A woman hoists a sign at the Toronto March for Life at Queen’s Park May 13. Photo by Wendy-Ann Clarke

Toronto March shares regrets, truth about abortion

By 
  • May 18, 2022

Holding a sign that read “I regret my abortion,” pro-life protester Debbie Fisher sat under a tent, waiting to share her story to a group of hundreds gathered outside of Queen’s Park for the Toronto March for Life rally on March 13.

A parishioner at St. Padre Pio Church in Woodbridge, Ont., Fisher’s abortion took place in 1986 and the decision, she says, left her with a deep wound in her heart along with physical, psychological and mental harm. For years she has carried the guilt and shame and refrained from sharing her story.

Fisher said she already had a five-year-old son at the time, and when she contacted the father of the unborn child to let him know she was pregnant, he was unresponsive. She felt she had no choice but to terminate the pregnancy.

 “When I woke up after the abortion I was screaming for my baby, ‘Where is my
baby,’ ” said Fisher, whose healing journey came through counselling and a return to her Catholic faith. “There was no support, no consolation. There was just this emptiness. I was already turning to alcohol because of the abuse I suffered previously and after the abortion I went into full blown alcoholism.”

Galvanized by the possible overturning of the U.S. Roe v. Wade legislation which ensures women’s right to legal abortions south of the border, Canadian pro-lifers hope the momentum down south might bring a law into effect here. There is no law in Canada and abortion is legal at all stages of pregnancy, regardless of the reason, and is publicly funded under the Canada Health Act and provincial health-care systems. 

Rally speaker Jonathan Van Maren, of the Calgary-based Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform, said there is an attempt to hide the truth and reality of abortion. Van Maren says there is a sense of panic amongst pro-choicers in Canada that abortion rights could one day be a thing of the past.

“We’ve seen the blood and the bodies in dumpsters behind clinics in this country,” said Van Maren. “I can promise you that once you see that, and once you’ve come face to face with those victims, you will never be the same again. It will change you fundamentally because you will never again be able to see your country and the city that you live in the same way.”

It’s one of the reasons the CCBR resorts to showing graphic images of abortions to get its message across, he said.

“That is why the protesters and those that they ally with are trying so hard to make it illegal to show photographs of aborted babies,” said van Maren. “They say abortion is a fundamental right and yet they want to ensure nobody sees a photograph of what that right looks like.”

Van Maren said politicians can shut down the debate in Parliament and in school boards, but they can’t shut down the debate in the streets.

The rally in Toronto drew a group of counter-protesters fighting to preserve the status quo. The counter-demonstrators blew horns and tried to shout down the rally, but the rally’s line-up of speakers remained unfazed by the disturbance.

The rally came a day after the National March for Life which marked its 25th year and drew thousands to Ottawa.

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