Steve Jalsevac

Thoughts on the arrest of Linda Gibbons on Aug. 4, 2011

Steve Jalsevac
Steve Jalsevac
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TORONTO, Ontario, August 5, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – On Thursday I once again filmed and photographed Linda Gibbons being arrested for doing nothing more than peacefully trying to convince women entering an abortion clinic to not make the same mistake she herself made years ago. Since Linda’s first arrest in 1994 I have covered the story of her arrests again and again.  In 1999, I was also arrested by police officers directed by a sergeant and sheriff who seemed to have a much too cozy relationship with abortion center staff.  Eight months later the phony charge was dropped.

Yesterday, however, seemed different and unreal. (See video)

The officers and the sheriff were again going through the usual required motions, but this time they seemed confused about how to justify a law enforcement contingent of 6 police officers and 2 sheriffs for this situation. The quiet, passive, soft spoken woman of conscience was obviously no danger to anyone. The severity of the penalties for violating these injunctions, which she has endured for years, is an embarrassment to anyone of reason.

The officers that arrived were the most respectful I have seen over the years and it seemed that this was an awkward and unwelcome task for them. They probably would much rather have been called to go after real criminals than do the bidding of that profitable, government funded baby killing business.

Linda arrived at the Morgentaler Clinic at 8:55 a.m. Thursday morning. She had never attempted her counseling and protest at this particular location before.  The permanent injunction at this location, which is not the same 1994 “temporary” injunction under which Linda has repeatedly been arrested at the Scott abortion mill, prohibits any pro-life activity within a zone of 500 feet from the abortion facility. That makes it impossible for any sidewalk counselors to offer alternative information or assistance to the women without risking certain arrest and heavy penalties.

An abortuary staff woman soon came out and warned Linda to leave.  At 9:15 a large, intimidating security guard arrived and posted himself at the non-descript baby-killing center entrance. At 9:30 two police arrived on bikes and a third, a woman officer, soon joined them. They consulted with abortion center staff, were given a copy of the injunction and consulted with each other over this mysterious document.

They took turns talking to Linda, finding out what she was doing and why, and trying to convince her to leave. They were notably professional and respectful in going about their business.

At 10:25 the police supervisor arrived in a cruiser to direct the officers who seemed unsure about what to do. This was all taking much longer than it usually does at the Scott abortuary on Gerrard St. where Linda experienced all her previous arrests.

The Ontario sheriff and his deputy finally arrived at 10:35. Police cannot arrest protesters at facilities covered by the injunction unless the sheriff first reads the injunction to the pro-lifer(s) and then gives direction to arrest those who refuse to comply after the reading. At least that is how it is supposed to go. Some officers and sheriffs have had their own creative understanding of who should be threatened with arrest, or actually arrested and intimidated, regardless of the stated rules.

Thursday’s tall, lanky sheriff, who participated in past arrests of Linda, unrolled himself out of his car and immediately called out “Hi, Linda”. His intense, eager deputy followed him.

The sheriff, police and abortuary staff had a pow- wow about the problem of that persistent, quiet little women. Another police car and officers arrived. All this backup was apparently needed to deal with Linda, this reporter… and no one else.

Then a roving CBC cameraman accidentally came upon the scene and started to film. He had no idea what was going on, so I briefly filled him in. He had just been filming and interviewing the Show the Truth group that was displaying their graphic abortion signs along the very busy Bayview and Eglinton intersection only two blocks and well over 500 feet away.

As for those people with the signs, I can only imagine the huge commotion if they came any closer with “The Truth” about what was going on in that respectable office building with that unmarked side door seemingly for deliveries and with two prominent “727 Hillsdale” signs over and in front of it.

For the next 20 minutes, the lengthy injunction was read to Linda. She was repeatedly asked to comply; she remained mute; her rights were clearly stated to her and she was given more opportunities to comply; she continued to remain mute and non-compliant.

Linda was handcuffed and walked to one of the police cars and gently guided into the back seat. I have in the past seen her roughly and painfully dragged and thrown into police cars by aggressive officers who obviously had no use for her pro-life views. But not this time.

Linda’s long, now over 8-years total time in jail resumes again. How many more months or years in jail remains to be seen. Her young, very determined current lawyer has notably advanced her cause, although it is still an uphill battle. Linda does not speak in the court, just as the unborn cannot speak as they are destroyed. A Supreme Court appearance is upcoming, probably in the fall.

The publicity of three significant articles in the National Post in the last year on July 30, 2010, Feb 21, 2011, and Jun. 6, 2011, and recent more favourable and extensive coverage than ever in the Catholic Register and reports in other media has changed the landscape somewhat.

The travesty of this injustice and the incomprehensibly privileged legal and political protection provided the abortion industry must finally be addressed. This continuing situation seems to present the “freedom of choice” movement as a fat, big money-making, choice-denying lie. Linda has proved that for 16 years.

After all, the police should be protecting Linda as she tries to offer help to those women, many of whom are forced by friends, family and others into an abortion they really do not want. Why, the police should even hold her sign at times as she tries to counsel the women and save the lives of their unborn children.

See and hear Linda tell her story:
Linda Gibbons: ‘The end of abortion is Armageddon’


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Although it is widely believed that people with Down syndrome are doomed to a life of suffering, in one large survey 99% of respondents with Down syndrome described themselves as "happy." Shutterstock
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‘Sick and twisted’: Down’s advocates, pro-life leaders slam Richard Dawkins’ abortion remarks

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By Dustin Siggins

Advocates on behalf of individuals with Down syndrome, as well as pro-life leaders, are slamming famed atheist Richard Dawkin’s statements made on Twitter earlier today that parents have a moral responsibility to abort babies diagnosed in utero with Down’s.

During a shocking Twitter rant, Dawkins responded to questioners saying that it was "civilised" to abort Down Syndrome babies, and that it would be "immoral" to choose not to abort babies diagnosed with the condition.

He said that his goal is to "reduce suffering wherever you can," indicating that unborn children cannot suffer, and that unborn children don't "have human feelings."

In addition to being scientifically challenged - unborn children can feel both pain and emotions - Dawkins' comments drew criticism for his callousness towards children with disabilities.  

"A true civilization – a civilization of love – does not engage in such cold and ultimately suicidal calculus"

“It's sick and twisted for anyone to advocate for the killing of children with disabilities,” Live Action President Lila Rose told LifeSiteNews. “Dawkins's ignorant comments serve only to further stigmatize people with Down syndrome.

“While many people with Down syndrome, their families, and advocacy groups are fighting discrimination on a daily basis, Dawkins calls for their murder before they are even born,” she said. “Those with Down syndrome are human beings, with innate human dignity, and they, along with the whole human family, deserve our respect and protection.”

Carol Boys, chief executive of the Down's Syndrome Association, told MailOnline that, contrary to Dawkins’ assertion, “People with Down’s syndrome can and do live full and rewarding lives, they also make a valuable contribution to our society.”

A spokesperson for the UK disabilities charity Scope lamented that during the “difficult and confusing time” when parents find out they are expecting a child with disabilities, they often experience “negative attitudes.”

“What parents really need at this time is sensitive and thorough advice and information,” the spokesperson said.

Charlotte Lozier Institute president Chuck Donovan agreed with Rose’s assessment. "Advocates of abortion for those 'weaker' than others, or of less physical or intellectual dexterity, should remember that each of us is 'lesser' in some or most respects," he said.

According to Donovan, "we deliver a death sentence on all of humanity by such cruel logic."

"A true civilization – a civilization of love – does not engage in such cold and ultimately suicidal calculus" he said.

One family who has a child with Down syndrome said Dawkins was far from the mark when he suggested that aborting babies with Down syndrome is a good way to eliminate suffering.

Jan Lucas, whose son Kevin has Down syndrome, said that far from suffering, Kevin has brought enormous joy to the family, and "is so loving. He just has a million hugs."

She described how Kevin was asked to be an honorary deacon at the hurch they attend in New Jersey, “because he is so encouraging to everyone. At church, he asks people how their families are, says he'll pray for them, and follows up to let them know that he has been praying for them."

It's not just strangers for whom Kevin prays. "My husband and I were separated for a time, and Kevin kept asking people to pray for his dad," said Jan. "They didn't believe that Kevin's prayers would be answered. Kevin didn't lose hope, and asking people, and our marriage now is better than ever before. We attribute it to Kevin's prayers, and how he drew on the prayers of everyone."

"I don't know what we'd do without him," said Jan.

Speaking with LifeSiteNews, Kevin said that his favorite things to do are "spending time with my family, and keeping God in prayer." He said that he "always knows God," which helps him to "always keep praying for my friends."

"I love my church," said Kevin.

Although it is widely believed that people with Down syndrome are doomed to a life of suffering, in one large survey 99% of respondents with Down syndrome described themselves as "happy." At the same time, 99% percent of parents said they loved their child with Down syndrome, and 97 percent said they were proud of them.

Only 4 percent of parents who responded said they regretted having their child.

Despite this, it is estimated that in many Western countries the abortion rate of children diagnosed in utero with Down syndrome is 90%, or even higher. The development of new and more accurate tests for the condition has raised concerns among Down syndrome advocates that that number could rise even higher. 


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Asked about Iraq on his return flight from South Korea, Francis replied that 'it is legitimate to halt the unjust aggressor.' Shutterstock
Steve Weatherbe

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Pope Francis: steps must be taken to halt ‘unjust aggressor’ in Iraq

Steve Weatherbe
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Pope Francis and his emissary to Iraq’s persecuted non-Muslim minorities, Cardinal Fernando Filoni, have both called on the United Nations to act in concert to protect Iraqis Christian and Yazidi minorities from the radical Islamic forces of ISIS.

Asked about Iraq on his return flight from South Korea, Francis replied that “it is legitimate to halt the unjust aggressor.”

