Thursday, April 19, 2007

Canadians wimp out on anti-abortion prosecution

Free speech for anti-abortionists upheld by default

"A pro-life mother of seven in New Brunswick, will not face criminal charges for displaying photos of aborted children outside the local abortion facility.

Suzie Ryan, the wife of pro-life leader Peter Ryan, was arrested last September while displaying an abortion image outside the facility owned by the notorious Dr. Henry Morgentaler. She was charged with violating the anti-obscenity provisions of the Criminal Code but since the Crown has not pursued the matter further it is likely that it will now simply be dropped.

Mrs. Ryan spent several hours in jail and had her name publicly identified as a criminal, even though similar demonstrations are held frequently across the country, including in New Brunswick, without attracting police attention.

A six month statute of limitations is held on minor offences, called summary convictions, and the Fredericton police have admitted that Canadian case law does not support the more serious charge of an indictable offence. It seems unlikely that the Crown could now prove that the law had been broken by the display.