Okanagan physician responds to pro-lifer

One pro-lifer’s letter to the Morning Star ‘ignores Canadian history and needs correcting’

Concerning the abortion-issue movie Unplanned, Marlon Bartram (Vernon-area pro-life society) writes, Aug. 30 (A9), “Joyce Arthur makes the ludicrous fear-mongering claim, it will incite violence against abortion providers … how ironic considering the only threats of violence and even death … thus far have come exclusively from her side of the aisle.”

This statement ignores Canadian history and needs correcting.

One morning in 1994, the Vancouver gynecologist doctor Garson Romalis was shot by a bullet from a high-powered rifle, fired through a window, from the alley behind his house. Romalis was hit in the leg, shattering his thigh bone and tearing a major artery. He saved his own life by using the belt of his bath robe as a tourniquet. At the time, this was the most violent anti-abortion crime in Canada; the shooter has never been identified.

In 1998, James Kopp was imprisoned for the sniper-style murder of Barnett Slepian, a New York State physician who provided abortions. Kopp is also suspected of being involved in the shooting of two other Canadian physician abortion providers, Hugh Short in Ontario and Jack Fainman in Winnipeg.

In 2000, an unknown assailant stabbed Garson Romalis in the chest in the lobby of his office building and fled. Later, he phoned Vancouver news papers threatening all local abortion providers and on the same day phoned one of them to tell her she was next on his list.

Garson Romalis was moved to provide legal abortion services in B.C., by his experiences in training at Cook Country Hospital, Ill. in 1962, where 10-30 women were admitted per day with sepsis from back-street abortions. Despite treatment, one of these patients would die each month.


A Canadian physician who wishes to remain anonymous for safety reasons

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