Liberal leader accuses pro-life MP of breaking the law for Diamond Jubilee medal awards
OTTAWA, November 9, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) - Interim Liberal leader Bob Rae has accused MP Maurice Vellacott of “breaking the law” for nominating pro-life heroines Linda Gibbons and Mary Wagner to receive the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal.
“By encouraging others, this could clearly be interpreted as inciting others to break the law, which in itself is a criminal offence,” Rae told The Canadian Press.
Both Linda and Mary are routinely arrested for seeking to peacefully counsel abortion-bound women to choose life.
Rae said Vellacot “crossed the line” when he nominated the two women because they have both been arrested for civil disobedience, and went further over the line when he issued a press release comparing Linda and Mary to civil rights hero Martin Luther King Jr.
In the press release Vellacott denounced abortion as “butchery” and “savagery,” and described the activities of Wagner and Gibbons as “trying to protect defenceless, voiceless human beings in the womb from butchery and death, and trying to let vulnerable women know that there are other options and support and adoption possibilities.”
“Like Martin Luther King and other human rights reformers,” Mr. Vellacott said in defence of Mary Wagner’s actions, “Mary is using civil disobedience to further a just cause. Peaceful civil disobedience is an appropriate method when trying to protect defenseless, voiceless human beings in the womb from butchery and death.”
Bob Rae also took exception to Mr. Vellacott publishing correspondence (http://www.lifesitenews.com/images/pdfs/Correspondence_with_the_mother_of_imprisoned_Diamond_Jubilee_recipient,_Mary_Wagner_.pdf) with Mary Wagner’s mother, in which Jane Wagner wrote and thanked the MP for awarding her daughter the medal.
Vellacott wrote back that he was so moved by her letter, that he obtained her permission to have their correspondence made public for the “edification and encouragement” of others.
In Rae’s opinion, Mr. Vellacott could be breaking the law for “encouraging” others to civil disobedience.
Although Rae said it’s up to the police to determine whether to pursue the matter, he stated that “The broader question is this: Does Mr. Harper condone members of his caucus encouraging people to harass women seeking medical services and break the law?”
However, as Andrea Mrozek, manager of research at the Institute of Marriage and Family Canada, remarked in an article praising the “Pro-life Diamond Jubilee jailbirds,” it’s not what Linda and Mary are doing, but where they are doing it, that has resulted in “an unusually Kafkaesque moment where the state is both persecuting and applauding two individuals at the same time.”
“As it turns out, the two are serial … counsellors of women seeking abortions. Of course, there is no law prohibiting counselling against abortion — it’s where they choose to do so that makes the difference,” Mrozek observed.
In 1994, a “temporary” injunction was set up around some abortion clinics in Ontario at the request of abortion providers, violating freedom of expression and assembly. These protest-free bubble zones, generally with a radius of 60 feet from the actual clinic, included public sidewalk space.
Linda Gibbons peacefully and quietly enters those boundaries with her sign that says “Why Mom? when I have so much love to give.” Mary Wagner has courageously gone right into the abortuaries to give roses to women scheduled for abortion.
Perhaps it’s Canada’s dedication to equality that now leads to two abortion protesters receiving a Queen’s Diamond Jubilee medal, Mrozek points out, adding “Ironically, in some cases, the road to justice requires jail time.
The Governor General of Canada awarded 60,000 of the medals to Canadians for significant contributions and achievements, in honor of the 60th anniversary of the Queen’s accession to the throne.
Bob Rae, interim Liberal leader
House of Commons, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0A6
E-mail: [email protected]