Pro-life prisoner of conscience Linda Gibbons will again be the subject of a dramatic presentation at 7:30 p.m.

Gibbons, who has served several prison terms resulting from a temporary injunction against pro-life demonstrations, was scheduled to be released from her latest incarceration the same afternoon.

An Evening with Linda Gibbons and Friends will include reading, music and discussion of trends in the pro-life movement.

This is a second such dramatic presentation organized by Pastor Roberto Munoz of Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church. In August, Rev. Munoz presented the play “Linda” to an appreciative audience. Reg. Munoz is keen on using the arts of spread the respect for life message.

Special guests for the evening include musician Randy Dyer of Hamilton, Choose Life Canada founder Rev. Ken Campbell and broadcaster/author Michael Coren.

Cautious optimism t greet a new year

Amid the swirl of issues surrounding the pro-life movement over the past year, none stands out more than the lack of legal protection afforded unborn children in the womb.

The sad fact was driven home by separate incidents in both Canada and the U.S. South of the border, U.S. President Bill Clinton’s veto of the Congressional ban on partial birth abortion forced the spotlight on the brutality and violence associated with the procedure.

It’s not necessary at this point to reiterate the details of partial-birth abortion. These have been well documented since the story came to light in early 1996. Suffice to say the fact that the unborn child can be subjected to such inhumane treatment just moments before emerging from its mother’s womb is a start commentary on the extremism with which some pro-choice supporters hold to their position.

Pro-lifers, prelates and those concerned with basic human rights were quick to seize on partial-birth abortion to rally support for the defence of the unborn. If nothing else derives from the partial-birth issue, it has at least alerted thousands more to the grotesque way in which abortion has become sacrosanct in some quarters. Perhaps it will have the unforeseen effect of forcing those who haven’t fully committed themselves to the right-to –life message to rethink their motivations.

Certainly the outcry generated by partial birth abortion surprised many observers. And while it didn’t hurt Clinton’s chances in the 1996 presidential election it provided a valuable learning experience for America’s pro-life community.

But there were two examples in this country that served to drive home the fact pre born children continue to be regarded as non-persons before the law. The Drummond case, involving a woman shooting her unborn son with a pellet rifle in an apparent attempt at self-abortion, underscored the bizarre situation whereby the preborn enjoy absolutely no legal protection under the Canadian Criminal Code, until they fully pass from their mother’s womb.

And in Winnipeg, a pregnant woman addicted to glue-sniffing could not be forced into a detoxification program, despite her having given birth previously to two children who had suffered brain damage as a result of her addiction. Happily, the women appears to have overcome her addiction and she recently gave birth to a healthy newborn. Nonetheless, her case reveals that something is seriously lacking in Canadian law when it comes to unborn children.

Ironically, should a person cause harm to a preborn child, leading to the death of that child after birth, that person can in fact criminal charges. Should the child die in utero, however, they say that since there was in fact no “victim,” then no real crime took place. Drummond’s defence team used that very argument, suggesting that her actions were nothing but a failed abortion attempt. And in atypical bit of illogic, pro-abortion forces attempted to justify Drummond’s action as a form of self-defence against an “aggressor”-her unborn child.

Pro-lifers obviously were distressed to learn the courts threw out the Drummond case just before Christmas. At the heart of the campaign was the understanding of what is human life. Had the courts ruled that the unborn are in fact “persons’ and as such are entitled to legal protection, it would have had an enormous impact on the entire pro-life issue. A ruling recognizing the need of some protection for the unborn from conception would have given pause to those who would be so quick to end the lives of the innocent unborn.

Pro-lifers will have to look elsewhere for hope and aspiration in 1997. As noted in this issue of The Interim, pro-lifers across the country are of mixed emotions as a new year dawns. Many fear a growing indifference to the respect for life message among law makers, while other believe protection for the unborn is gaining support among ordinary Canadians.

Whatever surprised the new year might bring, let’s hope for continuing unity and among the country’s pro-life, pro-family community. While the purveyors of abortion/contraception mentality will not go away quietly into that good night, pro-life

Supporters must guard against jadedness and resignation that can make a grueling struggle even more difficult.