973 return. Thus he was to become the bane of Revenue Canada.

Although he paid his income taxes if full while a member of the Manitoba legislature through regular payroll deductions, the Department issued a random claim of $20,00. As the years went by the officials added to this sum as they saw fit, leaving the public with the impression that such sums of money were actually owing. There was nothing Borowski could do about the image problem. After all, it is up to the individual, not revenue Canada , to prove that the Department’s figures are incorrect- something which can only be done by resorting to the courts, a way closed to most except the wealthiest individuals because of the prohibitive cost and closed, moreover, to Borowski because of his refusal to reveal his annual income,. Thus with an air of righteousness the Government of Canada managed to send Joe Borowski to jail for two short periods in 1975 (for a total of 25 days) even though he probably didn’t owe them a penny. Said Mr. Borowski to Judge Mitchell on his firs t conviction ($50.00 fine, or five days in jail, with Joe choosing jail where he served two day): the authorities are more zealous in applying the income tax laws that prosecuting the thousands of abortionists openly defying Section 251 of the Criminal Code. “If the government is not disposed to see to it that its laws are respected, how can it expect a mere citizen to obey those laws…I must protest against the destruction of thousands of lives. One day we shall have to render an account of our acts; at that moment, I want to be able to say, Lord, I have sought to observe your commandments.”

Four years later, in March 1979, A Maclean’s magazine writer noted that the Lord may have been impressed but the tax man wasn’t. By 1977, income tax collectors were breathing down Borowski’s neck forcing him to make court appearances at every turn. They garnisheed his wages up to $15,000. At the beginning of 1978 they placed a lien against his house in La Salle, a Winnipeg suburb, even though it was legally owned by his wife and three daughters. In August 1978 they again threatened to seize it, this time to recover back taxes of which Mr. Borowski had never even heard. In November 1978 they seized his brand new $7,000 care white in a garage for a check-up and sold it at an auction for $3,200. Finally, on November 27,they seized the funds of the “Alliance Against Abortion” of which Mr. Borowski was president. Threatened with theft they were forced to return the money to its bank account.

Even then the revenue officials did not let up. They claimed that on entering the Health Food Store owned by his while, his daughter Sandra and himself, Mr. Borowski had assaulted one of their officers after the officials had just told him that they had auctioned off his car and that they were carrying court writs from two courts for $32,330. In reality, “the assault” consisted of Mr. Borowski taking an official by the arm, after having asked them three times to leave, and pushing them out of the store. Although he requested Judge Ian Dubienski in April 1979 to dismiss the assault charge, he was sentenced nevertheless to 50 hours of community work. In June 1979, pressing harder yet, Revenue Canada imported Ottawa Judge, Mr. Justice G.A. Addy, who had Joseph Borowski brought before the federal court in handcuffs where he sentenced him to 3 ½ months for not disclosing his financial assets, including 14 days for contempt of court when Borowski announced that he had no intention of revealing anything. Meanwhile, refusing to lose his humour, Mr. Borowski published the rather successful Borowski Cookbook (44.50, several editions) which includes such ethnic recipes as “Trudeau’s Shipwreck Casserole” and Broadbent’s “Pie in the Sky.”

In the midst of all the publicity and court appearances Joe Borowski launched the suit which five year later was to be described as a possible landmark trial. On September 5, 1978 he initiated in Regina’s Court of Queen’s Bench the claim that Section 251 permitting abortions, contradicted the (Diefenbaker inspired) Canadian Bill of Rights. Little was he to know that it would take $90,000, for four years, to bring this case to court. As for the struggle with Revenue Canada, a group named “Friends of Joe” took it upon themselves to keep him out of jail by working on a settlement directly with the Department. Today Mr. Borowski continues to refuse to file but has promised to pay taxes plus interest for the passing years once his decision has been decided by the Supreme Court of Canada.

From the start of the suit, the government led Joe Borowski on a merry chase. First it argued that Mr. Borowski’s action should have been brought in federal rather than provincial court. As Regina is 2,000 miles from Ottawa, the costs for Mr. Borowski and his Regina lawyer would have doubled or tripled is this view prevailed. Moreover, Borowski was convinced that he wouldn’t get a fair trial in a federal court. Hence, he and his counsel fought it right up to the Supreme Court of Canada, which, in early 1980, with a 7-2 majority, ruled that the Borowski case could be heard in provincial court.

