More police protection for doctors who provide abortions

Police in British Columbia say there could be a link between the stabbing of an abortion provider and drug trials being run in the province.

As police in Vancouver continue to investigate Tuesday's attack on Dr. Garson Romalis, a doctor who provides abortions, they are looking into the possibility it may have something to do with the work of another prominent abortion provider in Vancouver.

Romalis was stabbed at his office by a man in his 20s. Romalis is in hospital, in good condition.

Dr. Ellen Wiebe, who is conducting a test of a controversial new abortion pill, admits to living in fear but says she will continue performing abortions.

On Wednesday morning, Wiebe received a death threat on her answering service.

And police are considering last week's announcement of her tests as a possible connection to the attack.

Wiebe says this is not the first threat she has received, but she does say it seems "real" this time. 

Police officers are doing guard duty for other frightened doctors in Vancouver. Const. Anne Drennan says some officers are stationed at the hospital where Romalis is recovering.

"He remains under guard at the hospital and will continue to be under police protection indefinitely," said Drennan.

It's not the first attack on Dr. Romalis. Six years ago, he was shot, and nearly bled to death. Police suspect an anti-abortion extremist in the latest attack.

One of the doctors, Barnett Slepian of Amherst, New York, was killed in 1998. James Kopp, an anti-abortion activist, is the prime suspect in that murder.

The other three doctors were shot in Winnipeg, Ancaster, Ont., and Rochester, New York.

Kopp is also wanted in connection with the other shootings. In spite of an FBI manhunt, he has not yet been arrested.

A joint Canadian-American team based in Winnipeg has been set up to investigate the shootings.