IN DEFENCE OF THE GOSPEL OF LIFE
One of participants of the World Youth Days in Poland was Mary Wagner – a pro-life activist from Canada, who has been sentenced to imprisonment a few times for her activity. Her visit on 22 July – 13 August 2013 was an occasion for many meetings during which she spoke about the activity of pro-life activists in Canada, repressions which they face up, and how law liberation concerning abortion in this country appeared. She also presented a poster with a picture of a baby and the inscription: ‘Why, mum? After all, I can give so much love’, which was carried during protests near abortion clinics in Canada.
As Mary Wagner said on 2 August 2016 during a meeting in Częstochowa in the Coins and Medals Museum of John Paul II, abortion in the Canadian law had been treated as a murder till the year 1969. The door, which opened a way to its complete legalization was allowing abortion in cases of endangered life of a mother. The lack of definition how one should understand the endangered life of a mother, caused the wide availability of this ‘service’, and in 1988 abortion was removed from the Code of Criminal Procedure. It raised mass actions in defence of life with met with a wave of governmental restrictions. Moreover, a provision was introduced which forbade pro-life activists go closer to abortion clinics. In the 90s of the last century, a group of 25 protesters against abortion was arrested and they were offered to be released from prison in return for signing a commitment of resigning from other protests. The only person who did not sign the ‘loyalty’ paper was Linda Gibbons who said that despite the unjust law, she would still act. For this reason Linda Gibbons spent 11 years in prison.
I personally believe that I should follow a similar path – said Mary Wagner in Częstochowa. – Our presence in abortion clinics is not only a form of protest against this injustice but also the expression of solidarity with babies, who will be murdered soon. We see Christ in them who is going to Calvary, carrying his Cross. Mary Wagner relates the beginning of her activity with VIII World Youth Days in Denver and the call of John Paul II to the young not to be afraid to come out to streets. For her pro-life activity, Mary Wagner was arrested for the first time in Vancouver in the year 2000, and spent 6 years in prison. I do not resign from the evangelization activity also there, or from life defence or a prayer in the intention of the unborn. As she emphasized, there are both pregnant women there who are thinking on a possibility of abortion, as well as women who have already had it. Talking with her inmates, Mary bases on the content of the encyclical ‘Evangelium vitae’ about the value and inviolability of human life and on the message of Divine Mercy.
In her statement for ‘Niedziela’, Mary Wagner emphasized: - In prison a man notices his limits, but is also called for a greater life. In this respect this experience shows our poverty and how much we are dependent on God. For in prison one can do very little, but, for sure, one can pray. One can also receive a lot of good, and it is not so true that only bad people are there.
Finally, Mary Wagner was appealing for a prayer support and proclaiming the gospel of life ‘in season and out of season’.