Friday, September 29, 2006

Mother of Seven Arrested Without Warning for Showing Abortion Image

HT to Marti

FREDERICTON, New Brunswick, Sept. 27, 2006 ( - A pro-life woman was arrested Tuesday for holding an image of an aborted child outside an abortion facility in Fredericton, New Brunswick.

Suzie Ryan, mother of seven, was silently holding the image outside the Morgentaler centre as abortions were being performed inside. Mrs. Ryan was charged with violating s.163 of the Criminal Code. S.163 is about the display of obscene material. She was released after being held in a jail cell for several hours. She must face the charges in court in November.

Prior to her arrest Mrs. Ryan was not warned in any way that she was committing an illegal act. Six to eight police officers arrived and forcibly put her in a paddy wagon, while confiscating her sign and umbrella.

Police Staff Sergeant Kelly later explained to Mrs. Ryan's husband, Campaign Life Coalition New Brunswick (CLCNB) president Peter Ryan, that the police were acting following instructions from the Crown Prosecutor office and some 35 complaints about the display of abortion images. Mr. Ryan believes the abortuary staff must have put in one or more complaints this morning.

CLCNB is not aware of any other case in Canada where a pro-life citizen was arrested without prior warning for simply displaying an abortion image in a public place. Such images have been repeatedly displayed by such groups as Show the Truth which has won precedent-setting cases in which it also was charged for showing graphic abortion pictures. That group visited Fredericton twice this past summer. At the time Fredericton Mayor Brad Woodside expressed displeasure with the group's tactics, but said there was nothing the city could legally do to prevent such displays.

The Morgentaler abortion facility has no legal restrictions against protest in the surrounding public area. Pro-life supporters regularly are present on Tuesday mornings when abortions usually take place.

Mrs. Ryan says she is quite shaken by the incident.
Peter Ryan says it is incredible when someone can be accused of a crime for peacefully protesting the murder of innocent children. "Here's the analogy," he said. "The Nazi death camps are exterminating Jews. Outside someone protests with an image of the Holocaust. The camp staff complains to police. The person is arrested as a criminal. The slaughter goes on. That's where we now are in this country."

See related articles:
Queen's Bench Court Rules Graphic Abortion Photos Protected by Charter"

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