TORONTO, Ontario, December 15, 2011 ( – One of Canada’s major national newspapers has called for an end to the 1994 injunction that bans pro-life activity outside Toronto abortion facilities, and backed Linda Gibbons, the pro-life prisoner of conscience who has spent nine of the last 18 years in jail for breaking it.

“There is no justification for the temporary injunction to be used ever again against Ms. Gibbons or a similarly peaceful protester,” wrote the National Post in a Thursday editorial.  “To do so is to abuse the coercive power vested by the state in our police and courts. It must stop.”

“Yes, Ms. Gibbons is violating the law, but the completely disproportionate response of the state has been the only real injustice,” the paper added.

Gibbons appeared before the Supreme Court of Canada Wednesday as part of her effort to have the “temporary” injunction overturned.


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Though she has repeatedly been prosecuted by the Crown in a criminal court, the injunction was actually instituted in a civil court, at the request of Bob Rae’s NDP provincial government.

Her lawyer, Daniel Santoro, told the Supreme Court that since she is violating a civil injunction, her case should have been handled by a civil court.  He has argued in the past that the Crown deliberately avoided the civil court because it would put the injunction in jeopardy.

In their editorial, the National Post observes that Gibbons has spent more time in jail “than many people convicted of serious violent crimes.”

Though she could be released on bail, Gibbons has remained behind bars for long stretches because she steadfastly refuses in conscience to accept a bail condition that requires her to stay away from the abortion facilities.

“Should this woman really be in jail?” ask the National Post editors.  “It’s true that her behaviour has technically put her afoul of Toronto’s 18-year-old injunction. But perhaps it is that ‘temporary’ injunction that should be under scrutiny – not Ms. Gibbons’ own peaceful behaviour.”

The injunction is not “a mere procedural issue that is divorced from the underlying bioethics of abortion,” they write, observing that that it is in part about keeping a lid on the guilt society feels over abortion as a result of pro-life activism.

“It is not just the physical threat posed by protesters that these injunctions seek to avoid, but the painful self-reflection – both personal and societal – that the protesters’ presence imposes on a nation that has brushed the issue of abortion under the carpet,” they explain.  “Even pro-choice and secular Canadians (the morally serious ones anyway) must concede that Ms. Gibbons’ concerns and arguments are not frivolous.”

Gibbons has been out of prison since November when Justice Alphonse T. Lacavera found her not guilty on a charge of disobeying a court order because the sheriff read her an outdated injunction when he she was arrested outside the Morgentaler Clinic abortion site on August 4th.

See the LifeSiteNews Feature page, Linda Gibbons: Prisoner of Conscience, listing many past reports on her efforts to steer vulnerable women away from making the same mistakes that she herself made.