OTTAWA, Ontario (LifeSiteNews) –– Campaign Life Coalition (CLC) has launched a “constitutional challenge” lawsuit against Canada’s Parliamentary Protective Service (PPS) after the latter prevented the pro-life group from displaying pictures of aborted babies during its press conference in the lead-up to Canada’s National March for Life in early May on Parliament Hill.
CLC, with the help of the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (JCCF), announced on Thursday that a “constitutional challenge” has been “filed against Ottawa’s Parliamentary Protective Service (PPS) for prohibiting the pro-life group from showing images of aborted fetuses during its news conference.”
In comments sent to LifeSiteNews, CLC’s Vice President Matthew Wojciechowski said that showing “abortion victim photography is a very effective way to expose the human rights injustice that is abortion, and we were stopped from doing so during our press conference.”
“We are hoping that our constitutional challenge will force a change in the guidelines the PPS enforces on the Hill,” he said.
Wojciechowski added that CLC was “denied the opportunity to visually express our message,” and as a result its “freedom of expression was limited on Parliament Hill, out of all places.”
“This should concern all Canadians,” he said to LifeSiteNews.
On May 10, the day before the March for Life took place, CLC held a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. However, as the group was setting up its press conference it was told by Parliament liaison officers it was not allowed to show images of aborted babies, as they were too “graphic.”
CLC Director of Political Operations Jack Fonseca at the time told LifeSiteNews, “They were literally photographs of children killed by abortion, which we planned to show… towards the end of our press conference in order to put a human face to the acts of violence that the Trudeau Liberals euphemistically refer to as ‘choice.’”
As stated in a press release from the JCCF, the decision to prevent the display of the signs was “confirmed via email, referring to a policy, the General Rules on the Use of Parliament Hill prohibiting signs on Parliament Hill ‘that are obscene, offensive, or that promote hatred.’”
“That policy now prohibits signs or banners that display explicit graphic violence or blood,’” noted the JCCF.
CLC’s Josie Luetke noted that “There is a certain irony to the fact that our government is currently spending hundreds of millions of dollars, domestically and abroad, promoting and facilitating a procedure it feels must be censored from the public eye.”
“We don’t like seeing the images of abortion either, and we hope Canadians do a lot of soul-searching as to why presenting its victims brings them such discomfort,” she added.
Lawyer says CLC is being subject to a form of ‘political repression’ by being prevented from showing images of aborted babies on Parliament Hill
The JCCF lawyer for CLC’s case, Hatim Kheir, said that in Canada, “Parliament Hill is historically a public square where people of various viewpoints come to convey a message to the government and other Canadians.”
“Subjecting political expression on Parliament Hill to literal police censorship based on subjective criteria strikes at the core of Canadians’ democratic right to freedom of expression,” he added.
The “constitutional challenge” Notice of Application was filed on June 30, in Federal Court on behalf of CLC as well as “a woman who planned to hold one of the signs at the news conference.”
Said the JCCF, CLC and the woman “challenge the constitutionality of the limits on the freedom of expression on Parliament Hill.”
According to the Notice of Application, to be challenged are both versions of the “General Rules for the Use of Parliament Hill and the action by PPS to prevent the Applicants from using the graphic signs to convey their message.”
CLC and the woman are looking to have the court make a declaration that the PPS’s policies as well as its actions “violated” their rights under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
The 2023 March for Life was a resounding success, seeing thousands of pro-life Canadians gather to call for an end to abortion and for increased protections for the unborn.
However, Canada’s current federal government under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau holds extreme pro-abortion views. On the same day that thousands of pro-life Canadians gathered in Ottawa for Canada’s 26th National March for Life, Trudeau went as far as to tweet out a pro-abortion message.
Also, on the eve of the March for Life, Trudeau pledged his government would fund millions of dollars more to pro-abortion initiatives.
The 2023 federal budget of Trudeau’s Liberal government has allocated $36 million to fund the promotion of abortion over three years starting in 2024 while at the same time including a statement blasting America’s overturning of Roe v. Wade last year.
Unlike in the United States, abortion in Canada exists in a legal vacuum since being decriminalized.
The 1988 Morgentaler decision saw the Supreme Court of Canada throw out the last remaining abortion law on the basis that it was unconstitutional. Since then, there exists no federal law regulating abortion, and thus the practice is permitted through all nine months of pregnancy.