#42

CANADA, LAND OF THE FREE... AND PERSECUTED

The grim fact is this: Canada sacrifices each year over 100,000 of its citizens - unborn, that is - on the abortion altar. Nor does it now spare its adult population. I invite you to consider the following (among many more) examples of Canada`s persecution of some of its most peaceful and deeply loyal citizens.

Linda Gibbons is a gentle grandmother who has spent most of the last five years in prison for quietly counselling women on the sidewalks and handing out leaflets that offered help and hope to the women going into an abortion mill in Toronto - in defiance of Ontario`s government`s injunction protecting the abortion industry. Canadians would all be troubled by the life-sentence in six month instalments imposed on Linda Gibbons for her religious beliefs, except that the media refuse to publicize her cruel treatment at the hands of civil authorities.

Mary Wagner is a 26-year-old British Columbia pro-lifer who was imprisoned over Christmas last year, from November until February, for handing out roses and offering help to women entering a Vancouver abortuary. Her plight has also been deliberately ignored by the press.

Another Vancouverite, Jim Demers, was imprisoned, separated from his family and treated like a criminal for peacefully displaying near an abortion clinic a banner stating, "Every Human Being Has the Inherent Right to Life" - the UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

In Montreal, Michel Tissot was jailed from August 8 until September 28, 1998, for daring to recite the Rosary in front of Henry Morgentaler`s baby-killing clinic. In Calgary, it`s also forbidden to pray quietly on the sidewalk outside an abortion clinic. In Toronto, it`s against the law to get closer than 60 feet (therefore out of earshot) to offer alternatives to abortion to women about to go under the knife. In Fredericton, the director of Morgentaler`s latest abortion franchise used the occasion of its opening in 1998 to play up the bogus fear that the handful of regular silent picketers could incite "anti-choice zealots" to murder those working there. Toronto police have pushed the envelope even further in curtailing Christians` free speech by arresting four pro-life journalists covering Mrs. Gibbons last arrest in October, 1999.

A law which protects the murder of unborn children and refuses to recognize the right of citizens to peacefully intervene - and even interfere with abortionists - on behalf of those children is no law at all, as the Holy Father reminds us on occasion.

Whether one is pro-life or not, everyone recognizes the right of others to help save a life, and that not doing so is wrong. Everyone has the right to be saved in and out of the womb. God help those who do not. I`ve held on firmly to this belief since becoming actively involved with pro-life advocacy some 12 years ago. 

A letter appearing in the June issue of the solidly orthodox Catholic Insight magazine, so strongly reinforced my commitment to pro-life witnessing that I decided to reproduce it here for the benefits of those Knights still ill at ease with picketing abortion clinics or displaying upsetting pictures of aborted babies during silent public abortion awareness demonstrations. I am grateful to Leo Coyle, a committed Catholic living in Gibbons, Alberta, for permission to use his outstanding testimony.
(See Article 43)


Thaddée Renault

Fredericton, New Brunswick


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