Toronto council member Sarah Doucette wants to shut down pro-life protests that depict the results of an abortion with frank pictures of severed fetuses.
CBC News reports that Doucette finds the images “disturbing” and she is angry that pro-life activists are using them to illustrate what happens to a fetus during an abortion. She claims she has had hundreds of complaints from her constituents and now wants to sponsor a bylaw to ban the pictures in the city.
“These are big blown up images. There’s blood, there’s gore, there’s a lot of things there which should not be in people’s faces on their local street,” Doucette told CBC News.
The graphic photos are courtesy of Calgary’s Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform (CCBR), an anti-abortion think tank and education organization that calls itself “the pro-life resistance” in a country where abortion is rarely questioned by politicians.
Since the Supreme Court of Canada struck own Canada’s abortion law in 1988, the country as been without any legislation restricting abortion; abortion on demand even during the last trimester is the legal reality.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government has even made abortion services a focus of its foreign aid program.
Members of the CCBR are standing on some of Toronto’s busiest intersections with the photo-bearing signs, as well as distributing literature.
The pamphlets are also being sent by direct mail to houses in the city and a group of Toronto council members are trying to stop that too by asking the Ontario attorney general to issue a court injunction. The council members are also in solidarity with Doucette’s campaign to censor the placards on the street.
Doucette says the police have informed complainants that the CCBR is well within the law to display the pictures and protest abortion.
“We’re not saying that these [protesters] cannot be on our street handing out flyers, we’re not saying that,” Doucette told CBC. “But there’s a difference when you hand someone a flyer, because then they have a choice whether to take it or not.”