An organization has launched a petition to the Canadian government calling for limitations regarding what imagery and content can be used in a demonstration after anti-abortion activists distributed flyers and displayed images that show allegedly aborted fetuses.
The Viewer Discretion Legislation Coalition (VDLC) is a London, Ontario-based organization that formed when anti-abortion activists distributed graphic pamphlets and displayed road signs in their province.
Founded in 2001, the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform is a pro-life organization that aims to "create a public discussion concerning the rights and personhood of the pre-born."
The CCBR uses "abortion victim photography-based projects" called "Choice" Chain to "force the topic of abortion into the national consciousness." The group distributes the imagery via pamphlets and in street-based campaigns on posters.
But confounder of the VDLC, Katie Dean, tells Vancouver Is Awesome in a phone interview that the graphic images may be traumatic for people to view--particularly if those individuals are children or women who have suffered the loss of a child or had an abortion.
Dean says that many people have told her about their reactions to the signage, as well as those of their children. While children are often afraid, she adds that many adults have had to pull over in traffic after passing by them.
When she received a postcard from the CCBR in the mailbox, Dean says that she felt disturbed.
"It's a total abuse of their freedom of expression," she adds. "You don't get to decide if you want to see it."
Non-consenting individuals and children
When it comes to graphic films and videos, Dean notes that there is always a warning cautioning the viewer of the content. In this case, the sight of such imagery is being exposed to non-consenting individuals and children.
Initiated by Dean, the VDLC is petitioning the Canadian government to:
1. Amend or create legislation setting out the limitations regarding what imagery and content can be used in a protest or demonstration that is subject to public viewing; and
2. Amend or create legislation regarding if, and how graphic imagery can be delivered to homes across the Country (i.e. putting such pamphlets in envelopes with a "Viewer Discretion" warning).
At the time of this writing, nearly 2,000 people have signed the petition, which closes for signature on Feb. 14.
The CCBR is a Calgary-based pro-life organization, but they operate across Canada. This week, the group shared images to its Facebook of its members stationed in Vancouver holding signage with an allegedly aborted fetus as well as one of a pregnant woman's silhouette.
In its post, the group writes: "Last night, the Vancouver Initiative had their first Vehicle “Choice” Chain of the year! Our activists all across Canada are back in action exposing the injustice of abortion. Please consider joining us so we can reach even more Canadians with the truth!"
WARNING: The following contains extremely disturbing content.
Last night, the Vancouver Initiative had their first Vehicle “Choice” Chain of the year! Our activists all across Canada...Posted by Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform on Tuesday, January 26, 2021