In Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Linda Gibbons, a tireless pro-life crusader, can usually be found quietly standing outside an abortion clinic holding pro-life pamphlets, a palm-size model of an unborn baby, and a sign that reads: “Why Mom? When I have so much love to give.” That is, when she’s not in jail for regularly breaching a civil order to keep 150 feet away from the Toronto abortion clinics where she regularly witnesses. The original civil order dates back to 1994. She has subsequently breached similar civil orders and has been jailed repeatedly. An article in the National Post Newspaper states that she “has spent more than 9 years behind bars for her pro-life activities, breaking several injunctions over the past 18 years for getting too close to abortion clinics.”
Linda maintains that she has a right to peaceful protest and she is being unfairly treated because of her pro-life views. Her case has gone to the Supreme Court of Canada which ruled on Friday that she can be criminally charged for violation of a civil order.
It has been suggested that instead of protesting, she should counsel women against abortion. While Linda agrees that counselling is valuable, she believes that “the sidewalk in front of the abortion clinic is the last place to stop a murder.” She also believes that obeying the civil order to stay 150 feet back from the clinic is “moral cowardice,” and she will not stop standing at the doors of the clinic in her crusade to protect life. “I have a moral responsibility not to obey an unjust law.”
By her actions, she has helped to keep alive the abortion debate in Canada, a debate which all three political parties have refused to address since Canada’s abortion laws were struck down by the Supreme Court in 1988. To date, Canada has no abortion laws and unborn babies can be aborted right up to their due date. Among his own political party, pro-life Conservative MP Stephen Woodworth’s motion (M-312) to re-examine when human life begins is quietly being voted down. Moral weakness is rampant on Parliament Hill. The Conservative Party, led by Stephen Harper, is Canada’s governing political party.
While thousands of Canadian pro-lifers regularly take part in 40 Days for Life, March for Life and Life Chain, Linda’s passion and commitment are unmatched. This unassuming 63-year old grandmother is a shining example of standing up for justice, for doing the right thing, for laying down one’s life. Her tireless, selfless actions continue to rattle pro-abortion advocates just by her silent witness. She encourages us to keep challenging unjust laws that deny our freedom of speech and freedom of peaceful protest. She is a major influence and role-model for the Canadian pro-life movement.