By Paul Tuns
The Interim

British Columbia pro-life activist Mary Wagner was acquitted Jan. 11 on all but one of her six counts of breaking a Vancouver bubble zone injunction on two separate occasions. Wagner, a 24-year-old graduate student at the University of Victoria, was found guilty on a one count of interference with a client of the Everywoman’s abortuary, and was sentenced to 15 days in jail and fined $1,000.

The first three counts were dismissed Jan. 6 after the Crown failed to provide sufficient documentation to the defence lawyer. Campaign Life Coalition B.C. president John Hof toldThe Interim he admits Wagner won on a technicality, but at least she won.

Wagner, who pleaded not guilty and who was been in jail since her Dec. 3, 1999 arrest, was retained in custody until her Jan. 11 hearing.

Wagner provides sidewalk counselling and a prayerful pro-life witness at Everywoman’s. She was charged with interfering with a client, interfering with the operation of a clinic and protesting. The Crown could not prove she hurt the abortuary’s business and she was not carrying a sign and thus not protesting.

As part of her witness, Wagner hands out roses to abortion-bound women before they enter the facility. Hof said that one rose was entered into evidence. In a moment of levity, the Crown described that Mary was handing out roses to women in the alcove adjacent to the abortuary. Hof reports the Crown said, “‘Mary was in the alcove with the rose,’ like it was a dangerous weapon and like you would accuse someone in [the boardgame] Clue.”

Hof said Wagner was well represented by legal aid lawyer Bob Bellows, who is not known as a pro-life lawyer. He was able to point out discrepancies in the testimony of the Crown’s witnesses, including the fact that one said Wagner was aggressively chasing them while another said Wagner was walking backwards with them.