HAMILTON, Ontario, June 13, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Hamilton city council passed a motion Wednesday to ask the federal and provincial governments to enact legislation that would ban the use of images of “aborted fetuses” as part of “any anti-abortion or pro-life campaign.”
The unanimously passed motion, crafted by Councillor Terry Whitehead, asks for legislation preventing the “use of graphic, gruesome and disturbing images of aborted fetuses in display materials, advertising posters, banners, and other mediums as part of any anti-abortion or pro-life campaign at least to the extent that such images are shielded from children and other vulnerable persons.”
The motion specifically targets efforts by the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform (CCBR), which sent thousands of postcards to homes in the area earlier this year targeting pro-abortion New Democrat MP Chris Charlton.
Mr. Whitehead told The Spec his motion was “not about picking sides,” but about “protecting children from graphic, gory, inappropriate images.”
Stephanie Gray, co-founder and executive director of CCBR, criticized the city for having its priorities wrong.
“It is troubling that the city of Hamilton is working to stop the circulation of images of abortion victims, rather than working to stop the making of abortion victims,” she told LifeSiteNews.
“If the images of abortion are so terrible then how much more terrible is the action of abortion? Why isn't Hamilton demanding the federal government ban the killing of the youngest among us?”
The CCBR defends its use of the images, saying they show the “most widespread human rights violation of our day—abortion.”
“We realize that the abortion victim photography we display is offensive to many people. Considering what it depicts, it should be,” wrote CCBR’s Jonathon Van Maren in a piece last year titled Abortion images are offensive—and they should be.
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“All those who sought to reform the societies they lived in—from the abolitionists of slavery to those seeking to end the practices of child labor to the Civil Rights activists—use shocking imagery to highlight the plight of the victims,” he wrote. “We didn’t invent the idea of exposing injustice, we merely adopted it. While social reformers of the past sought to end discrimination based on skin color, religion, or ethnicity, we seek to end discrimination based on age.”
In November Hamilton city council voted to draft a motion that would ban the CCBR’s banners from the bypasses of the city’s busy expressway.
LifeSiteNews contacted Hamilton Mayor Bob Bratina but did not hear back by press time.
“They might as well have passed a motion asking the feds to delete section 2 of the Charter. They seem to think eliminating the fundamental freedom of expression is no big deal,” said Jack Fonseca of Campaign Life Coalition to LifeSiteNews.com.
Fonseca called it “disingenuous” for the council to claim that it is not picking sides, suggesting the motion targeting a specific group might even be illegal.
“For Council to suggest it’s not taking a position on abortion is disingenuous. Where is its motion to ban PETA advertisements, which depict bloody, grotesque images? Where is its motion to ban the government’s graphic and often disturbing, cancer warning labels on cigarette packages? Or police advertisements which depict graphic images of people in car crashes,” he said.
“Coun. Whitehead was quoted as saying people are ‘begging and pleading with council to do something.’ If the good Councillor wants to make these images go away, he ought to join the fight to eliminate the violence of abortion which they depict. After all it’s not the postcard that’s unacceptable. It’s the chopped up baby.”
Hamilton Mayor Bob Bratina
Coun. Terry Whitehead
Find contact info for all Hamilton city councillors here.