The government’s next obstacle consisted in the argument that Mr. Borowski as an individual person did not have any “status” of “standing” in the court and, therefore, could not challenge the abortion law. While this second diverting ploy was being fought in the courts, Prime Minister Trudeau introduced his repatriation of the Canadian Constitution together with a brand new Charter of Rights in the Fall of 1980 and promptly set out to push it through parliament with utmost haste. Despite delays in hearing and a four-month wait for a decision by the Supreme Court, Mr. Trudeau had won his battle one year later. All the efforts by Pro-Life to win an explicit mention on the Charter for the unborn proved in vain. Said the Minister of Justice, Jean Chrétien, like all his predecessors and colleagues since 1967 before him, “Personally I am against abortion but I can’t impose my private views on society.”

Mr. Borowski doesn’t believe that the killing of the unborn is a private matter. To counteract this renewed evasion, therefore, he went on a hunger strike in the spring of 1981. Its purpose was to draw attention to the need for prayers and religious atonement in a battle which he interprets primarily as a spiritual one. Always religious, going to Mass every day whenever possible, Mr. Borowski has a special devotion the  Virgin Mary, praying her rosary daily before the little shrine in his garden. This deep piety and faith, which often annoys the unbeliever as well as the liberal Christian, is the source of his ideals, his strength, his never-flagging confidence, including the faith that he could embark on a total fast and yet live. Living on herbal tea only , he eventually completed 80 days of his projected 90-day fast, stopping only as the advice of his doctors and his parish priest. He has been recovering gradually from his ordeal ever since.

In the late fall of 1981 the Prime Minister had his Charter of Rights triumph: however, in December 1981 Joseph Borowski could savor a victory as well as once more with a 7-2 majority, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled him eligible to represent the unborn, The minority of two included Chief Justice Bora Laskin who argued that Borowski had no direct interest in the question. The majority of seven, however, ruled that the unborn human fetus obviously could not be party to proceeding sin court, and that the scope of the Canadian Bill of rights to the protection of the human rights to life is a matter of considerable importance. The judges continued:

“There is no reasonable way in which that issue could be brought into court unless  proceedings are launched by some interested citizen…The respondent should be recognized as having standing to continue with his action…(he) is a concerned citizen and taxpayer. He has sought unsuccessfully to have the issue determined by other means…”

Mr. Borowski’s previous efforts at bringing about a change of heart in the government had not gone for naught after all. They provided the substance for his present recognition as a legitimate challenger of the 1969 abortion amendment in a court of law, distinguishing him radically from the leader of the right-to-abortion, Henry Morgentaler, whose approach to changing the law is to break it as many times as possible.

By December 1981 Joe Borowski had spent approximately $90,000. The Supreme Court had granted him legal costs, yet the government was not eager to comply. It first offered $10,000, and after much haggling finally paid $21,000. Consequently though out 1982 and early 1983 Joe Borowski continued to appeal for funds to finance the next step to his very expensive legal venture, at first estimated to cost $100,000. Imagine his shock at the end of March 1983, six weeks before the opening of his case in Regina court, when he learned that the estimate was not $100,000 but $350,000. He barely had $100,000. Thus he felt forced to announce that unless the money was in the bank, the trial would have to be cancelled. Once more the totally unexpected came about. Pro-life groups across the country re-doubled their efforts. Catholic parishes, especially in Southern Ontario, took and interest. And by the end of April a full page advertisement advised supporters to stop sending money: the fund was oversubscribed.

Reporting

The trial opened in the glare of news media and amidst the din of demonstrations. Yet, it was poorly reported. With the exception of those reading the Regina Leader Post which carried daily reports, not Canadian newspaper reader was given a chance to follow the proceedings day by day. Of the nine expert witnesses called by Dr. Schumiatcher most papers reported on no more than three for four and that in the briefest possible summaries. One paper made no pretence of being interested at all. Toronto’s Globe and Mail which claims to be Canada’s national newspaper send reporter Richard Cleroux to Regina to join two dozen other reporters. Cleroux filed his report on the preliminary proceeding of the first day (Globe Tuesday, May 10). He then discovered that the next few weeks were to be devoted to the testimony of expert witnesses on the nature of the unborn and decided to go home-or was called home-not to appear again. During the rest of the month the globe was to print two more brief Canadian Press reports, one to announce that counsel for the defense did not intend to call witnesses and one to report that the trial was over. Naturally, none of this was accidental. The Globe has been committed to abortion-on-demand since at least 1970. In 1976 the same paper (and the same reporter) covered the then latest Morgentaler trial and court appeals with voluminous dispatches for front page publicity throughout the year, supported by editorials of indignation at the government for not leaving Morgentaler alone.

