Ninety days for Lianne Laurence

Lianne Laurence, 32, was arrested at Morgentaler’s Edmonton abortuary for the ninth time on Monday, 29 June 1992, Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul. The next day she was sentenced to 90 days in jail.

Lianne had gone on the morning to picket on the west side of 150th Street. Morgentaler is located on the East side. But the abortuary contains state-of-the-art security which even Lianne Laurence was unable to crack on this day.

When Lianne saw a couple walking into the abortion mill, she made the courageous choice to step between the killer-doctor and the mother. A worker at the abortuary intervened, shoving Lianne around.

The police were called while Laurence allegedly entered the premises to continue trying to save lives in what can only be termed a very courageous, one-man rescue.

The police arrested Laurence, who stands five feet tall (barely) and whisked her downtown to the Law Court Building, at 1100 hours. On this day, she stood ten feet tall; we’ve come to expect that.

At 2 p.m. Laurence appeared in Court of Queen’s Bench – a civil court without a lawyer (pro-life lawyers are difficult, if not impossible, to find in Edmonton in 1992, despite a large membership in the St. Thomas More Lawyer’s Guild). She stood before Judge E.S. Lefsrud, who gave her the option of being released immediately from custody if she promised not to return to the Morgentaler site.

But Laurence refused, stating she felt an obligation to be there the next morning. As a result, Lefsrud ordered her held overnight in jail. The next day Laurence appeared before anti-life Judge David C. MacDonald. MacDonald has consistently hurt the cause of the unborn since placing injunctions against pro-lifers as far back as 1989 at the infamous Hys Centre, an abortion referral centre located close to Edmonton’s worst about abortion hospital, the Royal Alexandra.


According to Dean Bennett of the Edmonton Sun, at least eight media people attended Laurence’s 40-minute hearing on Tuesday.

Talk show host Ron Colister of CJCA Radio (see Interim, May 1992) made Lianne Laurence a major focus on his “Open Life” segment of Talk of the Town the same morning.

Public opinion, if judged by Ron Colister’s radio program, continues to favor Lianne Laurence considerably.

By sentencing Lianne to 90 days in jail, effective immediately, Judge David MacDonald gave her the longest jail term in Alberta pro-life history. He summed up by speaking of the dreaded F word, “fetuses,” stated that Laurence showed “willful contempt of the Order of the Court,” spoke of a Punch magazine cartoon which hangs in his office upstairs representing Law & Liberty. “Law says to Liberty, ‘Your turn must follow mine.’”

Said MacDonald, “we must deter others from expressing disrespect” and the “Court is an agent of society to maintain law and order.”

As all pro-lifers know, law, in order to be truly law, must reflect human reason, the common good of society and Divine law. A statute protecting a death mill is not a “law” but a travesty of it.

Laurence is slated for release on September 26, 1992.