Pro-Life Advocate Imprisoned for Silent Protest Goes to Supreme Court

Linda Gibbons is a pro-life advocate who has spent years in jail for silently holding a sign at a Toronto abortion clinic that read, “Why Mom? When I Have So Much Love to Give.”

Her attorney, Daniel Santoro, will argue in court that she has been purposely charged in a criminal court for what he claims should have been a civil case.

Gibbons was forced to spend last Christmas in jail, whilst a friend rallied supporters to send her Christmas cards in order to lift her spirits. This Christmas will also likely be ruined for Gibbons as her case commenced before the Supreme Court on Wednesday.

After being arrested 20 times for violating a temporary civil injunction, Gibbons told the National Post that she still feels “she has a Charter and God-Given right to counsel against abortion, to stand in front of an abortion clinic and offer advice.”

A temporary injunction was imposed in August 1994, which was six years after the Supreme Court of Canada ruled: “The decision whether or not to terminate a pregnancy is essentially a moral decision and in a free and democratic society, the conscience of the individual must be paramount to that of the state."

Cornel Law defines an injunction as: “A court order requiring an individual to do or omit doing a specific action.” It also cites it as “an extraordinary remedy that courts utilize in special cases where taking some specific action is required in order to prevent possible injustice.”

Santoro has argued that the case should have been held in Civil Court and reasoned: “All the criminal court can do is convict or not, they can’t make a decision about the viability of a 17-year-old injunction.’’

The lawyer will also argue in court that the Crown has purposely charged Gibbons through a Criminal Court to “avoid a challenge to the injunction.”

Canada has a history of progressive ideals, which have been demonstrated in their policies concerning public healthcare, same-sex marriage, and multiculturalism.

Readers following her case have varying comments. One user, mjmiddleton wrote: “This lady is a true heroine...a selfless example of someone who is willing to pay the cost for standing up for truth and justice.”

However another user, freebird, strongly disagreed saying, “She purposefully and repeatedly trespasses, probably in an attempt to get arrested by the police, and to obtain the attention she seeks.”

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