Anti-abortion campaign offensive to some

WARNING: This post contains an image some readers may find offensive. 

Watch above: A Saskatoon woman was appalled to find an anti-abortion, anti-Trudeau pamphlet in her mailbox this week. As Wendy Winiewski tells us, the expectant mother is not alone.

SASKATOON – Pro-life flyers with images of fetuses aborted at 10 and 20 weeks after conception were delivered to some Saskatoon residents on Monday. Some residents received the flyer by mail, others were hand delivered.

“I feel really gross even holding it,” said Laura Erickson, a resident who received the flyer by mail.

Partial image of flyer delivered to Saskatonian’s as part of no2trudeau campaign.
Partial image of flyer delivered to Saskatonian’s as part of no2trudeau campaign.

“Being the mother of a small child, I was thankful I didn’t leave that out on the table,” she said.

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Erickson was aware of the delivery prior to arriving home after work. Neighbours were sounding off on social media, which alerted her to the situation. When she arrived home she checked the mail, found the flyer, and put it in the garbage. At 18 weeks pregnant with her second child, Erickson said she feels disgusted, violated and offended.

“My baby is healthy, I’m good,” she said. “But I think, what about all the mother’s that just had a miscarriage?”

The flyer was created by the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform’s third party political group titled no2Trudeau. The group aligns itself against Liberal leader Justin Trudeau’s pro-choice proclamation.

As part of the organization’s campaign, 173,000 flyers have been delivered. The goal is to deliver 1,000,000 by the time of the fall 2015 election.

Erickson said it makes her question her rights as a homeowner. “If it’s not appropriate to be put on a billboard and be put out there on a busy street, I don’t know how it’s allowed to be put in my mailbox.”

Advertising Standards Canada does not regulate political advertising and in this case, neither does Elections Canada, according to spokesperson Diane Benson.

“As far as election advertising goes, the Canada Elections Act applies, for the most part during a writ period,” explained Benson.

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This circumstance falls into a grey area according to University of Saskatchewan political science professor Joe Garcea.

“There are loopholes and there are cracks in the system and quite often it is unclear under which jurisdiction or which agency, either government or non-government, is responsible for something,” said Garcea.

He explained, whether the flyer is wrong or right, it doesn’t fall into legislation but rather falls on the court of public opinion – what is the public willing to accept?

“For example, if you’re dealing with a story that deals with pedophiles, what kind of pictures might be acceptable to show?” he pondered. Another analogy “If you’re trying to have a campaign against war, what kind of pictures would be acceptable to show?” he rhetorically questioned.

The professor believes this juxtaposition, using Trudeau ‘s image on the flyer, crosses defamation boundaries.

Erickson is one of several Saskatonians who have told Global News this flyer goes beyond a pro-life, pro-choice debate.

“No matter what side of the conversation you’re on, both sides were horrified,” said Erickson.

Global News reached out to no2Trudeau. There was no response at the time of publication.

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