Rod Taylor the Deputy Leader of the Christian Heritage Party of Canada.
On August 4, 2011, Linda Gibbons was re-arrested on a sidewalk in front of the Morgentaler abortion mill in Toronto. She is the self-sacrificing grandmother who has spent over 8 years behind bars for speaking to pre-abortive women about the life they are carrying within their wombs. On August 10, Mary Wagner was also re-arrested in Toronto. She was speaking quietly to women in the waiting room of the Bloor West Village Women’s Clinic, pleading for the lives of their unborn children. Within one week, these two stalwarts of the prolife movement were taken off the streets so that the abortion machine could carry on its grisly business in Toronto without the nagging voice of conscience.
In July, I had the privilege of meeting Linda Gibbons for the first time. During her short period of freedom between incarcerations, she was visiting her family in BC. She shared with me her passion for rescuing the unborn and for sparing women the devastating after-effects of abortion—a “choice” which leaves scars that just won’t go away.
Linda has counted the cost of obedience and considers it a sacrifice she must make. She has a deep grasp of the moral and legal implications of the struggle in which she is engaged. She related to me how the courts and legislatures have cooperated with the scheming machinations of the poor-choice lobby. As a result, the so-called “temporary” injunctions—created to shield abortion mills from public scrutiny and honest debate—have become a mailed fist to punish people who share her profound convictions about the value of innocent human life, including life in the womb.
Over the years, the use of injunctions to keep prolife people off public sidewalks has been accompanied by increased penalties, including severe sentences, devastating fines and the stigma of a criminal record. Evidence for the harshness imposed on those seeking to exercise their free speech and follow their conscience while defending innocent human life is the fact that Linda, a principled, gentle and compassionate woman, has spent more time in prison than Karla Homolka, the murderess lover of Paul Bernardo. Homolka, who participated in several murders, including that of her own sister, was released from prison on a plea-bargain, in spite of lying. Linda Gibbons goes to jail for telling the truth in love.
One burden Linda carries is the knowledge that so many good and loving prolife people have been bullied into silence or at least inaction by stiff penalties and being unfairly branded as federal criminals. Few are willing to pay the price of violating the phony injunctions. For her no price is too high for obedience and saving lives. Her case will go to the Supreme Court this winter where the unequal application of these laws across Canada’s provinces will be the primary question.
Linda shared with me the gist of an interview with a major news broadcaster in which she was asked about the sacrifices she has made in her personal life—the missing of birthdays and other special family times. The interviewer wondered if she wouldn’t like to be “normal”, to have a “normal” life with all its “normal” pleasures and occasions. I was struck by her answer, which went something like this: “While Canada continues to kill over 100,000 innocent human babies each year, do I have the right to claim a ‘normal’ life? Why should my life be ‘normal’? These are not ‘normal’ times. Killing babies is not a ‘normal’ state of affairs. If more Canadians realized what was going on inside those abortion mills, if we really knew and believed that human beings were being systematically killed under the false label of ‘choice’, we wouldn’t be standing still. We would be rushing in to protect human life.”
I would add that if all we prolifers fully understood what was going on and the responsibility that rest on us, we would not be bullied into silence and inaction. If the travesty that is abortion were fully understood by our politicians, our judges and our police forces, officers would be protecting people like Linda and Mary, not arresting them.
In this busy age, it is easy to let Linda and Mary become merely news items, unusual people in a whirlwind of tragedies around the globe. It’s easy to forget that in the Canada we know and love, two gentle and peaceful women are behind bars for their beliefs while an abortion industry sucks the life out of a generation too numb to care. We must care. We must speak. We must encourage our sisters who have been on the frontlines for a generation yet unborn and have sacrificed their personal comfort for the freedoms we all cherish.
The least we can do for them is to ensure that their voice is heard, even from behind prison doors. We need to be an amplifier for them so that their cries and the cries of the unborn may awaken a society deadened to conscience and tragically seeking to cover its shame.
These are our sisters. We must honour their sacrifice, plead for their release and keep their names and their mission in our hearts and prayers.