Petition targets display of graphic abortion images in Charlottetown

Ryan Ross
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Amanda Livingston is outraged a member of the anti-abortion group Show the Truth handed her young daughter a graphic image that depicts a fetus aborted at 10 weeks.

He didn’t like them, but Charlottetown Mayor Clifford Lee says there’s nothing the city can do to stop the display of graphic images from anti-abortion protesters.

That’s despite a recent online petition calling for the city to enact a bylaw that would prohibit the distribution and display of graphic images of dead fetuses.

Lee said he understands people’s concerns about the images, but the city’s lawyers have told him a bylaw would violate the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

“Quite honestly, no government in the country can pass legislation that is contrary to that act,” he said.

Last week, the anti-abortion group Show the Truth was in P.E.I. protesting a conference at UPEI called Abortion: The Unfinished Revolution.

Show the Truth supporters passed out pamphlets showing images of supposedly aborted fetuses and held large signs with similar images along some Charlottetown streets.

In response to the images, a group called Concerned Citizens of P.E.I. started an online petition on www.change.org asking for the bylaw.

“This campaign deliberately targeted and traumatized children and has caused spiritual, emotional and psychological harm to Charlottetown’s residents and visitors alike,” the petition said.

As of Wednesday afternoon, the petition had 645 supporters.

But Lee said as long as the protests are peaceful and not pornographic the city can’t restrict them.

If the city did enact a bylaw, it wouldn’t be successful in defending it if there was a court challenge, Lee said.

“There’s not much sense in going out and spending money on something that we know is not going to accomplish anything at the end of the day.”

Lee also said he saw some of the images, which he described as inappropriate.

“It was almost, in my view, extreme, over the limit and I’m not sure the organization known as Show the Truth ... if they would gain any support any place with this type of display.”

rross@theguardian.pe.ca

twitter.com/ryanrross

Organizations: Canadian Charter, Rights

Geographic location: Charlottetown, P.E.I.

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Recent comments

  • WayneDrops
    August 14, 2014 - 10:41

    perhaps the anti-seal hunt crew could go stand with their pictures too...only difference in severity would be some of those protesters would be naked...also..smokers should go protest the pictures put on cigarette packages..they are offensive and make me think of my grandfather who passed of cancer

  • islandguy88
    August 14, 2014 - 09:53

    I considered the images to be graphic and sexual in nature and was highly offended. Plus when 7 in 10 sign holders appear to be minors who looked really really really bored I don't even think all of the activists were true believers. I can only imagine the "what I did on my summer vacation" diary entry.

  • fire
    August 14, 2014 - 09:41

    there must be something we can do about these images....perhaps standing beside the abortion demostrators with our own signs .....ones that are more pleasant and distract from the activists images ....btw...none of those dismembered babies were clothed.....doesn't that fall under some sort of child pornography law? displaying images of naked babies? I know ...I know....its a stretch....ugh

    • IBC
      August 14, 2014 - 13:03

      ARE YOU FOR REAL FACE IT FIRE , THAT IS WHAT REALY HAPPENS , THE BABY IS TOREN LIM BY LIM NOT A GOOD SITE .

    • fire
      August 15, 2014 - 12:22

      well, some would argue with your statement as I think some of those images were grossly exagerated and faked for shock value. I have no respect or time for people who go about a protest like that and thats my right.

  • Targetman
    August 14, 2014 - 07:47

    As I said from the beginning. Freedom of Speech protects them. Yes the pictures are disturbing, they are meant to be. I'm not a fan of extremism in regards to protesting something. I do find it interesting how people are outraged about this but it's ok to have an adult store in your community selling dope pipes. Hopefully they are gone and it's a non issue any more.

  • reality
    August 14, 2014 - 06:27

    trudeau championed this faulty legislation known as the charter of rights and freedoms in 1982 --Canadians have been too stupid to change it ever since -

  • reality
    August 14, 2014 - 06:20

    ITS LEGAL ---you can thank pierre elliot trudeau for that !!!!!