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Canadian Pro-Life Apostle in Maximum Security Prison and Only the Poles Seem to Care


Susan E. Wills - published on 01/08/15 - updated on 06/07/17

Wagner contends that Canada’s Parliament exceeded its authority in excluding a class of children (the unborn) from its definition of human being in Section 223 of the Criminal Code of Canada:

(1) A child becomes a human being within the meaning of this Act when it has completely proceeded, in a living state, from the body of its mother, whether or not
(a) it has breathed;
(b) it has an independent circulation; or
(c) the navel string is severed.

A definition based on the scientific truth matters because under the self-defense laws of Canada, one can act, and even use force, to defend only the lives of “human beings” (living outside the mother’s body), but not human beings during the first nine months of their lives from conception to birth.

Mary Wagner was inspired by hearing St. John Paul II in Denver during World Youth Day in 1993, telling youth to not be afraid to witness to their beliefs in public. After college, she took up pro-life work, and later joined a contemplative order of nuns to discern if that was the vocation to which God was calling her. But after three or four years, she understood clearly that God wanted her to continue her pro-life witness in Canada.

Although her incarcerations have not been easy, Wagner described them as “fruitful in many ways, because a lot of people there are hungry for God and are looking to reach out to Him. I was constantly meeting women wounded by abortion and encouraging them to seek the mercy of God,” she added.

She also, reportedly, saw her jail terms as “an opportunity for the Holy Spirit really to be at work in the hearts that are broken, seeking and are open to God. So quite easily prayer groups formed and people asked why I was there, why I was in jail. Immediately, I had the chance to share the truth about the wound of abortion.”

She will have a hearing in court on February 4. Check back for details on how you can see “Not About Mary Wagner.”

Susan Willsis a senior editor for Aleteia’s English language edition.

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