Linda Gibbons, long-time pro-life activist, was freed from prison on June 3 after 28 months incarceration.

Pro-life activist Gibbons freed

  • June 8, 2011

TORONTO - After more than two years in prison, long-time pro-life activist Linda Gibbons was freed on June 3.

The 62-year-old great grandmother was in jail for the past 28 months for picketing a Toronto abortion clinic and violating a nearly two decades-old court injunction.

Gibbons was set free after Ontario Court Justice Mara Beth Greene granted her lawyer’s application requesting that she be released without conditions. She was issued a summons to attend court on Jan. 15, 2012.

Gibbons has always refused to sign a bail condition that orders her to abide by a 1994 temporary injunction barring pro-life activists from picketing, sidewalk counselling and interfering with access to abortion services or the “economic interests” of downtown Toronto clinics. But Gibbons has chosen to disobey by peacefully picketing outside abortion clinics. This has led to her 20 arrests for various Criminal Code offences leading to her spending 10 of the past 17 years in jail.

On Dec. 13, 2012, the Supreme Court of Canada will hear Gibbon’s case challenging the Crown’s use of the criminal courts to prosecute Gibbons for violating the temporary injunction.

Phil Horgan, president of the Catholic Civil Rights League, welcomed Gibbons’ release. Horgan said her case highlights a long-standing legal mistake. The temporary injunction “has never gone to trial to be formally invoked,” he said.

Gibbons said she will continue to speak out for the unborn.

“Someone once asked Mother Teresa how much should we give to the poor. She said we should give until it hurts. I think we need to love the unborn and feel their pain, feel their hurt and enter into their suffering somehow, even if it’s a small sacrifice or taking a risk,” she told The Catholic Register.

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