During my time as a clinic defense volunteer, I have come across many strange pro-life demonstrators in front of the clinic. I rarely engage in a debate with them, mostly because my main responsibility is to make sure that the patients are able to safely enter the facility, but also because they are not worth my time. I also think it’s a lost cause—they are not able to change my mind, and neither am I able to influence their opinion. Therefore, I don’t see a reason why I should talk to them.
I have never met Mary Wagner, but she represents a major nuisance to all of us. No, not a threat (far from it), she is just a plain old pain in the ass, and a creep. Most protesters don’t come onto the clinic property, but like her buddy Linda Gibbons, she is a serial trespasser, who has been arrested numerous for illegally entering several different clinics in Toronto. Recently, she came for an announced visit to Choice in Health Clinic, which apparently resulted in a “possible” saving of a “baby.”
I really wish that I had gone to her trial on March 28 here in Toronto, but at least there was pro-choice presence represented by the Ontario Coalition for Abortion Clinics. It sounded like an amusing freak show, based on the impression I got from reading an article from the only online medium that bothers reporting on her, Life Site News.
According to the article, common sense prevailed in the courtroom that day, as I expected. I applaud the judge for rejecting her statement, which he deemed to be irrelevant, and was full of the usual pro-life clichés about “helpless babies” and “mothers” who are “left wounded.” He also ignored her request to hold a minute of silence to honour the “babies” that have been “killed” by abortion.
What’s more, the judge did not send her to jail for her latest trespassing charge, and I’m glad of it. Although she was found guilty, she was ordered to stay the fuck away from all abortion facilities in the city, which means that I’ll not be meeting her anytime soon. We don’t need another fundamentalist martyr in the making, whom the pro-life movement already reveres as their “prisoner of conscience.”
It is obvious that Wagner will violate the terms of her one-year probation by returning to one of the clinics in Toronto, sooner or later, and then this circus will played in the court again. In the past, she attested to her chronic obsession with abortion clinics, so it is likely that we might meet some day.
Wagner perfectly illustrates one of the reasons why the pro-life movement will never be taken seriously in a modern liberal democracy like Canada. With “activists” like this, it is obvious that what she represents is a self-righteous and fundamentalist fringe whose extremism is a constant nuisance that the vast majority of people will never give it much thought.
Moreover, her constant infringement on the clinics’ properties and her incessant harassment of patients provide further justification for legal injunction against pro-life demonstrators. Her very annoying presence warrants this.
According to Life Site News, Mary Wagner has illegally entered the following clinics in Toronto over the years:
- Choice in Health Clinic (February 2011),
- Woman’s Care Clinic (November 2010),
- Bloor West Village Women’s Clinic (December 2010),
- Woman’s Care Clinic (April 2010).