Pro-life activist Linda Gibbons freed

  • November 7, 2011

TORONTO - Pro-life activist Linda Gibbons was freed from a maximum security Ontario prison on Nov. 4 after charges of disobeying a 17-year-old temporary court injunction prohibiting protests at several downtown Toronto abortion clinics were dismissed.

Gibbons’ lawyer, Daniel Santoro, told The Catholic Register the charges were dismissed by Ontario Justice Alphonse T. Lacavera because the sheriff read an outdated injunction to Gibbons when he arrested her on Aug. 4 for breaching the 1994 temporary injunction.

On that day, Gibbons held a silent protest outside an abortion clinic. The 1994 temporary injunction was established by then Ontario Attorney-General Marion Boyd barring anyone from picketing, sidewalk counselling and interfering with access to abortion services or the “economic interests” of downtown Toronto abortion clinics within 60 feet of the clinics.

For nearly two decades, Gibbons has disobeyed the provincial injunction by peacefully picketing outside abortion clinics. This has led to her 20 arrests for various Criminal Code offences and spending 10 of the past 17 years in jail.

She has always refused bail because judges ask Gibbons to promise to abide by the injunction as a precondition of bail. She refuses to do so.

Next up for Gibbons is a challenge to the temporary injunction. Santoro is preparing for Gibbons’ upcoming Supreme Court hearing on Dec. 14. The issue, Santoro said, is “whether the Criminal Code can be used to enforce civil injunctions.”

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