TORONTO, December 17, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – Pro-life prisoner Mary Wagner refused bail conditions during her brief appearance via video at College Park Court Thursday, and told the court she will be defending herself.
As a result, the 41-year-old will remain in custody until her matter goes to trial, the date of which has not yet been decided.
Wagner is charged with two counts of failing to comply with a probation order and one of causing mischief under $5,000, following her December 12 arrest at the Bloor West Village Women’s Clinic.
She entered the abortion facility to counsel women to choose life for their unborn babies.
According to a source close to Wagner, on the day of her arrest, the pro-life activist talked to three women in the abortion center’s waiting room, one of whom appeared to be receptive, before a staff person allegedly accosted her and pushed her.
Staff evidently called police shortly after Wagner entered the abortion center. Two officers from 11 Division arrived and escorted Wagner from the building and warned her she would be arrested if she returned.
Wagner thereupon went back to the abortion center, located on the fourth floor of the office building at 2425 Bloor Street, and was arrested soon afterward.
Although Wagner had appeared twice in court since her arrest five days earlier, on December 17 the Crown counsel pointed out that Wagner’s bail had not been finalized.
“I’m not prepared to sign any bail order,” Wagner told the court, noting that she would not agree to any conditions that required her to stay away from abortion facilities.
“If you were given release papers, you would refuse to sign?” Justice of the Peace Tina Wassenaar asked, and Wagner indicated assent.
Wagner also said she would not seek legal counsel, but would represent herself.
Wassenaar ruled the matter fell within the jurisdiction of Toronto’s Old City Hall Court. “You can tell them there how you intend to proceed in this matter.”
Since beginning her pro-life work in 2000, the B.C. native has spent up to four years in jail for attempting to peacefully witness to women and their unborn children immediately threatened by the violence of abortion.
In her public statements, Wagner has consistently deflected attention from herself to the victims of abortion she is trying to protect.
“It is not about getting arrested or not getting arrested,” she noted in an open letter to participants at the 2015 March for Life, an event dedicated to her and fellow pro-life prisoner Linda Gibbons (who is in jail awaiting a January 13, 2016 trial on a charge of disobeying a court order).
“It is not about us, but about that poor mother and her utterly helpless child about to be killed, who are owed all the love and protection their neighbors are able to give them.”
Wagner, who was serving a 10-month sentence at the time, wrote: “If we are Christians, then we are called to be what a good friend calls Gospel of Life People, not simply pro-life: We have faith in Christ and in the Gospel and this faith is the greatest treasure because it leads to Love.”
She referred to Matthew 6:33: “But seek first his kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well.”
“These words of Jesus bring us back to the mother and her unborn child,” Wagner observed. That mother “may be in very difficult circumstances and tempted to forget the priority of God’s way: to protect His Little Ones.”
“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?”
Wagner’s next scheduled court appearance is December 23, at City Hall Court, Room 111, 2:00 p.m.
Letters can be sent to Linda Gibbons and Mary Wagner at Vanier Women’s Centre, address: 655 Martin St, Milton, ON, L9T 2Y1.