Pro-Choice Demonstration Interrupts "New Abortion Caravan" in Toronto

By Kat Parlor

[url=]The Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform[/url] stopped by Vincent de Paul church on June 28 for the Toronto stop of its cross-country New Abortion Caravan [url=]speaking tour[/url]. A new spin on the original Abortion Caravan-which promoted reproductive freedom in the 1970's—the tour began in Vancouver on May 29 and will wrap up on July 1 on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa. Utilizing graphic images of aborted fetuses in an attempt to shock Canadians into opposing abortion, the CCBR's stated goal is “to end abortion in their lifetime.”

It's no coincidence that the campaign closely follows the February introduction of [url= 312[/url] by Conservative MP Stephen Woodworth. This private members bill requests a special Parliamentary Committee be struck to investigate whether or not the Criminal Code's definition of “human being” should be expanded to grant personhood to fetuses. The House of Commons will vote on the matter on September 19; the New Abortion Caravan intends to garner public support for a motion that could ultimately lead to the re-criminalization of abortions in Canada.

In Toronto the CCBR met with resistance, however, when a number of pro-choice activists, joined by members of the Ontario Coalition of Abortion Clinics, showed up to protest their event.

For nearly three hours dozens of protesters picketed and petitioned on the sidewalk in front of the church. Their pro-choice presence dwarfed the abysmal attendance of the CCBR event, at several points swelling to at least four times its attendance.

The men of the CCBR zealously recorded the demonstration in an attempt to keep the event “non-violent”, but conveniently failed to film a protester being physically assaulted by a passing CCBR supporter. Despite this incident, the demonstration remained fairly spirited—with several pedestrians and motorists stopping to express their support and encouragement.

Overall the Toronto stop of the New Abortion Caravan, which occurred on the heels of a fairly confrontational pro-choice demonstration in London on June 25, offered another solid indication that pro-choice sentiment is not on the decline in this part of Ontario—at least, not for the time being.

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