Throughout the two weeks of evidence and three days of summation there were always a minimum of a dozen reporters present. Yet strangely enough, of the eleven newspapers surveyed, only the Toronto Star and the Winnipeg Free Press in addition to the Regina Leader Post carried their own bylines, and the Free Press only for the first week after which it, too, reverted to Canadian Press reports. Of a grand total of 202 articles in eleven newspapers on either Borowski, Morgentaler or directly related subjects (32 articles) the vast majority were Canadian Press. Excluding letters to the editors, full or half-page advertisements (4 for Borowski, 2 for Morgentaler) and the 32 related reports, the news divided over the eleven papers for the period May 6-31 as follows:

Borowski                     Morgentaler

Regina Leader Post                                    16                                 6

Saskatoon Star-Phoenix                             14                                 3

Toronto Star                                               13                                 2

Winnipeg Free Press                                   13                                15

Ottawa Citizen                                12                                10

Vancouver Sun                                           12                                 1

Montreal Gazette                                        11                                4

Edmonton Journal                                       10                                2

Calgary Herald                                8                                  4

Halifax Chronicle-Herald                             5                                  2

Toronto Globe and Mail                              3                                  4

___________________________

117                                53

Counting the number of reports does not represent the full picture. Two other factors have a direct bearing on the quality of reporting the trial. On at least four occasions the CP issued double reports for the day, one on the trial itself and one on the demonstrations or vies of the right-to-abortion activists outside the court room. Leaving the choice now what to print to the subscribing newspaper. One these four occasions a number of newspapers carried the right-to-abortion reports without printing anything on the trial itself. Also, almost every Canadian Press report devoted half of the space of an already short summary to repeating as nauseum facts already known or irrelevant such as the origins of the trial, the colour of Mr. Borowski’s suit, and above all, what the right-to-abortion activists were saying or doing outside the courtroom. In general the best reports were to be found in the Leader Post with the Toronto Star a close second.

Trial

On Monday, May 9 the two sides stated their respective positions. Dr. Schumiatcher contended that Canada’s present abortion law creates “a punishment without a crime and a death sentence without a trial.” The elements of the case, he said, in a sense “involved nothing more than tiny, unborn children.” Yet, “at the same time, they are nothing less than our country, our families our future.” He requested from Justice William Matheson to call nine expert witnesses to testify to the humanity of the unborn, thus meeting head on the question: are the unborn human beings or not, with the implication that if the answer were yes, the unborn should be protected by the law.

One must remember that during the winter and spring of 1981 the federal government had opposed all efforts to include the unborn within the proposed Charter of Rights. Id did not want to face the issue of the unborn at that time, just as it has not wanted to face it at any time since 1969 when it surrendered the welfare of the unborn to the demands of the right-to -abortion faction. In order to counter the pressure for an amendment in favour of the unborn at the time the Justice Department presented the view that the Charter did not in any way restrict or inhibit the right or parliament to legislate in matters such as abortion. This interpretation was supposed to satisfy those concerned about abortion. Naturally this was not what the Pro-Life people had asked. They wanted a clear-cut, explicitly stated amendment protecting all life “from conception to death.” They did not get it. Because of public acceptance of the Department’s viewpoint by some important religious leaders, the considerable pressure which had brought to bear on the politicians during the first few months of the year was deflated, the inter-party Pro-Life caucus of Parliament Hill collapsed and Mr. Trudeau once again had succeeded in having his own way.

Not surprisingly, at the Regina trial, the view that the Charter does not override the Code was put forward by Justice Department lawyer Edward Sojonsky. As for investigating the nature of the unborn, the idea was foreign to him. It is clear that witnesses would be called, he said, “to allegedly determine what the meaning of life is.” This, he said, is irrelevant. “The only issue to be determined is strictly a legal one-whether the Criminal Code sections are valid and in force.” The court should not be “acting as a forum. A commission almost, to ascertain what the law should be.” The unborn fetus, Mr. Sojonsky argued, falling back on the current point of view, is not a person or individual in law.

