Niagara Anti-Choice Group Launches Christmas Billboard Campaign

by | December 22, 2011
filed under Can-Con, Feminism

Niagara region residents will be treated to a new anti-choice billboard campaign this Christmas season.

Life Site News brags:

“A billboard a Canadian pro-life group has paid for has a Toy Story-themed messages that will surely resonate with area residents when it comes to the issue of abortion.

Using the message “Some toys will have fewer children to play with this year,” Niagra Region Right to Life’s billboard focuses on Christmas from a toy soldier’s perspective — who won’t have any children to play with him this year because they have become victims of abortion.”

While the ads might not be as graphic as those put out by the Genocide Awareness Project or the Canadian Centre for Bioethical Reform, nor as downright bizarre as last year’s Baby Scan Jesus ad, the billboard being put out by Niagara Region Right to Life (pictured left) is notable for its use of a manipulative message and image which could be seen to be targeting children.

Although I’m sure it wasn’t their only goal, I envision Niagara Right aiming to have children equate abortion with sad and lonely toys and perhaps ask their parents why the government lets abortion make the toys sad. My response as a rational adult and obvious pro-choicer was: “If that’s true why are we making so many extra toys?”

If Niagara Region Right to Life wants to talk to children to lower the abortion rate, the best way would be through open, honest, and comprehensive (non-abstinence-only) sex-education. But somehow I doubt that’s what’ll happen.

Regardless of the intended target audience the ad is in poor taste, and it also reminds us to be vigilant about the rights we have today.

Another reminder came today in the form of Kitchener-Centre Conservative MP Stephen Woodworth, who is calling for a re-opening of the debate on abortion rights, following in the footsteps of fellow Conservative backbenchers  Brad Trost and Rod Bruinooge. Woodworth’s announcement didn’t mention the word “abortion” and was couched in the argument that the laws are outdated, invoking the spectre of a breathing baby still partially attached to its mother somehow being aborted, but its intent to bring the issue up is clear.

“Canadian law provides no human rights protection whatsoever for children before the moment of complete birth.  This results from an unusual Canadian statute which defines a human being as a child who has completely proceeded in a living state from the mother’s body, whether or not the child has breathed.  This means that in Canada a child is legally considered to be sub-human while his or her little toe remains in the birth canal, even if he or she is breathing.”

It’s not a nice image, that’s for sure. But statistics show that only 0.4% of abortions in Canada are performed after 20 weeks (considered “late-term”). According to the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada, who examined StatsCan and abortion clinic data: “Only a tiny handful of doctors in all of Canada are trained and willing to do abortions after 20 weeks. The 3rd trimester begins after 24 weeks. The number of abortions done after 24 weeks in Canada is very small, although we don’t have exact figures. Without exception, all are done in cases of lethal fetal abnormality, where the fetus cannot survive after birth.”

The ARCC also points out that one major reason why women get second-trimester abortions is because of the problems accessing abortion in Canada. If a woman has to wait or travel, as in many provinces, to get the procedure, that can be a major factor delaying the procedure until the second-trimester.

While Stephen Harper’s office denies it, The Globe and Mail acknowledged: “Mr. Woodworth’s call for debate may have the tacit or expressed consent of the Prime Minister, who spent the first years in a minority government courting support of socially right-wing Canadians.” While the chances are slim for any private member’s bill along these lines to pass as long as Harper’s cabinet and most of the opposition members vote against it, it’ll be something to watch out for in the new year.


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