HALIFAX – Protesters carrying graphic anti-abortion signs were met by counter-protesters in downtown Halifax on Tuesday.
A group called Show the Truth Canada gathered at the busy intersection of South Street and South Park Street late in the morning. They carried signs emblazoned with graphic images they claim depict aborted fetuses alongside slogans such as “You’re about to see the truth of abortion.”
A short time later, counter-protesters, including representatives from the South House Sexual and Gender Resource Centre, arrived. Their signs featured slogans including “Safe abortion = maternal health” and “Pro-woman, pro-child, pro-choice”. They stationed themselves near the original protesters in an effort to reduce their visibility.
“It’s a really upsetting things for folks, no matter what your age to be quite frank, so we try to block as much as possible,” said Jean Ketterling, the administrative co-ordinator for South House.
Mary-Dan Johnston showed up on her lunch break and held up a piece of paper that had “reproductive rights are human rights” written on it.
“I decided I would take my lunch break to come down and let the people of Halifax know that I don’t believe that these folks are welcome here,” she said.
Teresa Gainey, a spokesperson for Show the Truth Canada, said the shocking imagery is the best way for her group to get its message across.
“The point of the graphic images is the definition of graphic is clear and effective and so we’re showing clearly and effectively what abortion is,” she said.
Despite several complaints about the graphic nature of the signs, police say the use of such images is not criminal and none of the protesters have broken any laws.
“People have the right to peaceful protest, which is what we’ve seen so far,” said Halifax Regional Police spokesman Const. Pierre Bourdages.
Police were called to the scene after a woman threw paint at the images and spray-painted a van belonging to the group protesting abortion. She left before officers arrived and police are still investigating.
Organizers with the anti-abortion group said they have been to Prince Edward Island, but did not give any details about how long they plan to stay in Halifax or where they are going next.
With files from Mayya Assouad, Global News
© Shaw Media, 2014