Mr. Schumaitcher argued very differently. He claimed that the right of the unborn-despite not being specifically mentioned by name-are in the Charter already. The Criminal Code section permitting abortion denies these rights in at least four significant areas, he said. He cited Section 7 stipulating that “everyone has a right to life, liberty and security of the person and the right not to be deprived thereof except in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice.” Other sections he referred to stipulate that everybody has the right not to be subjected to cruel and unusual treatment or punishment; that parties in proceedings have the right to an interpreter; and that every individual has the right to equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination.

As must be almost self-evident to the observer, the key to the above argumentation is the idea that the term “everyone” includes the unborn child living within the body of its mother. Dr. Schumiatcher spoke of charting “the voyage of the unborn to prove they are human beings.” In other words, in opposition to Mr. Sojonsky’s view which implies that the present law’s understanding of human life is quite sufficient and, that in any case, it is not the law’s responsibility to come to a better understanding, Dr. Schumiatcher argued that it is high time the law ceases to operate with the concepts of life that are contradicted by science. The question was: Would the judge hold with Schumiatcher and permit this evidence, or with Sojonsky and reject its legitimacy? Justice Matheson held with Schumiatcher, who, subsequently brought in expert witnesses to prove the unborn human beings.

Separate Persons

Here are the highlights of the trial testimony:

Sir William Liley of New Zealand,  Professor of prenatal medicine, a World Health Organization consultant for maternal and child health, knighted because of his pioneering work in amniocentesis, said the unborn is not a part of the mother’s body but a separate person who dictates his own growth and when he is to be born. A fetus produces is own blood at 17 to 20 days after conception. Its heart is beating at 24 0r 25 days. By 35 days brain wave activity can be recorded.

The importance of this evidence becomes clear, for example, from an article by columnist Lynda Hurst entitled “Borowski Challenge Only One-side Propaganda”, Toronto Star, May 30, 1983. Unaware of the testimony just provided she justifies her attack upon Borowski by quoting a retired University of Toronto doctor as follows:

“If we define death as the cessation of brain waves, then surely life doesn’t commence until the initiation of brain waves-and that, life it or not, doesn’t happen until two-thirds of the way through pregnancy.”

Dr. Liley stated that he was unaware of any medical complication or condition what would be regarded as absolute grounds for termination of a pregnancy if the mother wanted her baby. The immediate hazards of abortion, on the other hand, include hemorrhage, a local tissue damage and infection-or a combination thereof. Among the long-term hazards he cited were infertility and repeated miscarriages. Asked if the unborn are potential human beings, a standard point with Dr. Morgentaler who insists that science is the sole guide, Dr. Liley replied that the word “potential” is not a medical scientific term.  The unborn, he said, are considered growing or developing human beings. “Life, as we deal with it in biology, is defined in absolute terms. Life is either there or not.”

Dr. Liley objected to the phrase “unwanted children” because it attaches a stigma to the unborn which belongs more appropriately to the “unwanted parents.” “After all,” He said, “we do not blame stolen goods for being stolen.” He also stated that the unborn child or fetus has been known to cry, hiccup, develop individual tastes and become startled if a photographer’s flash goes off close by. He concluded that the legal definition of when life begins is arbitrary and “downright biologically ignorant.”

Dr. Jerome Lejeune, professor of Fundamental Genetics at the University of Paris, medical doctor to handicapped children at the Sick Children’s Hospital in Paris and discoverer of the biological cause of mongoloidism, stated that at fertilization of a woman’s egg all genetic information that will guide a person’s

life until death is in place.  “At the moment of fertilization the whole symphony of life is ready to be played out.”  It could be conceivable, he said, although he did not propose that such an experiment be carried out, if an early embryo were injected into the abdominal cavity of the father that the pregnancy would develop inside the male-an extraordinary demonstration of the autonomy of a human being.

Still on the subject of the beginning of life, Dr. Lejeune noted that he had “never heard of any discussion when a cat’s or cow’s life begins”  and that he could not understand, on purely scientific grounds, why there should be controversy about it with the human being.

