Graphic ‘Face the Children’ postcard campaign is opening Canadian abortion debate
BRAMPTON, Ontario, August 20, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The 250,000 postcards being delivered to households in the ridings of pro-abortion politicians through the Canadian Center for Bioethical Reform's “Face the Children” anti-abortion campaign are having the desired effect, says the CCBR's co-founder and executive director Stephanie Gray.
"Face the Children has made significant inroads in forcing open the abortion debate in Canada," said Gray.
"Moreover, thanks to coverage of the campaign by CBC National, Global, CTV, City TV, and newspapers like the National Post, people are doing what leaders in the abortion rights movement so often try to avoid: debating the issue," Gray told LifeSiteNews.com. "And this time, they're doing so in light of the brutal facts of the abortion procedure."
CCBR’s postcards are purposefully shocking. The first one featured Stephen Harper’s smiling face next to an image of a late-term aborted fetus, with the caption, "Stephen Harper won't ban this."
The group said it started its campaign with Prime Minister Harper because of his unwillingness to have any legislation regulating abortion, or even to allow debate about abortion to occur in the House.
Canada is the only Western country to have no legislation governing abortion whatsoever.
“Prime Minister Harper’s cold indifference to the slaughter of pre-born children must be challenged,” said Gray. “His position to defeat any abortion-related legislation and to shut down debate in Parliament is so extreme that it means he is unwilling to ban abortion in the third trimester—pitting our prime minister against a majority of Canadians.”
A 2013 Environics Poll found 60 percent of Canadians say human life should receive legal protection by the sixth month of pregnancy.
While most mainstream media news sources are deriding the postcards and their message, Gray points out that this negative coverage is beneficial to the campaign.
"These news sources have been force-multipliers for our pro-life message,” she said. “Not only have half a million Canadians directly seen the images on the postcards, but countless more have seen them on TV, in print media, and on the internet.”
"Hits to our website have gone up, as have donations," she told LifeSiteNews.
The Toronto Star quoted a recipient of the postcards distributed in the Brampton riding of Parm Gill, who said, “I don’t want to ever see that again.”
The postcard the woman received shows Gill's face next to a baby girl who had been aborted at six months with the caption, "MP Parm Gill betrayed vulnerable kids like her." a
It explains that Gill was a member of the committee that deemed Motion 408, which called on the House of Commons to condemn sex-selective abortion, non-votable earlier this year.
“We’re quite glad that they’re perturbed. The images portray a disturbing reality. That’s an important part of the project; the exposure to what abortion looks like is one of the fundamental objectives of the project,” said Jonathon Van Maren, CCBR's communications director, in response to the Star's article.
Can-India News reported that a resident in the riding of MP Bal Gosal (Bramalea-Gore-Malton) she was disturbed by the imagery and worried about children seeing it, but believes that the abortion issue must be opened for debate.
“I am against abortion but I this kind of a campaign is not right because it can really disturb people. It is better to debate the issue rather than simply shock people like this,” the anonymous resident said.
“We recognize some children will see them [but] they’re not the focus of our campaigns. It’s a shame young children have to see what we do to other young children,” Van Maren said.
The postcard read, "The law says she's not human. MP Bal Gosal agrees.”
Gosal is reported to have responded to the campaign directed at him and his Conservative government colleagues by reiterating that, "the government does not intend to reopen this debate.”
“I would also like to clarify for my constituents that my image was used without my permission, and I am not distributing these myself, nor am I affiliated with the group,” Gosal added.
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Jonathon Van Maren observed that postcards being labeled “shocking” and “controversial” for depicting the results of the statements and votes of politicians is a sign of how disconnected Canadians have become from the actions of their elected representatives.
Van Maren said, "For many of us—myself included—it is because we often do not fully consider the impact of what our elected representatives do, and the responsibility we have in a democracy for what those we have chosen to represent us do."
"Forcing our elected representatives to “Face the Children” may be distasteful to many. The reality of abortion is, of course, very distasteful," Van Maren said.
The CCBR's campaign is both educating people about the abortion issue in Canada and prompting individuals to act on their newfound knowledge.
"We have encountered people who were ignorant of the state of abortion in Canada. They were shocked to learn what our postcards informed them of: that pre-born children have no protections until birth," Stephanie Gray said.
"One man who received a postcard said he had no idea there were no laws protecting the pre-born, and said he was embarrassed that he voted for his MP who failed these children. He said he deserved an explanation and said he would be calling his politician’s office," Gray said.
"Another woman was outraged by her politician," Gray said. "When she called his office about his stance and was told he wouldn't provide comment, she wrote a letter to the newspaper."
So far the “Face the Children” campaign has targeted Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Michelle Rempel (Calgary Centre-North), Bal Gosal (Bramalea-Gore-Malton), Parm Gill (Brampton-Springdale), and Rick Dykstra (St. Catharines).
The CCBR says that this is just the beginning of the postcard campaign, but the names of the politicians who will face the children will not be released until the day their constituents begin receiving their postcards.
"We hope to expose the extremism of these politicians’ views to their constituents. The images of aborted children send a clear message to people of conscience that only leaders who will protect the most vulnerable in Canadian society should be worthy of election,” the CCBR states.
"We aim to make a pro-life Canada—both amongst the public as well as amongst politicians," the CCBR says, but warns that, "If someone fails the children, they will face the children."