He added, however, that “halt” does not mean to “bomb” and lamented “how many times with the excuse of halting the unjust aggressor…have powerful nations taken possession of peoples and waged a war of conquest!”

He also cautioned that no single nation could determine the right measures. Any intervention must be multilateral and preferably by the United Nations, he said.

Meanwhile, Cardinal Foloni, who is visiting Iraq on behalf of Pope Francis, issued a joint statement this week with Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Raphael I Sako and the Iraqi bishops that urged the international community to “liberate the villages and other places that have been occupied as soon as possible and with a permanent result.”

The statement also urged efforts to “assure that there is international protection for these villages and so to encourage these families to go back to their homes and to continue to live a normal life in security and peace.”

Archbishop Giorgio Lingua, the Vatican nuncio to Iraq, was also asked by Vatican Radio earlier this month about the U.S. airstrikes in Iraq.

“This is something that had to be done, otherwise [the Islamic State] could not be stopped,” the archbishop said. 

Although Pope Francis’ own remarks about an intervention in the war-torn country were carefully guarded, Catholic commentator Robert Spencer, author of such bestselling exposes of Islam as “The Truth About Muhammad: Founder of the World's Most Intolerant Religion,” told LifeSiteNews he believes the pope was clearly calling for an “armed intervention, though a very limited one.”  

“Only a fool would think there is another way to stop an ‘unjust aggressor,’” he said.

Spencer expressed concerns that both Francis and Pope John Paul II before him have both referred to Islam a “religion of peace,” which Spencer says is “completely false.” However, he suggested that Francis’ remarks calling for action in Iraq are a sign of a more realistic attitude towards Islam.   

On this, Spencer would likely have the support of Amel Nona, the Chaldean Catholic archbishop of Mosul, who issued a letter last week warning the West in stark terms about the encroaching threat of Islam.

“Our sufferings today are the prelude of those you, Europeans and Western Christians, will also suffer,” Nona warned. “Your liberal and democratic principles are worth nothing here.

“You must consider again our reality in the Middle East, because you are welcoming in your countries an ever growing number of Muslims. Also you are in danger. You must take strong and courageous decisions, even at the cost of contradicting your principles,” he said

“You think all men are equal, but that is not true: Islam does not say that all men are equal. Your values are not their values. If you do not understand this soon enough, you will become the victims of the enemy you have welcomed in your home.”


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'Apparently I'm a horrid monster for recommending WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENS to the great majority of Down Syndrome fetuses,' said Dawkins. 'They are aborted.' Shutterstock
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Richard Dawkins: it’s ‘immoral’ NOT to abort babies with Down syndrome

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By Dustin Siggins

In a bizarre rant on Twitter earlier today, atheist Richard Dawkins wrote that choosing not to abort a child with Down Syndrome would be "immoral."

The conversation started when Dawkins tweeted that "Ireland is a civilised country except in this 1 area." The area was abortion, which until last year was illegal in all cases.

A Twitter user then asked Dawkins if "994 human beings with Down's Syndrome [having been] deliberately killed before birth in England and Wales in 2012" was "civilised."

Dawkins replied "yes, it is very civilised. These are fetuses, diagnosed before they have human feelings."

Later, Dawkins said that "the question is not ‘is it 'human'?’ but ‘can it SUFFER?’"

In perhaps the most shocking moment, one Twitter user wrote that he or she "honestly [doesn't] know what I would do if I were pregnant with a kid with Down Syndrome. Real ethical dilemma."

Dawkins advised the writer to "abort it and try again. It would be immoral to bring it into the world if you have the choice."

According to Dawkins, the issue of who should be born comes down to a calculation based upon possible suffering. "Yes. Suffering should be avoided. [The abortion] cause[s] no suffering. Reduce suffering wherever you can."

Later, however, he said that people on the autism spectrum "have a great deal to contribute, Maybe even an enhanced ability in some respects. [Down Syndrome] not enhanced."

When Dawkins received some blowback from Twitter followers, he replied: "Apparently I'm a horrid monster for recommending WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENS to the great majority of Down Syndrome fetuses. They are aborted."

It is estimated that in many Western countries the abortion rate of children diagnosed in utero with Down syndrome is 90%, or even higher. The development of new and more accurate tests for the condition has raised concerns among Down syndrome advocates that that number could rise even higher. 

Although it is widely believed that people with Down syndrome are doomed to a life of suffering, in one large survey 99% of respondents with Down syndrome said they were "happy." At the same time, 99% percent of parents said they loved their child with Down syndrome, and 97 percent said they were proud of them.

Only 4 percent of parents who responded said they regretted having their child. 

A number of Dawkins' statements in the Twitter thread about fetal development are at odds with scientific realities. For example, it is well-established that 20 weeks into a pregnancy, unborn children can feel pain. Likewise, unborn children have emotional reactions to external stimuli -- such as a mother's stress levels -- months before being born. 

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