He re-iterated that human life begins when an egg is fertilized, the time, “when all the genetic information necessary and sufficient to build each and every one of us is transformed.” This genetic definition can be applied to any living thing, a carrot, whale, elephant, or mouse.  Lejeune brought a hush in the courtroom filled with pro-life and right-to-abortion supporters when he told of the activities of embryos, some less than two

inches tall, revealed by ultra-sonic cameras.  “It’s just like a baby playing on a trampoline

in a very easy and elegant manner.  Only spacemen have this elegance of motion.” he stated.  On being asked by defense counsel whether his Roman Catholicism had influenced his views, Dr. Lejeune asked the judge whether the question was relevant.  He answered that he was opposed to abortion because he was a geneticist and scientist.

Dr. Bernard Nathanson, New York obstetrician formerly known as the Abortion King of America when he headed a clinic in the early 1970’s that carried out 60,000 abortions, testified that he became pro-life when increased knowledge of fetology convinced him the fetus was a human being.  He also stated that abortion, or the separation of the unborn child from the mother, doesn’t carry the implication that the child should be destroyed.   He predicted that within perhaps five years we will have the technology to transfer the fetus elsewhere without destroying it.  The technology to perform the transfer is already in place in veterinary medicine.

Dr. Nathanson testified that he was raised in the Jewish faith but was an atheist and that becoming an anti-abortionist was “A secular decision.”

Dr. Patrick Beirne, expert in obstetrics and gynecology at Toronto’s St. Michael’s Hospital and a Canadian pioneer in ultrasound, stated that “there is virtually no situation today where you must abort or the mother will die.”

Dr. E.E. Eistetter, a Regina obstetrician and gynecologist since 1962 said the phrase “therapeutic abortion” is a contradiction in terms: “It’s certainly not therapeutic to the baby and I don’t think it’s therapeutic to the mother.”  He said that he couldn’t think of any psychiatric, sociological, economic or health level which would really justify a mother’s health in 1983. Dr. Eistetter testified he was opposed to abortion both personally and as a physician and obstetrician.

Dr. Harley Smyth, neurosurgeon at Toronto’s Wellesley Hospital and a Rhodes Scholar who has written on medical ethics declared that there are value decisions hidden in the work of hospital therapeutic abortion committees which hide “a suspension of respect for human life.” He called “therapeutic” abortion “mass elective feticide for non-medical reasons” and said that abortion ends “a life that is brief by means that are brutal.”

Other witnesses included: Dr. Donald Carnduff, administrator or medical care at Regina General Hospital who testified that 95 percent of the applications at the Regina hospital were granted by its five-man abortion committee for a variety of reasons, mostly socio-economic. (Later on Dr. Beirne confirmed that in Toronto there is simply abortion on demand.) A woman who had an abortion they years ago testified she had three miscarriages since. Mr. Borowski witnessed to his various attempts to change the law through civil disobedience. Dr. Donovan Brown, Regina family physician, testified to the contradiction between abortion and the duty of a doctor to preserve life. Several statisticians testified to the cost of an abortion to the taxpayer (in Saskatchewan $400.00 per abortion). Finally Dr. Heather Morris, obstetrician from Toronto’s Mount Sinai Hospital, a former president of “Alliance for Life”, and a member of Physicians for Life who has delivered 5,000 babies, stated that supporters of abortion rights “are misguided because despite claiming to be pro-choice they are not willing to allow the unborn to have the choice for life.” Dr. Morris stated that members of the abortion committee she joined for one “frustrating” month, read through an average of 12 to 15 abortion approvals over lunch.

As the trial drew to a close, a six-meter (20 foot) yellow blimp floated over the courthouse with the message:  “We’re with you all the way, Joe.” Joe Borowski certainly can use such expressions of support. Some years ago Monique Jones wrote in Montreal’s Esprit-Vivant:

“We may like to be able to dam up the tidal wave of abortions presently rolling over our society by means of pious exhortations but we are forced to conclude that this king of thing is not enough. In order to get an education program going today, it is necessary to get the attention of a public which is exposed to the point of saturation, to noisy advertising and sensational journalism. Whatever one might say, then, has value only to the extent that it is backed up by the witness of one’s life.”

This, I believe, is the message Joe Borowski is trying to pass on to the rest of us.

As for the trial, it should clarify that those who enact and promulgate laws cannot continue in good conscience to act as if before the moment of birth there is nothing at all. Existing scientific knowledge of the unborn demands that the protection of the law be extended to life before birth.

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