News & Analysis

Ontario to legislate 'no free speech bubble zones'

Following a media campaign by the Morgentaler abortuary in Ottawa claiming an epidemic of pro-lifers harassing women, Ottawa mayor Jim Watson petitioned the Ontario government to legislate a bubble zone around abortion facilities to protect them from pro-life witnessing. It should be noted that pro-abortionists consider offers of alternatives to abortion as “harassment”.

It should also be noted that Watson was excoriated by the media and abortion industry during the National March for Life in May when the city erected the National March for Life flag. The city then ordered the flag removed and Watson apologized to pro-aborts for letting the flag be raised. It looks like his call for ‘no free speech bubble zones’ is a pro-abortion act of contrition.

Ontario Attorney General Yasir Naqvi has responded saying the Liberal government of Kathleen Wynne plans to introduce a bill banning pro-life witnessing and counselling near any abortion facility in the province – free-standing abortuaries, doctors offices where they are committed, and hospitals that carry out abortion. Naqvi has suggested that health-care professionals fear violence and intimidation when they go to work. But neither Navqi nor Watson have offered any evidence bubble zones are necessary – they have offered no evidence of violence, and have only taken the word of the Ottawa Morgentaler abortuary and other abortion workers, that harassment actually occurs.

If enacted, Ontario would join British Columbia, Quebec, and Newfoundland and Labrador with draconian bubble zone laws. CLC considers these bubble zones unnecessary and an indefensible violation of the free speech and free assembly rights of peaceful demonstrators and counsellors. It is outrageous to suggest that public sidewalks should be turned into ‘no free speech zones’, where the constitutional right to freedom of assembly is null and void. This whole situation is a complete abuse of power by the government and its lawyers.

These bubble zone laws also deny vulnerable women the right to consider alternative choices and assistance not presented to them by staff in abortion facilities. CLC National President Jim Hughes said countless women have been saved from the tragic mistake of abortion, due to prayerful, peaceful witness and prolife counselling. A bubble zone that moves this life-affirming and life-saving work further away from the killing centres will ensure that abortionists can maintain their lucrative business without any inconvenient demonstrators around to dissuade women from having their abortions. Hughes said that it’s really abortionists that society needs protection from.

On July 13, Campaign Life Coalition launched a province wide petition calling on the assembled Legislature of Ontario, to vote against abortion facility “bubble zone” legislation which will most likely be introduced in the Fall as soon as Queen’s Park picks up again following the summer break. It is imperative that you reach out to your network of family and friends and your church community and encourage everyone to sign it.