For immediate release
Ottawa, ON – MLA Fontaine’s Bill 207 (the Abortion Protest Buffer Zone Act) was voted down yesterday in the Manitoba legislature. This is the second time Manitoba MLAs have refused to silence pro-life expression or to deny women information about abortion. We are grateful for all the MLA’s who voted against this bill.
“One of the obvious issues with this buffer zone law is how one-sided it is. The bill prohibits showing disapproval of abortion, but not approval of it,” explained Tabitha Ewert, legal counsel for We Need a Law, a national pro-life advocacy group. “This means two women could stand side by side, one with a sign that says “I don’t regret my abortion” and the other with a sign that says “I regret my abortion”, and only the latter is illegal, despite both being a statement of personal experience.”
Beyond the impact on those wishing to express their pro-life beliefs, these laws do nothing to help women. “This bill doesn’t add any protection for women. It is already illegal to intimidate or harass women, regardless of where they are,” Ewert explained. “All this does is prevent women from hearing one specific viewpoint: that “human rights for all human beings” extends to the smallest human beings, those in the womb.”
This law is at its core anti-women. “Every woman deserves to have access to information about abortion. Not just information an abortion clinic might give her about the actual procedure, but information about the humanity of the pre-born child and the availability of support should she wish to parent. Informed choices require information. Silencing one message doesn’t increase autonomy, it decreases the information and potential support available to women.” Ewert explained.
“The pro-life movement is about informing women. Buffer zones don’t protect women, they disadvantage them by silencing information.”
For further comment please contact Tabitha Ewert (EDT) at 1-866-410-9625 // [email protected]