Linda Gibbons' Supreme Court of Canada appeal failed after a 8-1 vote went against her. Gibbons has spent about 10 years of her life in jail for peacefully protesting outside abortion clinics. Photo by Sheila Dabu Nonato

Linda Gibbons appeal fails at Supreme Court

  • June 8, 2012

OTTAWA - The Supreme Court of Canada has overwhelming dismissed an appeal by pro-life crusader Linda Gibbons.

In an 8-1 vote, Canada's highest court upheld lower court rulings that permitted Gibbons to be charged criminally for disobeying temporary injunctions that were imposed in civil courts several years ago.

Gibbons, 63, is currently in jail awaiting trial for breaching an injunction first granted in 1994.

She has faced the same charge several times and has spent about 10 years in jail for peacefully protesting outside abortion clinics. She consistently rejects bail conditions that would force her to abandon her anti-abortion protests.

Speaking from jail after the court decision, she told the National Post that the ruling was no surprise.

“The courts and the government have failed in their duty to protect the unborn,” she said.

“I have to do what my conscience tells me. The most important place to be is in front of those clinics to try to persuade women not to have an abortion."

Gibbons' lawyer Daniel Santoro said the issue is not necessarily settled. He told the Toronto Star he may file a challenge based on abuse of process, claiming it is unjust to continue to prosecute based on an 18-year-old "temporary" order.

The court ruled on a technical legal question regarding injunctions, not on matters pertaining to rights to protest abortion.

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