14 Aug 2018 Billboard Controversy
For immediate release
August 14, 2018
Ottawa, ON – During the second week of August 33 billboards were installed across Canada with a simple message: Canada has no abortion law. In the days following there was varied reaction from curious onlookers who are intrigued and simply looking for more information to those who are violently opposed.
The billboard says, “Canada Has No Abortion Law” and invites passersby to visit weneedalaw.ca which contains a history of Canada’s abortion law and our suggestion to begin addressing this legal void.
“This simple message is part of our national advocacy efforts to build support for fetal protection laws in Canada,” said Mike Schouten, the director of We Need a Law. “It’s appalling that, in 2018, Canada is the only country in the world that has zero legal protections for pre-born children.”
Those opposed to the billboard campaign have focused their rage on the accuracy of the message, saying that it is “false and misleading.” The reality is, the message is a clear and accurate statement.
“The Supreme Court of Canada in R v Morgentaler struck down Canada’s abortion law,” said Tabitha Ewert, legal counsel for We Need a Law. “It is important to understand what the Supreme Court did and did not say in that case. They found the previous abortion scheme to be arbitrary and unfair to women, but they never found a right to abortion. They struck down the old scheme expecting Parliament to pass a new abortion law.”
Ewert continued by saying, “The Supreme Court unanimously affirmed Parliament’s ability to legislate to protect fetal interests especially later in the pregnancy. Since then, Canada has had no laws, either federal or provincial, governing when abortion may not be performed. If you phone the College of Physician and Surgeons of Ontario, as we did, they will tell you there is no abortion regulation, but it is up to each individual physician.”
“The message that Canada has no abortion laws is an important one,” said Schouten. “In addition to polls such as this one suggesting that 77% of Canadians are unaware that we have no laws protecting fetal interests, this message is also one that abortion rights activists love to tout. But while some extreme abortion activists celebrate lawless abortion, it is our hope that having the facts will cause people to consider whether they are comfortable with the status quo or not.”
Schouten concluded by saying, “We don’t demand people think our way, but neither do we hide the fact that we think it’s time for Canada to begin addressing the legal void by getting in line with international standards and protecting fetal interests after the first trimester.”
For further comment from Tabitha Ewert or Mike Schouten please call 289-214-4876 to schedule an interview
Please click here to view an attached image of the billboard