Anti-abortion crusader 'like a magnet'

By Craig Pearson, The Windsor Star
Published: Tuesday, February 06, 2007
Outspoken anti-abortion crusader Earl Amyotte, who died of kidney failure Friday at age 74, will be remembered as a gregarious man committed to his beliefs. “He was a people person,” his companion of 12 years Anne Marie Stephens recalled Tuesday. “He was like a magnet. He just drew people to him. He could talk to people anytime, anywhere.” Stephens, who was with him when he died at Hotel Dieu Hospital where he had been since September, said he had a way with words. “He was a bit on the abrasive side, too,” she said. “He spoke his mind. But nevertheless, he was well read and people would still want to listen to him.” Stephens said that her partner liked to joke and dance and go to movies and stay up late — and generally enjoy life. He also liked to stand up for his beliefs. The former U.S. banker and committed Catholic spent 15 days in a Michigan jail in 1990 for his part in “Operation Rescue,” an attempt to prevent women from entering an abortion clinic in Livonia, Mich., in 1988. He was the only Canadian among 57 activists protesting that day. In 2002 Canada Customs seized two anti-abortion signs Amyotte was bringing back from a protest in the U.S. Though an agent originally deemed them obscene, they were returned two days later.