Issues

Canadian judge disallows pro-life ad, claims it could cause ‘psychological harm’ to women

In Alberta, Canada, the city of Grande Prairie’s decision to reject pro-life bus ads from the Canadian Centre for BioEthical Reform has been upheld by a judge who said she felt the ads could cause harm to women and children.

The Edmonton Journal (hat tip to HarmsReport.com) states that on December 22, 2016, Court of Queen’s Bench Justice C.S. Anderson claimed that the ads could cause a confusing and less than welcoming environment by making the claim that abortion kills children:

“I find the city’s decision to reject this particular ad was reasonable. I find the ad is likely to cause psychological harm to women who have had an abortion or who are considering an abortion. It is also likely to cause fear and confusion among children who may not fully understand what the ad is trying to express … (This ad may cause emotional reactions that could) create a hostile and uncomfortable environment,” wrote Anderson, adding that creating such an environment would go against the city’s objective of having a safe and welcoming transit system.

The ad in question (pictured below) is one that has caused a stir before in Canada, with some other cities originally rejecting the ad. One city, Peterborough, relented early last year just prior to a court challenge, believing that the city could lose on free speech grounds. They had good reason to fear a loss, as Life Site News reported in February 2016:

… [I]n 2009 the Supreme Court of Canada decided in the Greater Vancouver case that public buses were “protected ground” as far as Charter freedoms of speech and expression are concerned, and bus authorities could not ban political ads because of their content.

CCBR’s bus ad

The Edmonton Journal also claims that “[t]he city rejected CCBR’s advertisement because it would have promoted hatred against ‘an identifiable class: women who have chosen to exercise their legal right to have an abortion,’ according to the judge’s written statement.” However, no further evidence was given to support the claim that distributing facts about a so-called ‘legal medical procedure’ could be reasonably construed as “hatred toward women.”

The Peterborough Examiner points out that this same bus ad will run on Peterborough buses beginning in March this year, regardless of the December 22 ruling — even though Joyce Arthur of the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada is encouraging the city of Peterborough to “take whatever legal means possible” to prevent the ad from running. Naturally, Arthur is hopeful that Justice Anderson’s ruling will “prompt other communities to reject such ads.”

The abortion industry and its supporters are no strangers to suppressing information that reveals the truth about abortion. In fact, Live Action’s own investigations have revealed that Planned Parenthood, America’s largest abortion chain, lies to women about fetal development and abortion risks:

Many pro-life activists have pointed out in the past that if the mere mention of abortion (including images of living, intact human fetuses) is so disturbing to the public that it must be disallowed, perhaps abortion itself should suffer the same fate.

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