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Controversial anti-abortion message to appear on buses in Canada

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Deacon Greg Kandra - published on 09/01/16

Would something like this ever happen in the United States?

Read on, from Canada’s Catholic Register:

After more than a year and a half wait, a Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform pro-life advertisement is set to run on Peterborough Transit buses. The advertisement, which the CCBR first proposed in January of 2015, contains two pictures of growing fetuses with the words “growing, growing gone. Abortion kills children.”
The City of Peterborough had originally refused to run the ad “on the basis that the city considered that it was divisive and controversial,” said Carol Crosson, the lawyer who represented the CCBR. “(But) my client’s argument was that if others want to speak they should allow messages that are contrary. Free speech slices both ways.” According to a press release issued Aug. 25 by the CCBR, the Ontario Divisional Court issued a consent order in which the City of Peterborough agreed to allow the pro-life message on the exterior of its buses. Patricia Lester, city solicitor and director of legal service for the City of Peterborough, said originally the city feared the impact the pro-life message may have on ridership. “The city believed that the proposed advertisement might undermine the city’s objective of increasing ridership and providing an important service to all of our residents within the city,” she said. “On further review and discussion with the CCBR we acknowledge that advocacy advertisement is expressive speech entitled to protection under Section 2(b) (of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms).” Section 2(b) provides protection of everyone’s right to freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media.

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