The Canadian Centre for Bio-ethical Reform (CCBR) regularly distributes flyers containing abortion victim photography. Several Canadian cities (London, ON, St Catharines, ON, and Calgary, AB) recently passed bylaws that forbid leaving such imagery of unborn children in mailboxes unless the image is placed in an envelope with a “graphic content” warning. While their primary target for censorship appears to be abortion victim photography, the bylaws are worded so broadly as to apply to any fetal imagery.
The City of London was the first to adopt a bylaw around fetal imagery on flyers, despite arguments that city council was unjustly singling out a certain message for censorship. Now, London’s city council is considering an additional ban on fetal imagery in public spaces.
Abortion victim photography is a tool used by some pro-life groups to show Canadians the reality of abortion. Images of aborted children are sometimes shared on flyers or on large signs displayed on sidewalks, accompanied by volunteers who engage passersby in discussions on abortion. Those who use these images point out that a picture is worth a thousand words. They share countless stories of minds changed and lives saved by being confronted with the ugly visual reality of abortion.
Photo evidence has helped the world to know, feel, and respond to grave injustices and atrocities around the world. While abortion victim photography is upsetting, CCBR makes thoughtful arguments for using it. Every abortion destroys a unique and valuable human being. This is a truth that needs to be shared, and different groups choose different ways to share it.
The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects freedom of expression. Sharing the pro-life message boldly and continually helps to preserve our freedom to do so in the future. WNAL does not use abortion victim photography and never has. But we are committed to calling our society’s attention to the humanity and intrinsic worth of unborn children, and any attempt to stop that concerns us. We do also use ultrasound images of pre-born children in some of our campaigns.
A society dedicated to protecting free speech cannot silence one side in a debate. That is why We Need a Law took the city of London to court when London censored our “Canada has no abortion laws” bus ad. London backed down and our ads went up. WNAL will follow the developments at London city council closely to see what they will decide with respect to fetal imagery in public spaces.
Pro-life Canadians have just as much right to an opinion – and the freedom to express that opinion – as people who are pro-abortion. While the pro-life message continues to come under attack, we continue to advocate for its truth and importance. Let’s keep using our freedom to ensure we don’t lose it.