WINNIPEG -- Anti-abortion advocate Joe Borowski vows he will fast for 90 days to protest denial of rights to Canada's unborn because proposed changes to Canadian law affecting abortion allow him no 'rational response.'
The former Manitoba cabinet minister, who began his protest May 1 weighing 188 pounds, said Tuesday his decision to use a fast in his cause was not connected with the hunger strike of IRA member Bobby Sands who died Tuesday in a northern Ireland prison after 66 days without food.
Borowski, 48, who has gone to prison four times for his refusal to pay personal income taxes because of the government's stand on abortion, objects to Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau's proposed changes to the constitution, maintaining the charter of rights will enshrine a woman's right to abortion.
'Trudeau has declared full-scale war on the unborn,' said Borowski.
He added he had resolved since last fall when the constitutional reform package came before Parliament and 'no one had ever heard of Bobby Sands' that he would begin his protest 'as soon as it passed Parliament.'
The government's resolution to reform the constitution is now under consideration by the Supreme Court of Canada which will rule on its legality.
Working at his health food store in the city's St. Vital district Tuesday, Borowski talked to several wellwishers who telephoned.
'Once this thing (the constitution) goes through it will be wide open,' Borowski told one caller. 'It leaves us no option for rational response. If it works, we will pay the price for years and generations to come ...'
Borowski said two store customers and one member of the local Roman Catholic Church where he attends Mass daily had joined him in his fast although none had vowed to carry on as long as 90 days.
He said he intended to survive on distilled water, a liquid herbal mixture and a laxative tea.
Borowski has been crusading against abortion since Sept. 8, 1971, when he resigned as Highways Minister in the government of former premier Ed Schreyer over the government's position on abortion.
'It's a tiresome, frustrating fight,' he said, adding that his proposed 90-day fast had to involve some personal risk in order to gain public attention.
'Trudeau's not going to change his mind just because of what I do, but if enough people send him letters and telegrams, he'll change,' he said.
'It's a selfish society we live in,' he told a caller. 'I don't know how we're going to change them ... Why not? Do you have a better suggestion?'