Canada ‘no better than Nazi Germany’: Pro-lifer arrested for protest in abortion clinic tells court
TORONTO, July 4, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — Canada is “no better than Nazi Germany” in declaring children in the womb non-persons under law, and legally protecting their killers, a Canadian court heard June 29.
“This is what happened in Nazi Germany. Hitler legalized everything he wanted to do,” Mary Wagner told Justice Rick Libman on the last day of her trial.
“When the law is wrong, we have the obligation to follow our conscience.”
Wagner is charged with mischief and seven counts of breach of probation in connection with her December 12, 2016 arrest outside the Bloor West Village Women’s Clinic.
Wagner, who is representing herself, pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The 43-year-old has spent nearly five years in jail as a consequence of her peaceful attempts to save women and children from the violence of abortion, but this trial has diverged notably from her previous hearings.
Wagner’s unusual trial
Frequently in past hearings, Wagner has remained silent in court in solidarity with the voiceless victims of abortion, but this time gave eloquent testimony on their behalf.
And because she refuses to sign bail conditions that require she stay away from abortion centers, Wagner typically remains in jail at least until the trial is complete and the judge’s verdict and sentence pronounced.
But this trial, which began May 25, became enmeshed in LifeSiteNews’ opposition to the Crown’s extraordinary application for a partial publication ban.
When Libman ruled June 9 the name of one witness from the abortion center could be published, the Crown asked for a delay to challenge his order.
Phil Horgan, lawyer for LifeSiteNews, thereupon suggested the court release Wagner without bail conditions, as the Crown was responsible for lengthening her trial.
Libman allowed Wagner, who had been in jail almost six months, to be released that day, on the sole condition she return to court for the continuation of her trial, and Crown counsel Craig Power agreed.
On June 12, the Crown obtained an emergency interim ban under Ontario Superior Court Justice Ian Nordheimer.
Wagner’s trial resumed June 13, and she, as well as three witnesses from the abortion center who cannot be named under the interim publication ban, testified that day.
Two of the latter related they forcibly removed Wagner from the abortion center even though the police had been called.
“We are no better than Nazi Germany”
In her closing arguments last week, Wagner told the Court that with no law to protect unborn children, and knowing “these are real human beings who are being killed,” she was obliged in conscience to enter the abortion center in an attempt to protect “these helpless human beings and their mothers who don’t know what they’re doing” and who are “waiting for someone to offer them hope and support.”
Crown counsel Power argued Wagner knew she was in breach of previous probation orders directing her to stay away from all abortion centers in Ontario, and particularly the abortion center where she was arrested.
He also contended Wagner committed mischief by interfering and disrupting with the business of the abortion center.
Wagner countered that Power’s arguments “sound reasonable but they presuppose the legitimacy of the abortion business, which is at the heart of the charges.”
The abortion business is “dedicated to taking the lives of the most vulnerable human beings,” she said.
“If we are seeking justice what greater injustice is there than to ignore the unborn child?”
Libman told Wagner that “no one takes issue with the deeply held views that you have, it’s the way you express them.”
Even if one disagrees with a court order, the judge said, “you don’t have the right to disobey it.”
Wagner responded by comparing Canada to Germany under Adolf Hitler’s Third Reich, during which the Nazis murdered six million Jews, not to mention political opponents, the weak, and anyone they deemed inferior, unfit, or a threat.
She testified earlier that as a young woman, she visited Auschwitz, a death camp in Poland, and was struck by the similarity of the Nazis classifying Jews as subhuman, and Canada classifying unborn children as non-persons.
Under Canada’s Criminal Code, a child becomes a person in law only after the child has emerged completely in a living state from his or her mother’s body.
“We have to look at reality as it is,” Wagner told the Court, particularly when “it is something so clear as human beings being systematically killed. We’re no better than Nazi Germany.”
Added Wagner: “The onus is on each one of us to examine our conscience.”
Judge brings up necessity defence
Moreover, Wagner argued that a law that prevents her from trying to save human lives has no binding moral force.
Catholic theologian Thomas Aquinas taught that “an unjust law is no law at all,” she told the Court. “Again, what could be more unjust than attacking a helpless human being?”
“I would like to remind the Court that we were all brought forth from a God who loves us and wills us into life,” she said.
“I do not have a right to take that life. I do have a responsibility” to try and save it.
“We are in a situation where there are human beings being killed,” and there is an “absolute omission” in the law to protect them, Wagner said. “I cannot call 911. I can’t call the fire department.”
Libman noted that in one of Wagner’s preceding trials, heard by Justice Fergus O’Donnell, Wagner used the defence of necessity, which exonerates unlawful actions when committed in emergency situations to ward off imminent peril to oneself or others.
He asked Power what he thought of the necessity defence in this case.
The Crown counsel said that while “I don’t want to ancillarily insult Ms Wagner’s beliefs” in his opinion the “subjective component” of the necessity defence had no “air of reality” in this instance.
The “air of reality” test is meant to determine whether a defence can be reasonably supported by evidence, but Power did not elaborate further.
Wagner returns to court at Old City Hall on August 15, at which time Libman will give his verdict and reasons for judgment.
Meanwhile, the publication ban hearing is scheduled for September 18.