Now here is the Thing…..

Here is the story as recounted to me regarding what I define as an assault at a 40 days for Life Vigil in Ontario.

There were five of us standing at the vigil site, keeping 10 feet in between each of us. Two young women and a man (mid twenties, all of them) drive up in a car. They came out with a roll of paper, came up to us and said that we were “f**** ridiculous” and how dare we stand there, so they were going to block us. 

I replied, oh let me move my box for you and then instructed those with me to go to the various corners. She said, “What, you’re going to just keep moving?” I replied yes and she says “Well we’ll follow you.” I said, that’s fine. They rolled out their paper in front of me and I (stupidly, I know I shouldn’t have.) I didn’t even think walked up, placed my arms over it and held my sign in front of it (my arms were pushing the paper down). She told me to stop touching their property, so I lifted my hands up so that I wasn’t touching it, but my sign was still able to be read in front of it. 

She came up to me and slapped my face and pushed me away. As I was taking out my phone to take pictures and call the police, she grabbed my sign and hit me with it and then grabbed my phone from me and threw it. I went and got it and she fought me over it again, but I kept it. She hit me with the roll from the paper and was yelling at me that she didn’t care if I posted about it on social media. I responded that I was calling the police and then they left. 

The police say that their [perpetrators] reports, which were similar but not identical, showed that they didn’t go over the story together first, say that I ripped up their paper (here the officer inserts, “which was ripped”) and got up into her face so she pushed me away and then I put my camera in her face so she knocked it down the hill. 

The officer said that because it’s a controversial issue, things are bound to escalate and because I engaged with them by getting in their face (despite me telling her I didn’t) things like this can’t go to court. It’s a matter of he says, she says, so that’s that. “I got a call from the officer that came out when that woman slapped me; here’s what she said: 

They aren’t pressing charges because they say that I ripped up their paper and got into her face with my cell phone and she only pushed me out of her way and threw my cell phone because it was in her face. 

Also, because of the type of situation, it being so controversial it makes people react more, which of course doesn’t excuse it, but that is how it goes. The officer says that it’s a case of he says, she says, so there really isn’t any point moving forward. She’s says if even if I want to press charges, she won’t. They do have a written report so if she ever does anything again, she’ll be red flagged.”

So there is the story and I would like to make a couple of observations. In the same city within a couple of weeks either side of this incident a passenger on a bus slapped the driver and a customer at a grocery store spat on a worker – both incidents had details but also images that the police could use to identify the person and verify what happened. Charges have been made and are pending in both these cases because of the images together with the details provided by witnesses. Going back to the vigil incident – the woman was found because a photo was taken of the departing car which got the number plate – there were also 4 witnesses at the vigil who can verify our pro-lifer’s account but apparently were not trusted to tell the “Truth”.

However, it seems that because of the controversial nature of abortion we are to expect that “people react more”? Maybe that is true but I for one do not expect the police to react less. These folks drove to the vigil site intentionally and also intentionally endeavoured to”block” the pro-life message, used foul language and allegedly assaulted a young pro-life woman. I absolutely believe the account above and really wonder how police 50 years ago took witness statements and details and followed up with charges, minus the “images’ so readily available today which seem to mean everything?!!!! I shake my head that “there really isn’t any point moving forward” and charges would not be laid by police even if the victim wants them.

What this tells me is that the police no longer find pro-life Canadians credible witnesses or appear to doubt that anyone would actually tell the truth in this particular case, because of abortion’s controversial nature. Charges will not be pressed as it seems we are to expect people to react more in this circumstance – our only recourse is to have a video of the act itself. Now forgive the pun but that really seems like a “cop out” to me.

I know that I do not need to remind the pro-lifers in this province about the fact that we have 8 “bubble zones” around specific abortion facilities – well do you know how that came about? Claims were made by abortion staff in Ottawa that a pro-lifer had spat upon a couple as they entered the facility. Just for your information – no video, no image just claims or allegations that this had happened. Those allegations were enough to get the Mayor of Ottawa to contact the Attorney General of Ontario and set in motion, at a pace greater than the speed of light, the legislation “safe access zones”that unconstitutionally, bars pro-life witness outside these facilities within certain specific parameters. What is also amazing was that a report had been published a few months earlier saying that “harrassment” at abortion facilities “was rare” in Canada. So let us recap – claims of someone spitting on someone entering an abortion facility were enough to have draconian and unconstitutional legislation drawn up, debated and passed before you could say “”EH”. Even with evidence from the pro-abortion side that harassment was rare. I would remind you of the fact that we had already and still have laws to cover any assault of this kind if it had indeed happened outside the abortion facility.

One cannot help thinking that if you are pro-abortion your claims or allegations will be taken seriously even without “images”. However as a pro-life Canadian it is just “he says she says” and by the way get ready because people react more because abortion is controversial! We cannot nor should we stand for this in 2020.

I would like to end this piece with a story from my early days at the Scott abortion facility in Toronto where we used to go once a week. There was a particularly obnoxious facility “guard” who decided as I was alone at the time (my colleague was using the washroom) he would taunt me. He came out of the facility with a billboard with caricatures of pro-lifers on it and got right into my face asking me which one was me. He was a good 6 inches taller than me and he leaned down to me, I could feel his breath on my face and inside my heart was beating wildly, but I looked at him and said “does your mother know this is how you treat women?” It was the first thing that came into my head and it stunned him because he went back inside the facility. Needless to say the two police officers present at the time did absolutely nothing to come to my defense.

I am not really blaming the police then or now because they also have to work in an insane politically correct world. However, whether you are pro-abortion or pro-life your claims should be taken seriously with or without images and people should not be excused for violent behaviour because we and apparently the police expect them to react more when it is a controversial issue.

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About Jakki

Since 1989 Jakki Jeffs has been the Executive Director of Alliance for Life Ontario, the provincial coordinating office for 65 educational pro-life organizations. Jakki works tirelessly promoting protection and respect for all human life through educational means.

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One Response to “Now here is the Thing…..”

  1. Joan Lemieux on 07/04/2020 #

    Jakki, what can I say. This does not surprise me in the least but why we have to fight for good is so hard.
    God bless.

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