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Mary Wagner: A Rose is Just a Rose Except in Canada

November 11, AD2013


Imagine this scenario: You are a young girl. You are full of love for others from the tiniest and most defenseless to their mothers who will bore them. You hand one of these mothers a fresh white rose, and a handwritten note. In return, you are put in jail!

That imprisonment happened, and is a result of an appeal to the law for protection by those who take part in dismembering the unborn, and with whom the law agrees. An act of caring and generosity, and love in Canada is not as favored as the violent destruction of innocent defenseless human life.

This happened to Mary Wagner. She has spent over two and a half years in jail for sticking to her mission, and refusing to abide by the law in Toronto Ontario, which forbids her from coming closer than 500 feet to doctors’ homes, 25 feet around doctors’ offices, 30 or 60 feet around clinics, and a 10-foot floating buffer zone around patients and staff. She serves her time with pro-lifer Linda Gibbons, who has accumulated over ten years in jail for the same kind of pro-life activity.

March 22, 2012 an Ontario, Canada Court of Justice judge S. Ford Clements is quoted as saying in court to Mary:

“You’re wrong and your God’s wrong,… have, in some measure, displayed utter contempt for the courts and the rights of others, you appear to be governed by a higher moral order than the laws of our country……your determination to break the law is a potential threat to the well-being of society and plants the seeds of lawlessness, perhaps even anarchy…” (

You’re Wrong.

“I am writing this column from the Albany city jail. Perhaps you have already learned that Ralph Abernathy and I were found guilty last Tuesday of “parading without a license” and sentenced to either fines of $178.00 each or the alternative of serving 45-day sentences on the city street force. We chose the later and willingly deferred bond and waived appeal…..The time has now come when we must practice civil disobedience in a true sense or delay our freedom thrust for long years.” (Martin Luther King, Jr., Message from Jail, 1962 Albany, Georgia)

You’re God’s Wrong.

“It was no part of our duty to nurse the wounded after we had taken them to the hospital. But we had joined the war with a desire to do all we could, no matter whether it did or did not fall within the scope of our work. The good Doctor told us that he could not induce Europeans to nurse the Zulus, and that it was beyond his power to compel them and that he would feel obliged if we undertook this mission of mercy. We were only too glad to [d]o this. We had to cleanse the wounds of several Zulus which had not been attended to for as many as five six days and were therefore stinking horribly. We liked the work. The Zulus could not talk to us, but form their gestures and the expression of their eyes they seemed to feel as if God had sent us to their succour.” (Mahatma Gandhi, South Africa, 1906, Zulu Rebellion)

You appear to be governed by a higher moral order.

“The Lord saw it, and it displeased him that there was no justice. He saw that there was no one, and was appalled that there was no one to intervene…” (Isaiah 59:16)

Plants the seeds of lawlessness.

“They seized him, shouting, “Fellow Israelites, help! This is the man who is teaching everyone everywhere against our people, our law, and this place; more than that, he has actually brought Greeks into the temple and has defiled this holy place.”….. Then all the city was aroused, and the people rushed together. They seized Paul and dragged him out of the temple, and immediately the doors were shut….the tribune came, arrested him, and ordered him to be bound with two chains; he inquired who he was and what he had done. Some in the crowd shouted one thing, some another; and as he could not learn the facts because of the uproar, he ordered him to be brought into the barracks. When Paul came to the steps, the violence of the mob was so great that he had to be carried by the soldiers. The crowd that followed kept shouting, “Away with him!”” (Acts 21:28-36)

How Do We Judge An Action?

As we know from history the laws of man cannot be a moral teacher,. They can only try and control behavior. The judgment as to the reasonableness of a law is arrived at in the West usually by consensus, sometimes by fiat. Our very founding was based on the realization that the laws of Great Britain were unjust towards us. Only those that slavishly adhere to the decisions of others without examining those decisions will proclaim that the law cannot be wrong. Human judgment must be guided by something more than introspection. Looking inward only reveals what is already there. Since creation was an outward act, we must look to the creator for guidance.

Mary’s actions are admirable if only to show her determination to do something about abortion. But, now there is a chance to affect the administration of law in favor of the entire movement. She is going to defend herself in court, using an argument in the Criminal Code of Canada which justifies actions to defend “any one” under a person’s protection from assault. To do this she needs money for her legal defense.

Donations can be made in two ways:

1. To: Mary Wagner Legal Defence Fund, Account # 0319 8991-017, in any Bank of Montreal in Canada. Please request that the deposit be a “credit memo” to help with their bookkeeping.

