Vancouver Abortion Doctor Stabbed

ByABC News
July 11, 2000, 8:28 PM

V A N C O U V E R, British Columbia, July 11 -- A gynecologist who survived a 1994 assassination attempt believed linked to militant anti-abortion activists was stabbed today.

Vancouver police urged abortion providers in the city to go on high alert following the stabbing of Dr. Garson Romalis.

Romalis was stabbed in the back. His injuries are not life-threatening.

This does not appear to be a random attack, Const. Anne Drennan said.

Other abortion providers should be extremely cautious at this time. Theyre encouraged to remain vigilant.

Drennan said the doctor was attacked in his office building by a man wearing a hooded sweatshirt with the hood pulled up.

She said when he was attacked the doctor apparently believed he had only been punched.

She said he followed his attacker, then realized he was bleeding and went into a pharmacy in the building to ask for help.

People in the pharmacy called police.

An Intended Attack

The suspect seemed to realize the party was going to be where he was at this moment and he could easily approach him from behind and the fact that he was wearing dark clothing with the hood up, Drennan said.

We thinkit was an intended attack.

She described the suspect as light-skinned and about 20 years old.

Drennan refused to release the name of the doctor, saying the stabbing victim had made an explicit request that his name not be released.

However, an office worker in the medical building where Romalis works confirmed the stabbing.

Attorney General Andrew Petter said his heart went out to the Romalis family.

Its an awful, awful thing to have happenedObviously this is a tragedy and one that sickens me.

Sniper Later Killed New York Doctor

Romalis was the first of five doctors in Canada and the northeastern United States to be hit by snipers bullets. One of them Dr. Barnett Slepian, of Amherst, N.Y., was killed in 1998 by a bullet fired through his kitchen window.