A Canadian pro-life advocate has spent the last seven Christmases behind bars for trying to save babies from abortion.
But this year, Mary Wagner, of Delta, British Columbia, finally will have the chance to spend Christmas with her family.
Canadian Catholic News recently profiled the 44-year-old pro-life advocate who regularly participates in Red Rose Rescues. These involve pro-life advocates entering abortion facilities to give women red roses, information and prayers as they urge them to choose life for their unborn babies. In most cases, the pro-lifers are arrested for refusing to leave.
In Wagner’s case, a judge ruled in 2017 that she had broken the law 14 times in 18 years by entering abortion facilities in violation of court orders, according to the report. For all of her offenses, she has spent what amounts to about five years in jail.
That includes her last seven Christmases.
“Every time I have been in custody over Christmas, I had a sense of joy in that the first Christmas was so poor,” she told the Catholic newspaper. “Jesus was born in unpleasant circumstances.”
Wagner said she did miss being with family, though, and this year, she looks forward to being with them for the holidays.
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“People have often asked me if I could not simply stay outside the area I am forbidden to enter and in that way avoid arrest,” she said, previously. “But this question forgets something: the children scheduled to be killed will have no one to stand up for them.”
Here’s more from the report:
“About 85 per cent of the women I speak with (in prison) tell me they have had an abortion,” she said. “I met a few women who came out in a very hostile manner… but that was the exception.”
She said one woman she met in custody had become pregnant at age 15 and was forced into aborting the child by her mother. The results were devastating: the girl broke ties with her family, fell into substance abuse and was still dealing with the effects when Wagner met her behind bars at age 29.
“Abortion is really a mother taking her child’s life and deep down she knows it’s wrong. No one is punishing her, so there is this self-punishment that goes on.”
In 2017, LifeNews wrote about one of Wagner’s recent arrests at the Bloor West Village Women’s Center, an abortion clinic in Toronto. Wagner was handing out pamphlets and roses to women in the waiting room when police took her into custody.
In that case, a judge acknowledge that Wagner was reaching out “in love” and sentenced her to 30 months of probation and 50 hours of community service instead of the 18 months in prison that prosecutors recommended.
The court received thousands of letters, emails and petition signatures supporting Wagner and her work saving unborn babies and moms from abortion. One letter in particular was very special. It came from a woman who decided not to abort her unborn baby after talking with Wagner.
Wagner read the woman’s letter during her sentencing hearing, Christian News Net reported at the time. In it, the woman said she felt “hopeless and helpless” when she arrived at the abortion facility; but Wagner showed her “lots of love” and encouraged her to choose life for her child.
“If I had obeyed the law, that child would not be alive today,” Wagner told the court.
The goal of the Red Rose Rescue is to reach out to women in the last minutes before they go through with their decision to abort their unborn babies. Pro-life advocates who participate see it as the last chance women have to give life to their babies. However, if the unborn are still doomed to die, the pro-lifers, convinced that the unborn deserve to be defended, will remain in the clinic and place themselves in solidarity with the unwanted.