TORONTO, March 7, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The trial of pro-life prisoner of conscience Mary Wagner took a surprise twist Monday when questions about a Toronto abortion center’s “lawfulness” prompted the Crown attorney to abruptly request an adjournment until Wednesday.
Wagner, 44, was arrested December 8, 2017, at the Women’s Care Clinic, located on the fifth floor of a medical building at 960 Lawrence Avenue West.
She and a companion entered the abortion center carrying red roses and literature in an attempt to persuade women in the waiting room to choose life for their unborn children.
Wagner is charged with mischief and two counts of breach of probation and remains in jail because she refuses to agree to conditions to stay away from abortion centers.
During the trial which began Monday, Wagner’s lawyer Peter Boushy repeatedly questioned Crown witnesses on the lawfulness of the Women’s Care Clinic.
The abortion facility is not licensed under the Ontario Independent Health Care Facilities Act, according to Boushy, but no witness could confirm if this affected the legality of its operation.
As a result, Crown prosecutor Kasia Batorska called a halt to the proceedings halfway through the day, asking Justice Neil Kozloff for an adjournment to produce evidence on the “material issue of lawfulness.”
Batorska said she would arrange for one of the abortion center owners, Michael Markovic or his wife, abortionist Saira Markovic, to testify on the question. Kozloff agreed to the request.
Earlier in the day, abortion center receptionist Laura Guo’s testimony elicited an audible gasp from the 25 or so Wagner supporters attending the trial when Boushy asked her if the women in the waiting room were sad because of Wagner’s presence that day.
“The patients are always sad,” Guo replied simply and without hesitation.
Much of Guo’s testimony was taken up with her diagramming the layout of the abortion center, which has a buzz-in intercom security system, and a secure inner room as well as the waiting room.
Guo wasn’t there to see how Wagner and her companion gained access to the abortion center, she said. When she entered the glassed-in reception area next to the waiting room, she saw two women with “posters and roses” close to a young black man sitting there.
“They pushed a poster into his face and he pushed it away,” Guo said.
She couldn’t make out what was people were saying in the waiting room, but “some of my co-workers were yelling.”
She called 911 initially because she feared for the safety of people in the abortion center, and again when “my boss asked me to,” Guo testified.
Wagner and her companion subsequently tried to prevent Guo and her boss, manager Kamar Santorini, from closing the door of the secure area to where some four women and companions had been moved, Guo testified. She and Santorini succeeded in closing the door after a brief struggle, she told the court.
She didn’t know if any woman left the abortion center because of Wagner and her friend, but the day’s operation “slowed down” because of them, she said.
Boushy asked Guo, who said she’d been working there about a year-and-a-half, if she knew “for a fact” that the Women’s Care Clinic was a “lawful” abortion center.
“I’m confused,” Guo replied, before adding she assumed it was.
Constable Bryant Trotman from 32 Division testified he got a 911 call at 9:28 a.m., and when he and his partner entered the abortion center, the two women told them “babies are being killed here and as police officers, we should protect them.”
He said he cautioned the pair multiple times and that Wagner replied she “was going to fight today,” a word choice Boushy challenged in his cross-examination. Trotman checked his notes and said that’s what he’d written.
“How did you take that to mean?” Boushy questioned.
“I believe a protest,” Trotman answered.
According to Trotman’s testimony, the abortionist on duty, Rosa Magalios, gave a statement to police, but owner Mike Markovic did not. Trotman requested the surveillance video as evidence but the abortion center did not provide it.
Boushy asked Trotman if he enquired whether the abortion center was registered under the Ontario Independent Health Facilities Act. He said no.
Constable Jason Contant, who arrived with his partner Peter Oh after Trotman, testified that when Wagner made it clear she was not leaving, he arrested her, handcuffing her hands behind her back.
At this point, Wagner’s companion left the abortion center of her own accord, while Wagner went limp and “falls down to her knees,” he testified.
Contant warned Wagner that if he and Oh had to drag her, “it’s going to hurt your wrists very badly, and she didn’t care, she said she didn’t care,” he told the Court.
He and Oh then grasped Wagner under her armpits, lifted her and dragged “her dead weight” down the hall, into the elevator, through the main lobby and outside to the patrol car.
The trial resumes Wednesday at 10:00 a.m., in Courtroom 305 at the Ontario Court of Justice at 1000 Finch Avenue West.
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