Action Centre

Don't Take Away Freedom of Expression and Peaceful Assembly

Background on the Issue
On May 29, 2017, MPP Yasir Naqvi, the previous Attorney General of Ontario, announced that he would table a bill in the fall to transform public sidewalks into “No Free Speech Zones” outside every abortion facility in the province. The bill was passed in October later that year, and has been put into force since February 1, 2018.

These bubble zones within which pro-life speech and expression are banned, prevent pro-lifers from demonstrating or counselling within a certain radius of an abortion facility where children are killed by abortion. That includes hospitals and clinics where abortions are committed, and pharmacies are now able to apply as well. These bubble zones are expected to resemble British Columbia's and Newfoundland and Labrador’s, which have bubble zone laws “not exceeding 50 metres” around abortion facilities.

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Step 1: Compose your message
Local MPP
Real Pro-Choicers Are Against Bubble Zones
Dear [Recipient's name will be automatically inserted], MPP,

When you and the rest of Ontario’s MPPs return to legislature, to appease a loud group of pro-choicers—the media, lobby groups, the Ottawa mayor—one of the bills that will be tabled will, if passed, institute bubble zones around abortion facilities. People who are genuinely pro-“choice” should oppose such a bill though. Why?

Firstly, sidewalk counsellors and pro-life demonstrators offer women going into abortion centres the information about their baby, and the adverse effects of abortion, so that women can make a more informed choice, including the choice to keep their baby or to make an adoption plan. They provide information about crisis pregnancy services and alternatives to abortion, which is valuable as women often enter abortion clinics feeling like they don’t have any another choice, hence the popular quotation, “A woman does not want an abortion like she wants an ice cream cone, a new dress, or a Porsche; she wants an abortion like an animal caught in a trap wants to gnaw off its own leg to escape.”

Many cite their reason for getting abortion as a lack of financial resources or emotional support—exactly what these sidewalk counsellors and pro-life protesters commonly offer. So, in effect, they are actually broadening the choices women have available to them, and may give a woman who doesn’t really want an abortion a choice, when she thought she didn’t have one.

Listen to this woman’s story for instance:

Secondly, if a woman should have the right to do with her body what she will—even kill the child in her womb—then should she not have the right to plant her body on the public sidewalk in front of an abortion facility, and peacefully protest? Please remember that many of the pro-life demonstrators are women.

So if you want to protect actual choice, then you must combat the proposed bubble zone law that will create ‘no free speech zones’ around abortion clinics.
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