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‘We are very disappointed’: Lethbridge and District Pro-life reacts after city pulls transit ad campaign

A city transit bench with a pro-life ad that was vandalized. File/Global News

The Lethbridge and District Pro-life Association says it’s disappointed with a City of Lethbridge decision to pull the group’s advertising campaign from transit buses, benches and shelters.

READ MORE: Lethbridge transit bench with pro-life ad vandalized

The city announced the ads would be coming down this week after it received more than 100 complaint emails and several social media comments from upset citizens.

“After reviewing comments from city residents, the City of Lethbridge has made an administrative decision to remove the advertisements due to adverse community reaction,” the city said in a statement released on Wednesday.

Most of the social media pushback centred around a line in the ads that read: “Preborn Babies Feel Pain.”

The city says that specific point did not play into the decision to pull the ads.

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Advertising Standards Canada said they will be addressing that concern at a meeting later this month.

READ MORE: Alberta set to introduce bill mandating safe zones around abortion clinics

A statement issued on Thursday by the Lethbridge and District Pro-life Association reads:

“A parent’s worst nightmare is to see their child sick and in pain, and it can be even more difficult when they are still very young. As a pro-life group, we want to bring awareness to the heartbreaking reality that babies – whether they have just been born, or are still in the womb, can feel pain.

We thought that upon receiving the city’s approval, and payment of our fees, we were free to run our ads and start a conversation about this topic. We also are cognizant that pre-born rights are a difficult topic for some in our community and want to be sensitive in the way our ad was designed.

We are very disappointed in the city’s steps to reverse their decision and their outright refusal to stand up for the rights of all of their residents. We know that it can be challenging to hear differing opinions, but we believe that our local government should support all its citizens’ right to free speech, including ours.”

The City of Lethbridge says it hopes to have all of the ads removed by Thursday.

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