Images of aborted fetuses may no longer be distributed as part of pro-life materials in the city of Calgary unless they are sealed in envelopes, according to a bylaw amendment passed last month. Violators may be fined $1,000.
The amendment specifies that any images depicting abortion victims must be hidden within the envelope, feature a warning about its contents, and include the name and address of the sender.
Calgary Councilor Jennifer Wyness justified the amendment by citing the potential emotional trauma that images of abortions could cause for some viewers.
“While we want to uphold the freedom of advocacy groups to express their opinions, we must also balance our responsibility to protect communities. As a society, we accept that not all content is appropriate for everyone. This is why we have R-ratings for disturbing or mature films, for instance. These pamphlets fall into a similar category, and it is reasonable to request that they come with a content warning.”
Richard Dur, the executive director of Prolife Alberta, believes that this reasoning only strengthens the need to outlaw abortion.
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“If the images are ‘too graphic’ for public consumption then perhaps the act of abortion, which brings about these horrific images in the first place, ought itself to be further regulated/outlawed.”
Although Prolife Alberta does not distribute photography of abortion victims, Dur asserts that their flyers nonetheless serve to reveal the reality of induced abortion.
“Abortions in Alberta, like the rest of Canada, are publicly paid for. People should know where their money is going,” he told True North, a Canadian digital media platform, as reported by writer Rachel Emmanuel on June 6.
According to Emmanuel, Canada is the “only democracy in the world” that has no legal protections for children in the womb. In the year 2021, there were 87,485 induced abortions in Canada, according to the Canadian Institute for Health Information.
Reported incidents related to the distribution of pro-life material will be thoroughly investigated and enforcement will be carried out through education, voluntary compliance, and the discretion of officers, the municipal authorities say.