Linda Gibbons, who has been arrested more than 20 times in connection to activities near a Toronto abortuary, will get her day in court. The Supreme Court of Canada, that is.
Gibbons, who prays outside abortion the Scott abortuary on Gerrard Street in downtown Toronto and counsels women to not kill their babies, has never been charged with violating the 1994 “temporary” injunction that outlaws any pro-life activity within 60 feet of specifically named abortion facilities. Pro-life leaders assume that this is to avoid a constitutional challenge against the injunction, sought on behalf of abortion mills by the NDP government 17 years ago. Instead, Gibbons is usually charged with obstructing a peace officer rather than the appropriate charge of disobeying a court order or contempt of court.
The Supreme Court will consider the question of whether the Crown can use the criminal courts to enforce orders emanating from civil or family proceedings. Gibbons’s lawyer Daniel Santoro expects the Supreme Court to hear the case this Fall. Santoro told the Catholic Register that, “if we’re right, it won’t be possible (to charge Gibbons or others) anymore.”
Santaro told The National Post, “getting leave to the Supreme Court is very rare an we are very excited they will hear us.
Alissa Golob, a spokesman for Campaign Life Coalition, said, the injunction and laying of incorrect charges— the latter which has been criticized by several judges— “is a serious abuse of legal process and we applaud the Supreme Court’s decision to hear this case.”
Joanne McGarry, executive director said it was about time that the “appropriateness of the charges” is finally being scrutinized.