Linda Gibbons: “Common Sense Revolution is meaningless if it doesn’t protect life”

Pro-life defender Linda Gibbons has wasted no time in again sacrificing her personal comfort and security in defence of the unborn.

Gibbons, who was released from the Vanier Correctional Institute February 16, was re-arrested February 19 after demonstrating in front of the Scott abortuary on Gerrard St. East in Toronto.

She has continually refused to obey a court injunction banning pro-life witnessing within 60 feet of specified abortion sites. As a result, Gibbons has been in and out of jail since the injunction was imposed by former NDP attorney general Marion Boyd in 1993.

With the NDP election defeat last June, pro-life supporters hoped the Conservative government of Mike Harris would drop the entire matter. Pro-lifers have also pressed the new government to dismiss court action against 18 pro-lifers who, like Gibbons, have been charged with violating the injunction. In the eight months since their election victory, however, the Conservatives have made no move to drop the injunction or court case. Their failure to act comes despite criticism of the Boyd injunction while they sat in opposition. Last June, current Attorney General Charles Harnick described the injunction as a freedom of speech issue, yet to date he has refused to move on the matter. He recently told a North York men’s club that he can’t comment on a case still before the courts.

At a media conference held prior to her arrest, Gibbons said the Tories’ “Common Sense” revolution is meaningless if it does not repect life.

“Loving life is common sense,” Gibbons said. “If the government respects its people, it will realize that our unborn are worthy of protection.”

Gibbons also released a “Letter from Prison” which argues the defence of the innocent unborn requires acts of civil disobedience.

Prior to the arrest, sheriffs read parts of the injunction to Gibbons and offered her the opportunity to leave the area. Gibbons did not respond and was carried away to a nearby police car. In a show of solidarity with the unborn, Gibbons refuses to speak to police or court officials after each arrest.

Gibbons’ supporters are dismayed by the latest arrest. They regard Gibbons as a political prisoner of the Ontario government. Rev. Ken Campbell of Choose Life Canada, described Gibbons as “the finest contemporary example of Christian activism and Canadian patriotism.” Campbell and about 15 other supporters attended the February 19 demonstration with Gibbons.

Aid to Women director Joanne Dieleman, one of Gibbons’ closest supporters, said it is unlikely Gibbons will agree to stay away from abortion clinics named in the injunction. “If experience is any indicator, Linda won’t sign any agreement to stay away,” Dieleman said. She believes Gibbons will be kept in detention until a trial date is set.