I am sure that every reader of The Interim knows who Linda Gibbons is and some of the details of her recent history. Briefly it is this; Linda Gibbons, a grandmother of four, is a political prisoner of the Ontario government.
She has been in jail for almost three years and on April 28th, she was condemned to another six months behind bars. Her “crime” is that she prayed within 60 feet of the Buruiani abortuary on Gerrard St. She is now accused of “breaking probation,” whatever that means. I am sure that for pro-life people who could not be present, it would be interesting to hear what has happened in the past few days.
When it became known that Linda would be given another prison sentence on April 26th, a picket was arranged for outside Old City Hall, Toronto, where the court was held. Somewhere between 60 and 70 pro-life people assembled.
We stood or walked outside the hall, holding placards, which read, “Free Linda, God bless you, Linda, Unborn Babies are human too.”
‘Free Linda Gibbons’
We also distributed leaflets giving a summary of the case with the title, “Free Linda Gibbons.” I watched from the steps and it was interesting to note the people who refused to accept the leaflets. I am not certain but I think that, in general, those who refused were the better dressed and professional people – both men and women. But, a great many people did accept them and a number stopped to ask questions as to “What’s going on?”
While it was impossible to count, I think that it would be true to say that thousands of people, both walking and in cars and busses witnessed our protest and perhaps it gave them food for reflection. We were outside the City Hall for over an hour and then went into the court room. We sat there for about two hours, while mostly young people were tried for drug dealing and other crimes. Eventually, at 11:50am, Linda was led into the court in handcuffs.
To see this diminutive, gentle, loving grandmother, standing between two large police officers made one remember the old saying, “The Law is an Ass.” Linda refuses to speak in court.
When questioned she remains silent. I wonder if she is remembering the Gospel of St. Luke, Chapter 23, when Jesus stood before King Herod. Here is the quote, “And he – Herod – questioned Him at some length. But He answered him not a word.” On returning to the court after lunch, the judge – Mr. Justice David Fairgrieve – asked if anybody wished to speak on Linda’s behalf. Joanne Dieleman and Gloria Lawrenson spoke highly in favor of Linda. The Judge, obviously impressed, said that he would have to give the matter more thought and adjourned the court until Monday April 28th.
On Monday, most of us returned and picketed again outside the Old City Hall. At 10a.m., we went into the courtroom, which was booked for Linda’s case alone. The same judge read a 10-page dissertation on the entire Linda Gibbons case. I have a copy of the document and I was almost amused to read the title on the cover: Between: Her Majesty the Queen and Linda Dale Gibbons.”
Quoting from a statement made by Justice J. Adams, who had tried Linda in one of the previous cases, the Justice read, “The protestors know that abortion patients generally wish anonymity and are easily upset.”
“The evidence, I find, reveals that the defendants prey upon this aversion to publicity and the emotional vulnerability of the patients, with intent to discouraging the use of medical facilities.”
In a later paragraph the document continues, “most importantly, they (the women entering the abortuary) are forced to participate in this emotionally charged contact with hostile strangers immediately prior to undergoing a serious surgical procedure, requiring the patient to be, calm, attentive and cooperative.
When we put the above statement alongside the following, made by the late Dr. (Sir) William Liley – knighted by the Queen for his work on fetology – one cannot but questions the integrity or intelligence of the author of the above anomaly. Quote: “From the moment a baby is conceived, it bears the indelible stamp of a separate, distinct personality, an individual different from all other individuals.”
Or the following quote from Noble Prize Winner, Professor Jerome Lejeune of Paris: “From the moment of fertilization, the conceptus is alive and is essentially distinct from the mother, who provides nourishment and protection. For these reasons, the termination of pregnancy to solve economic or eugenic problems in directly in contradiction to the role of the doctor.”
There is no medical doctor or scientist of any standing today, who would publicly deny the humanity of the pre-born baby. Abortion is therefore murder. Murder is defined as the “deliberate killing of an innocent human being.” And who is more innocent than a pre-born baby? So, it is murder that Linda Gibbons is trying to prevent.
Suppose a woman or man, walking along Gerrard Street (where the abortuary is situated), with their baby, were to attack the child with a knife and Linda were to prevent the death of the child by holding off the attacker.
Would she be in court on a charge of interfering with the liberty of the parents? I think not. She would probably be on the front page of the Toronto Star as a heroine. And what is the difference in principle? There is none.
In the case I have surmised, murder is committed in a house and the murderer is well paid for committing the crime.
A government of Canada or America or anywhere else, has no more right to make abortion legal that Hitler had the right to legalize the murder of the Jews in Germany. In case any reader may think that I am indulging in “poetic license” I assure them that I mean exactly what I have written. And nothing and nobody will make me retract it.
As a final tribute to that wonderful Baptist lady, Linda Gibbons, I would like to conclude with this statement. I am quite certain that if the penalty for trying to save the lives of pre-born babies were execution by beheading, she would lay her head on the block with the same sentiments, as did St. Thomas More, who refused to sign on the dotted line in favor of the divorce, of “King Henry VIII from Queen Catherine of Aragon: “I die, the Queen’s good servant. But God’s first.”