Court: Abortion protester can be jailed

OTTAWA, June 9 (UPI) -- An abortion protester can be jailed when she violates a 1994 injunction requiring her to keep her distance from clinics, the Canadian Supreme Court ruled.

The ruling Friday, on an 8-1 vote, upheld lower court rulings that Linda Gibbons, 63, can face criminal penalties for violating the injunction, the Toronto Star reported. Gibbons has spent a total of almost nine years behind bars for protests outside abortion clinics in Toronto.


The 1994 injunction was issued after a period of turmoil that included the firebombing of one Toronto clinic. Gibbons and other named protesters were ordered to remain at least 18 meters (about 55 feet) from clinics.

Friday's ruling was technical and did not involve consideration of the right to protest.

John Bullsza, another anti-abortion activist, said Gibbons remained "very positive" after losing.

"God gives her something to do in prison because she ends up ministering to pregnant women there," he said.

The Supreme Court overturned Canada's existing abortion law in 1988. Attempts to pass a law restricting the procedure have failed, and Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper has said he has no interest in trying to get one passed.


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