Habitat 11 may prove to be another testing ground for pro-family forces

The next large U.N. conference Habitat 11 to be held in Istanbul June 3-14, 1996 is to address the problems of human settlements [cities].

Many fear that this conference will be an attempt to implement at the local level all the radical policies adopted in Cairo, Rio, Copenhagan and Being.  In the September Habitat 11 newsletter, Countdown to Instanbul, Wally N’Dow, Secretary-General of Habitat11, proudly announces that this issue is devoted to the theme “Moving towards a Gendered City.”

The “gender” problem of the Beijng document obviously cannot be seen in isolation.

In the same issue Catalina Hunchey Trujilo writes: “…the ‘typical’ family is no longer composed of husband/father (head of the family) who is responsible for reproductive activities, wife mother (subordinate to husband) who is responsible for reproductive activities such as caring for children and the elderly, cooking, fetching water, and so on, and children (dependent)…Who decides which form of ‘family’ is more conducive to human, equitable growth and development?”  Who can prove that policy which focuses on ‘family’ truly benefits all people: women, men, girls and boys?”

With statements such as these Habitat 11 promises to be another formidable challenge to pro-family NGOs.

Activist feels strain of long sentences

Joanne Dieleman

The Interim

Eight pro-lifers were on hand on September 12, when Linda Gibbons appeared before a Provincial Court judge, in Toronto.  Her charge-counselling one of Toronto’s abortuaries.

Linda, a grandmother of four, has been incarcerated for the same charge for the better part of a year.

Her initial charge came on September 2, 1994 tow days after Justice George Adam’s count order banning counseling within 60 feet of named abortuaries came into effect.

Linda continued with her daily activities, offering help and hope to women in crisis situations.  She was arrested, charge and found guilty for obstructing a police officer and received a six month jail sentence.

After being released Linda, again, refused to acknowledge Adam’s order, which she feels is unjust and restrictive against to Biblical mandate, to “rescue those carried away to slaughter”  Released again, she continued her efforts the very next day.  After several court appearances, all charges were dropped. (the injunction papers could not be found.)

Because of this unexpected release Linda could attend the 10th anniversary celebration of “Aid to Women” as our special guest.  After a weekend of well deserved rest, Linda resumed counseling.  She was promptly arrested and charged with “obstructing” and on August 11, Judge Cadsby handed her a probation order.  She was arrested the following Monday in front of the Scott abortuary.

This time she was charged with two offenses: non-compliance with the court, (for not signing) and “breach of probation.”

Judge O’Matfu heard the case on September a 12.  Although Linda remains silent in court, the crown attorney found it necessary to call on 13 witnesses to prove her guilty.  So followed a parade of police officers and court personnel.  On several occasions Judge O’Matfu expressed her frustration with the proceeding and urged Linda to speak.  Linda would acknowledge these requests by standing up, but remained silent.

In a subsequent letter from jail Linda admitted, in her own brand of humour, that these “ups and downs’ had been tiring.

The count cases produced a tremendous psychological strain on Linda.

At one point, her mental abilities were called in question and an assessment at a mental health facility was discussed.  The appearances were also physically demanding as Linda refrained from all food for several days before each court appearance, fasting and praying.  Judge O’Matfu found Linda guilty as charge and gave her a 5 month jail sentence.

Linda will most likely be released on December 22, just in time to celebrate Christmas with her loved ones.  She asked that all pro-lifers remember her in their prayers.

You can support Linda and the stand she takes on behalf of unborn children by corresponding with her.  She has been able to write back to every one and you will enjoy her quick wit and humour.

Linda’s current address is: Quinte Regional Detention Centre. P.O. 3060  89 Richmond Blvd. Napanee, ON K7R 3S1  613-354-9701.  For more information call Aid To Women 416-921-6016