By Thaddeus M. Baklinski
HAMILTON, Ontario, May 1, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The city of Hamilton Ontario has decided to lift a ban on pro-life posters on its buses and transit shelters.
The decision was a result of a human rights complaint file by Hamilton Right to Life last year, stating that the city violated the right to freedom of expression and denied equal treatment and the right to contract on equal terms because of discrimination against its position on abortion.
Hamilton Right to Life intends to drop its human rights complaint, which was scheduled for a hearing in July, now that the city of Hamilton has revised its rules so as to allow pro-life advertisements to be displayed in city buses, transit shelters and other similar city-owned advertising spots, according to a Hamilton Spectator report.
The original ads, which were part of a nation-wide pro-life campaign coordinated by Life Canada, depicted a pregnant woman. At the top of the ad were the words, “Nine months: the length of time abortion is allowed in Canada. No medical reason needed.” At the bottom of the ad is the question, “Abortion, have we gone too far?”
Advertising Standards Canada (ASC), a self-regulating body of Canada’s advertising industry, ruled last year that these ads were “deceptive,” despite evidence from Statistics Canada confirming the truth of the message the ad gives and a ruling from the Supreme Court, which shows that there are no laws against abortion in Canada.
Hamilton Right to Life board member Father Ted Slaman said the group changed the wording of its ads to meet the guidelines set by the ASC.
The ad now reads: “The Human heart begins to beat 21 days after conception. Currently in Canada that heartbeat can be stopped up until birth. No medical reason needed. Abortion. Have we gone too far?”
Fr. Slaman said the ads have been approved by the ASC and that he is hoping for a response from Hamilton Transit.
“We would have liked an apology or, perhaps, a bit of an acknowledgement from the city that it was wrong … but nobody has been willing to this point to do anything like that,” Fr. Slaman said.
See previous LSN coverage:
Canadian City Pulls Pro-Life Bus Shelter Ads Citing “Offensiveness”
Right to Life Group Files Complaint with Ontario Human Rights Commission
Canadian City Backpedals on Decision to Censor Pro-life Bus-shelter Ads
Pro-Life Ads Pointing Out Fact that in Canada Abortion is Permitted Until Birth are Ruled “Deceptive”