Ottawa, ON – On May 12, NDP MLA Jennifer Bowes introduced The Protecting a Woman’s Right to Access Abortion Services Act in the Saskatchewan legislature. A similar law is currently being challenged as an unconstitutional limitation of freedom of expression in Ontario. “One of the obvious issues with bubble zone laws is how one-sided they are. It’s not about people holding signs generally, it depends on the message on the sign. It is illegal to show 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. “It is already illegal to intimidate or harass women under the Criminal Code regardless of where they are,” Ewert explained. “All this adds is preventing 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 it’s 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 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. Bubble zones don’t protect women, they disadvantage them by silencing information.”
For further comment please contact
Tabitha Ewert (EDT) at (604) 220-1258 // [email protected]