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VANCOUVER, June 30, 2004 (LifeSiteNews.com) – In what could be seen as a positive step towards the reversal of recent court rulings involving ‘Access to Abortion Services’ or ‘bubble-zone’ acts of provincial parliaments, the Honourable Mr. Justice Hall of the B.C. Court of Appeal has granted leave to appeal in the 1998 conviction of Pro-Lifers Gordon Watson and Donald Spratt based on the constitutionality of B.C.‘s Access to Abortion Services Act.  This will allow the two Pro-Life defendants to make an appeal based on section 2(b) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms; “freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication;” challenging the B.C. Act’s constitutionality. This same challenge has been unsuccessful in past rulings across Canada, allowing for the creation of ‘bubble-zones’ around numerous abortion clinics and abortion providing hospitals.  In a LifeSiteNews.com interview, John Hoff, President of Campaign Life Coalition B.C., made the following comments, “The Access to Abortion Services Act is much too broad and sweeping in its infringement on constitutionally guaranteed freedoms. It is much more than just an attempt to prevent women from being ‘harassed’, it is an attempt to silence any protest on abortion. If there is a problem with huge rallies and access to entranceways being blocked by protestors, the law need only address those specific issues, not to comprehensively ban all on-or-near-site protest at every abortion location. The latter is certainly unconstitutional. If one were to make an analogy using logging protests as an example, would it be in keeping with the Constitution and Canadian democratic values to allow a province to ban all types of protest activity on or near logging sites?”  Speculating on the negative outcome of the pending appeal Mr. Hoff said, “This hearing will prove once and for all that abortion cannot be talked about on the grounds where the killing takes place.”  For the full text of Justice Hall’s judicial reasoning see:  https://www.courts.gov.bc.ca/Jdb-txt/CA/04/03/2004BCCA0367.htm

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