July 23, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — Two Toronto councillors are trying to get images of the dismembered victims of abortion pushed off the streets and they’re enlisting the help of city staff to do it.
But Cameron Côté, western outreach director at the pro-life Canadian Centre for Bio-ethical Reform (CCBR), says those images are protected by free speech rights in Canada.
“While we at CCBR are confident in the legal precedents that have confirmed that our expression of this pro-life message is constitutionally protected under the right to freedom of speech and expression,” said Côté, “It is certainly concerning that city councillors are attempting to undermine these fundamental and constitutional rights.
“This horrifying reality happens nearly 300 times every day in this nation behind the closed doors of abortion facilities from coast to coast,” he said.
In Toronto, councillors Janet Davis and Sarah Doucette are calling on the city’s general manager and transportation services department to scour municipal bylaws to find ways to regulate or ban images of aborted babies from being displayed on the sidewalk.
It’s the imagery – according to news reports – that the Toronto councillors find unacceptable.
Certainly, at least some Torontonians agree.
On Twitter, a user who goes by the handle of @jezebell776, Jessica Anderson, tweeted to her city councillor: “Just had to walk through anti-abortion protestors with graphic posters with my two-year-old at Main and Danforth. This cannot be tolerated in our neighbourhood.”
Ironically, the biblical Jezebel was a princess who urged her husband to build temples to Baal, a god to whom children were sacrificed.
This is the second time in less than a year that Toronto city councillors have called on municipal staff to find ways to regulate or ban the images showing the horrors of abortion.
Last December, the city council told its executive director, general manager and department of municipal licensing and standards to work with its lawyer to look into options to regulate and even ban any printed materials that contain extremely graphic images.
At the same time, Toronto also asked its staff to look into regulating and possibly banning “temporary signs that contain extremely graphic images intended to shock, alarm, or cause dismay.”
The stated purpose of that motion was to address the potential of these displays to harm members of the public, especially children.
Toronto municipal staff are to report back to council this year.
The Canadian Centre for Bio-ethical Reform, though, counters that these graphic images are important to drive home to Canadians the terrible reality of abortion.
“Discussion about this injustice that violently ends the life of the weakest and most vulnerable members of the human family is necessary to ensure that this injustice is ended in our nation,” said Côté.
The pro-life official hopes that these images can one day be relegated to the history books, chronicling a dark chapter in Canadian history – a time when not only was a terrible injustice allowed to happen but also to happen so often.
Until then, the pro-life group is standing fast.
“While CCBR has been challenged regarding our ability to conduct our projects in a few cities throughout Canada, it has always been recognized that we have the right to freely express the pro-life message that abortion directly and intentionally ends the live of an innocent member of the human family in public areas, including and especially on the public sidewalks of our nation, so as to engage Canadians in thought-provoking conversations about this human rights violation,” said Côté.
In other efforts to curtail the use of these images of aborted babies, Toronto Councillor Paula Fletcher has urged in a tweet that the Trespass to Property Act be used to keep CCBR staff or volunteers from Torontonians’ properties.
And although Toronto-Danforth MPP Peter Tabuns has asked for an injunction to stop the CCBR from distributing its material with these images, the Attorney General has so far declined to take that matter to court.