2. By check payable to Mary Wagner Legal Defence Fund with the bank account number (0319 8991-017) written in the memo section, and mailed to: Mary Wagner Legal Defence Fund, c/o Bank of Montreal, 295 Boler Rd., London, ON, N6K 2K1.

Write to Mary at:

Vanier Center for Women
655 Martin Street, Box 1040,
Milton, Ontario
L9T 5E6, Canada

The rules for writing to the jail here.

Photography: See our Photographers page.

About the Author:

H.L. Duncan is a senior citizen widower in his 8th decade of life (70s) who was married for 36 years to his only wife Jill. He lives on 40 acres of the Great Basin Desert in an owner built solar powered home. He has three children who have left the nest and are now too far away. After an Episcopalian childhood, his teen years brought on the disease of agnosticism with occasional bouts of atheism. He entered the Church in 2010 and says he has felt at home ever since. His working life included Forest Fire Truck Driver, Peace Corps Volunteer in West Africa building schools, Motion Picture Cameraman in industrial films and while in the U.S. Army, production assistant to a Producer in Hollywood, Professional Still Photographer, Photo Lab Technician, Postal Service Letter Carrier, Computer Systems Analyst in business and government, Computer Consulting, Owner of an Internet business, Web site creation. His educational background is mostly self directed reading and experiential but does include; A graduate of the London School of Film Technique, London, England, AA degree in Business Data Processing with an additional course in accounting, Seminars and technical classes. He now spends his days in local parish church work and Right to Life groups, Internet conversations with new friends and old enemies of the Church.

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  • Francis Choudhury

    Arise, O Lord!
    Save me, O my God!
    For you strike all my enemies on the cheek;
    you break the teeth of the wicked.
    [Psalm 3:7]

    • james

      What a horrid thought, our Lord who turned his cheek, striking – and
      breaking teeth !!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Reaganite in NYC

    Can you please clarify something? Is this young woman actually still in jail as of now (November 12, 2013)? Your story was linked to today’s daily feed on “The Big Pulpit” (a news aggregation site), and it drew my concern. I’m planning to send this information to others, as well to write to this young woman in jail. But I just want to be certain that this is the current situation, and not a dated news story. Sincere thanks in advance 🙂

  • jamey brown

    Brilliant article, Howard. I am incredulous. That judge’s words, “You’re wrong, and you’re God is wrong”– his name couldn’t, by any chance be “Pilot,” could it?

    • Howard

      I didn’t think of the connection with Pilot. There is always a connection with the past.

    • Ronk

      I am incredulous too. Do judges in the USA actuially think that they have superior authority and knowledge to God? And feel it is their duty to officially assert this in court?

    • Howard

      In my article earlier this year I quoted this from court records:

      “8 Let me just offer to you this: In this room
      9 the religion of the situation is legally irrelevant.
      13 United States constitution and the Nevada constitution
      14 carries the same requirements that religious issues are
      15 not relevant to decisions under law.”

      Not only not relevant but to be avoided if FAVOR of secular decisions. Religion in America is being replaced by “non-religion” as a favored social norm, acted upon not not only by your neighbors but by courts as well.

      See more details in the “Statement of Wanda Bauer” regarding
      the above at:

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  • Phil Dzialo

    While you may be unfamiliar with the Canadian story of Robert Latimer who killed his daughter with cerebral palsy, the Canadian populace showed him great sympathy as did the judiciary … our northern neighbor reflects another culture. The Latimer story is quite an interesting study in disability and euthanasia/mercy killing.

    • Howard

      Yes, they do seem to be ahead of us going in this direction. Maybe we can reverse the trend.

  • james

    Civil disobedience, unless carried out by the masses and done so consistently will not
    produce results except by example. Now, if their example does not light a fire then it
    becomes a personal crusade which is merely symbolic. Better, it seems, to get a permit to kneel on the sidewalk with a sign and not need a defense sum.

    • Howard

      Please read the above quotes then reflect on the results that followed.

    • james

      …which justifies actions to defend “any one” under a person’s protection from assault.
      From the Latimer story below I’d say she has zero chance at acquital.

    • Howard

      The interesting thing about the law is that outcomes depend upon interpretation. In the U.S. when lower courts rule variously, as they do often, a case needs to be heard by our Supreme Court. Ultimate results can depend on creation of new law or sometimes strange interpretation of old law. Think of the resent ruling about Obamacare penalties being called a tax. Even the Admin insisted that there were no new taxes. The courts are our only hope for change for peaceful people living in a modern society.