Pro-life leader seeks financial support for court case protecting the unborn
TORONTO, October 26, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — Pro-life activist Mary Wagner is fighting to have the unborn child recognized in Canadian law.
She is continuing her challenge to a law that excludes the child in the womb from the legal definition of “human being,” arguing that it violates the Charter’s right to life guarantee.
But the Mary Wagner Legal Defence Fund that has so far bankrolled the pivotal case through the lower courts with the generous donations of pro-lifers has “run dry,” says fund co-trustee and longtime pro-life activist John Bulsza.
He has sent out an emergency appeal to fund the five-year-old constitutional challenge, now at the Ontario Court of Appeal.
“Mary, her lawyer Dr. Charles Lugosi, and the defence team need the support to carry forward their defence for the right to life of the unborn,” Bulsza told LifeSiteNews.
They are challenging Section 223(1) of the Criminal Code, which defines “human being” as a child who has “completely proceeded in a living state from the body of its mother.”
Wagner is arguing “that all people are human beings by their very nature, and that it is morally and legally wrong for any government to define who is and who is not a human being, based on age, development or location of existence,” according a statement by Lugosi.
The challenge began with Lugosi’s defence of Wagner on charges of mischief and breach of probation arising from her August 15, 2012, arrest at a Toronto abortion center.
‘Whatsoever you do to the least … ’
Wagner, 43, has spent four years and eight months in jail because of her peaceful attempts to persuade women at abortion facilities to choose life for their unborn child.
She offers roses and information on alternatives to abortion to women in the waiting room of abortion centers, not leaving until arrested.
“If we are Christians, we know that the Commandment to love is not limited to our family, and therefore we must extend our love to others, especially to the most neglected and abandoned,” Wagner explained in a letter to the 2015 March for Life, written while she was in jail.
“How many mothers and children are going to these places of death today, even in this city, with no one there to love them?” she wrote then.
“Are we who urge her to do what is right and good, to welcome her baby and to trust all will work out well, willing to make sacrifices ourselves to help her and her child? Will we be there for them?”
Case began in 2012
Wagner’s trial for her 2012 arrest began December 6, 2013, and continued intermittently — including a February 2014 hearing on her standing for a constitutional challenge — until Justice Fergus O’Donnell convicted her of mischief and breach of probation on June 12, 2014, and released her on time served.
Because Wagner refuses to sign bail conditions requiring she stay away from abortion centers, she spent one year, nine months and 27 days in jail.
Lugosi based his trial defence of Wagner on Section 37 of the Criminal Code, which states: “Every one is justified in using force to defend himself or anyone under his protection from assault, if he uses no more force than is necessary to prevent the assault or the repetition of it.”
In order for the “anyone” in Section 37 to include the unborn child, the court had to strike down Section 223 — which denies the child in the womb is a “human being.”
Lugosi and Wager appealed O’Donnell’s conviction.
Meanwhile, Wagner was arrested at Bloor West Village Women’s Clinic in December 2014, December 2015, and December 2016, and spent seven, six, and six months in jail, respectively, for convictions arising from those arrests.
Wagner denied fair trial: lawyer
However, she was free to attend a four-day appeal hearing beginning November 30, 2015, in which Lugosi argued O’Donnell denied Wagner of a fair trial by, among other things, not allowing her constitutional challenge to Section 223.
Section 37, on which Wagner based her defence, had since been repealed and replaced by Section 34. Lugosi argued the defence remained valid as Section 37 was in force when Wagner was arrested and tried.
But Superior Court Justice Tamarin Dunnet threw out the appeal in a 34-page decision released December 22, 2016.
Now Wagner and Lugosi are appealing Dunnet’s ruling to Ontario Court of Appeal.
But the legal costs of this endeavor could run from $100,000 to $300,000, Bulsza told LifeSiteNews.
What kind of country is Canada?
Lugosi applied to the attorney general’s office for funding, then to the Superior Court for “big case management and constitutional test case status” in 2013, but was denied on all counts, Bulsza said.
The only way to finance the appeal is to “directly appeal to people of goodwill for donations,” Bulsza said. “Please consider financially supporting Mary’s legal defence of the unborn according to your means.”
The importance of Wagner’s Charter challenge “cannot be overstated,” says Lugosi.
Her goal is to get to the Supreme Court of Canada “to force them to decide her case” and to face “a pivotal decision that will determine the kind of nation Canada is,” he said.
“A ruling upholding the government’s position that it can define who is a human being based on politically decided criteria will open the door to any class of human being to be exposed to legally permitted murder by anyone who has authority over someone else. This kind of mentality is contrary to the rule of law and supports tyranny,” said Lugosi.
“A ruling agreeing with Mary Wagner will mean that all unborn children are human beings and by operation of law, all abortion will be murder, the wrongful killing of a human being.”
Consider donating to case
Donations to support Mary Wagner’s legal fund can be made in one of two ways, according to Bulsza’s fundraising letter, which can be read here:
1. Make a cheque payable to Mary Wagner Legal Defence Fund with the account number 0319 8991-017 written in the memo section, and mailed to: Mary Wagner Legal Defense Fund, c/o John Bulsza, P.O. Box 20076 Byron; 431 Boler Rd., London, ON, N6K 2K0; (For U.S. dollars the account number is 0319 4797-101. For international wire transfers, the Swift Code is BOFMCAM2, and donations are made payable to Mary Wagner Legal Defence Fund, account # 03192-001-8991- 017, and sent to the branch office address: Bank of Montreal, 295 Boler Rd, London, Ontario, Canada, N6K 2K1).
2. Deposit your donation directly to the Mary Wagner Legal Defence Fund, account # 0319 8991-017, in any Bank of Montreal in Canada. Ask the teller to be sure to send a copy of your cheque and receipt to transit 0319, through the bank's internal delivery system; or, if a cash donation is made, please write your name and address on the bank’s copy of your receipt and have it delivered the same way to transit 0319. This will aid in the Fund’s bookkeeping. The Defence Fund is not a registered charity; income tax receipts are not issued. 100 percent of donations go to Mary’s legal defence.