With placards in hand, nearly 40 pro-choice demonstrators lined Pandosy Street outside of Kelowna General Hospital (KGH) on Tuesday morning.
“I have seen the pro-life folks in this area a lot and I really felt like other women needed a voice,” said pro-choice demonstrator Rebecca Desjarlais.
It’s a spot where anti-abortion activists have been demonstrating at every Tuesday for nearly two decades.
But four weeks ago, a Kelowna woman, who is pro-choice, decided to join them.
“Four weeks ago, it was just me and my three-year-old and then it snowballed and I am just so happy that the community rallied,” organizer Kerry-Lee Brown said.
“They’re sticking up for what they believe in and it was about time.”
Anti-abortion activists have been demonstrating outside of Kelowna General Hospital for nearly two decades. In that time, this is the biggest pro-choice group they’ve ever seen.
Thirty-seven pro-choice demonstrators were on hand Tuesday morning.
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While there were only seven pro-life demonstrators there at the time, there are some 500 members who belong to the Kelowna Right to Life Society, and they take shifts demonstrating.
With the pro-choice side being much larger on this Tuesday, the anti-abortion activists were forced to move further up the street from their usual spot.
“Why irritate them? There’s no point. So fine, they’re standing in front of our signs, they took our spot, but that’s OK. We’ll be here for a long time to come,” pro-life demonstrator Kathy Hein said.
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The executive director of the Kelowna Right to Life Society wasn’t concerned about the large pro-choice presence.
Marlon Bartram said it may just be the sign of the times.
“I think this is the biggest we’ve ever seen out here, but I think that’s an indication that their side is worried, that their precious right to have their unborn children killed is kind of slipping away,” Bartram said.
“They see it in the U.S., they see it in different states, different advancements of the pro-life movement are happening and I think they are just a little concerned that the times are changing.”
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Even though the pro-choice group was much larger and louder, Hein was also not concerned about being outnumbered.
“It’s not necessarily a popularity contest. What is popular isn’t necessarily what’s right; slavery was very popular and it’s not recognized as a proper thing anymore.
“It took time for that to be corrected, so there are some things that just take time and we just persevere because we know it is right to protect human life.”
While the anti-abortion activists plan on demonstrating outside of KGH for a long time, whether the opposing group plans to do the same is not known.