CLC Blog

CLC Blog

If the Brits rejected it, surely we can repeal it - Abortion bubble zones must go!

In just under a month, it will have been a full year since Bill 163, also known as the abortion bubble zone law, came crashing down on authentic human freedom with dictatorial finesse.  But there’s another story unfolding in a different part of the world that Canadians should take note of.

A pivotal moment in Ontario’s history, the passing of the Safe Access to Abortion Services Act on October 25, 2017 dealt a threefold blow to the so-called ‘protected’ democratic freedoms of pro-life Canadians by directly infringing upon their rights to free speech, expression, and assembly. The bill, which was fast-tracked through the legislature in two weeks, established zones of 50 to 150 meters around abortion facilities where protesters are not permitted to stand - sorry, let’s be honest - where pro-life protesters are not allowed to stand. The bill was ushered in on exaggerated accounts of violence and harassment that were supposedly experienced by clients and staff entering the facilities. Most activists don’t say even a single word while they stand on the cement sidewalks all across the country in whatever weather mother nature decides to send their way. In fact, a request for information back in October of 2017 revealed that, at the Morgentaller abortion Facility in Ottawa, (the abortuary at the centre of the debate), there were a total of 64 police reports between January 1, 2014 and June 1, 2017. Most of them “were false alarms, cancelled calls, administrative issues, and other minor issues.” The report goes on to say that “in this three year, five month period, there were exactly two level 1 assaults" (Police confirmed that these level 1's had no injuries and no one was charged) Furthermore, not only were there only two reported cases of level 1 assaults but it was “unknown if the assaults were perpetrated against pro-life or against pro-choice people.”  The desperate “need” that Bill 163 apparently sought to rectify was a blatant lie. 

Therefore, it was a chilling blow indeed when their right to disagree was suddenly torn from the very lips that - according to the evidence - they more often bent in peaceful, silent prayer.

Now, let’s hop on a plane and fly about 6000 km away to the United Kingdom. There, a different story is being told - a story that just might have enough kick to give Ontario Premier Doug Ford a box to stand on in the fight to regain the democratic right of free speech in Ontario and set a precedent for the rest of Canada.

Last month, Pro-lifers and free speech advocated in the UK had a great reason to celebrate: The Home Secretary of the United Kingdom actually rejected demands to impose a buffer zone on pro-life protesters outside of abortion facilities. Had the request been approved, the buffer zones would have been applicable all across England and Wales. But it wasn’t approved. And the irony of the whole situation is that the Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, rejected the proposal for much the same reasons that Pro-lifers in Canada had used to argue against the same legislative proposal that was passed in Ontario on October 25th of last year.

While a review in the UK had allegedly reported some cases of harassment or other inappropriate behavior at pro-life vigils, Javid was adamant that they were “not the norm” and that “introducing national buffer zones would not be a proportionate response, considering the experiences of the majority of hospitals and clinics, and considering that the majority of activities are more passive in nature." Furthermore, as was also argued by Campaign Life Coalition and other groups that appeared before the Standing Committe discussing Bill 163, Javid pointed out that current legislation already had existing mechanisms to “restrict activities that cause harm to others.” 

For pro-life residents in Ontario, the timing of this monumental victory in the UK could not be better. With Doug Ford as the newly elected premier of Ontario, they have an opportunity to make a difference in the defence of free speech not just for themselves, but for all of Canada. If pro-life speech, expression and assembly can be defended in the UK, then why not in Canada?

To this end, Campaign Life Coalition has created a petition to encourage the Premier to fulfill his promise to defend free speech. The bubble zones are a keen example of just how undemocratic the previous Liberal government had become, especially in their disregard for true and authentic human rights. The “no free speech zones” outside of abortion facilities fly directly in the face of the so-called fundamental freedoms of Canadian citizens that are listed in the Charter as follows:

(a) freedom of conscience and religion;
(b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication;
(c) freedom of peaceful assembly; and
(d) freedom of association.

With the totalitarian Wynne Liberal government out of commission, now is time to reclaim freedom of speech in this province and around the country. Please sign Campaign Life Coalition’s petition urging Doug Ford to undo his predecessor’s wrong. What kind of country do you envision for your children? Does it involve having the right to disagree with the majority opinion without the fear of punishment, discrimination or retribution? Then start building that future today. Sometimes it’s the smallest acts that make the biggest difference. In this case, all free speech needs is a signature. Sign here