Ontario NDP attack pro-life free speech with reintroduction of bill targeting images of aborted babies
TORONTO, Ontario, November 3, 2021 (Campaign Life Coalition) – Pro-life free speech is once again under attack in Ontario.
On November 2, the NDP reintroduced a bill at Queen’s Park that, if passed, would ban the practice of pro-life groups freely distributing images of aborted victims that highlight the massacre of some 100,000 babies who are aborted annually in Canada.
Bill 41, an “Act to regulate the mailing of images of fetuses,” states that “no one shall send a graphic image of an aborted or otherwise non-viable fetus by mail or otherwise distribute such an image” unless certain conditions are first satisfied, such as the image being first placed in a non-see-through envelope.
The bill, titled the “Viewer Discretion Act,” directly targets the work of pro-life groups that use photographic images to expose the violent horror of abortion. The bill, formerly titled 259, passed first reading in March, but then stalled. It was reintroduced yesterday by NDP MP Terrance Kernaghan (London North Centre).
The bill may be dead on arrival. Discrimination based on content opposes the Charter right to freedom of expression. This freedom applies to pro-life advocates as much as anyone else.
Critics say that the images are too graphic to be left in the mailboxes or on the doorsteps of family homes. Even some in the pro-life movement don't agree with using these images as an educational tool. But, the pro-life groups who deliver the images say that they do change people’s hearts and minds on abortion and save lives. How?
One of the traits that make us human is that when we see the pain and suffering of other humans, we seek to alleviate it. When we see injustice suffered by others, we want to bring them justice. When we see cruel oppression, we want to aid the oppressed. What these images accurately show is the suffering, injustice, and oppression inflicted upon the smallest members of the human family.
These are images of victims with whom we share a common humanity. These victims have suffered the worst kind of injustice by having their lives, their futures, their pursuit of happiness, violently stripped from them. The human response to seeing these images should be to fight the evil and end the barbaric practice of abortion.
Graphic imagery is not used in the pro-life movement alone. It’s worthwhile noting how graphic imagery has been used in practically every major social justice campaign since the invention of the camera to help draw attention to the injustice, and so help combat it.
You may have encountered such graphic imagery in the photos of starving children in the developing world to help fight poverty and hunger, of a drowned Syrian boy to help show the tragic plight of refugees, of an open-casket funeral of a murdered black teenager to help fight racial injustice.
Victim images certainly have a place in our country. They are constantly used to help rouse people to get involved in fighting social injustices.
Why are so many people up in arms against the use of abortion victim photography?
While there may be many concerns (the main ones are outlined and answered here), I think the main reason people don’t like these images is that they really do show something absolutely terrifying and horrific: the slaughter of babies.
People in our nation, many of whom identify as “pro-choice,” don’t want to be confronted with the truth that abortion is horrific, that this procedure gruesomely ends the life of a little human person by crushing, breaking, and ripping apart his or her little human body.
If someone’s been fed the lie that it’s a pregnant woman’s choice to “decide what she does with her own body,” it’s pretty shocking to see that there is another body here that is different from the mother’s body. It’s shocking to see that this little body has arms and legs, fingers and toes, a mouth and lips, ears and eyes, a human face. It’s shocking to discover that this body can bleed when violence is inflicted upon it.
Such images should cause us to weep for what we as a nation have allowed to happen to so many of our precious children.
In a move akin to shooting the messenger while ignoring the message, this bill seeks to censor images of the horror of abortion while ignoring that such horror takes place about 300 times daily in hospitals and abortion mills across our nation.
Instead of lawmakers trying to ban these graphic images, shouldn’t they rather seek to ban the death-dealing abortion procedures from which these horrifying images arise?
Image credit: Shutterstock