(Note - this article doesn’t have the best perspective on this issue, but it’s the best I could find — the rest were from nastier “pro-life” sites (I object to that term - “pro-lifers” are anything but pro life). Why aren’t more feminists paying attention to this?? This woman was just given the Diamond Jubilee award!! WTF WORLD. & why the FUCK has she been able to do this for 17 goddamn years? PUT HER IN JAIL & KEEP HER THERE. Anything less is a mockery of our judicial system.)
TORONTO – Two days after appearing at a Supreme Court of Canada hearing on how the criminal justice system has dealt with her anti-abortion picketing, Linda Gibbons was arrested again Friday in Toronto.
Ms. Gibbons, who is 63, was arrested at a Morgentaler abortion clinic, by at least five police officers, for defying the same civil court order she has been breaking for 17 years. She suggested they would be better off taking the clinic staff into custody: “They are the ones who have blood on their shoes,” Ms. Gibbons said.
A Morgentaler clinic spokesman was not immediately available for comment.
Since 1994, when a temporary injunction forbade protesters to get within 150 metres of several Toronto abortion clinics, Ms. Gibbons has continually broken the ban with her one-woman protests. She routinely holds a sign with a drawing of a baby with the words: “Why Mom? When I Have So Much Love to Give.”
Over the years she has spent at least nine years behind bars, but much of that time could have been avoided: In each case she was offered release if she would sign a pledge not to continue protesting, but she refused.
In June, she was released after a 28-month stint behind bars without conditions. But in August she was arrested again for once again breaking the ban. She was released, however, on a technicality, her lawyer, Daniel Santoro, said at the time.
On Wednesday, Mr. Santoro argued at the Supreme Court that Ms. Gibbons case should never have been dealt with in the criminal courts and that the Ontario Crown overstepped its bounds by involving itself in a civil matter.
Mr. Santoro has argued repeatedly that Ms. Gibbons should have appeared in front of the civil court that initially issued the ban. He has also argued it is ridiculous that a “temporary” injunction be in place for so long. If she were to appear in front of the civil court, a case could be made that the injunction has outlived its usefulness and so could be quashed, he has said in interviews.
Ms. Gibbons told Postmedia News on Wednesday: “I want these injunctions brought down. The Crown is using these injunctions to stifle pro-life activism.”
Last year, Celia Posyniak, who worked at a Calgary abortion clinic, said she had no sympathy for the likes of Ms. Gibbons. She said women who are about to have an abortion have made an intimate and legal decision, she said. And so there is no reason they should have to deal with six protesters, or even one.
“Why should they have to put up with that? And why should the staff have to put up with someone standing there mumbling at them?” said Ms. Posyniak. “Most people can’t imagine what’s that like. But I’ll tell you, it’s not a nice feeling.’’