Canadian Media Edit Out Violence Against Pro-Life Billboard

OTTAWA, November 19, 2001 ( – News of the violent G-20 protests which took place in Ottawa last week was seen around the globe with coverage mainly by the wire service Agence France Press (AFP). The Canadian Press coverage and the AFP coverage both mentioned that along with smashing windows at two McDonald’s restaurants, masked members of the mob were photographed kicking down Ottawa’s only publicly displayed pro-life billboard. Worldwide coverage, including reports in Africa and Australia included the violence towards the pro-life sign.

Canadian media, many which used the Canadian Press report, edited out the portion of the report dealing with the demonstrators’ destruction of the commercial quality billboard. After researching the story in some 23 Canadian papers, LifeSite found that only the Halifax Chronicle-Herald included the paragraph about the sign. Karen Murawsky, National Affairs Director for Campaign Life Coalition, told LifeSite that it is “interesting that the media would choose to edit out violence by Canadian pro-choicers especially when they make every effort to associate pro-lifers with violence.” She said, “time and time again we have seen that it is the pro-choice activists who are violent, throwing bottles at peaceful pro-life prayer walks and cursing and shouting obscenities.” An Ottawa pro-lifer told LifeSite, “Imagine for a second the fury with which the media and public would react if a pro-life protester were to wear a mask and smash windows.”

Merle Terlesky, a former member of the Communist Party of Canada and a prominent activist with the Ontario Coalition for Abortion Clinics (OCAC) during the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, told LifeSite that it is no surprise that the anarchist activists are anti-life. Terlesky, who converted to Christianity and pro-life after a bout with cancer, told LifeSite that the rent-a-mob which appears at most leftist protests are virtually the same crowd who engage in the violent anti-poverty protests and the violent demonstrations against the pro-life movement. He recalls, as a member of OCAC that they would ask for support during pickets from violent groups such as the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty and Anti-Racist Action. OCAC has a strong relationship with Canada’s foremost abortionist Henry Morgentaler.

The pro-life billboard in Ottawa was on a commercial advertisement stand directly in front of Morgentaler’s unmarked abortuary. The large sign, read: Abortion stops a beating heart, and has been there for over five years. The billboard’s prominent location has been a cause for consternation for Morgentaler’s. It has frequently been vandalized.

See the AFP coverage in Africa: