Graphic anti-abortion posters, brochures spark outrage in Halifax
An anti-abortion group based out of Ontario is touring the Maritimes, placing unsealed brochures in mailboxes and protesting with large signs on the streets of Halifax.
Melanie Arsenault said her six-year-old son Wyatt usually checks the mail, but she was glad he didn’t the day she discovered a graphic anti-abortion brochure in her mailbox.
“There wasn’t even a sticker, anything that kept it closed,” said Arsenault. “He could have easily opened it and seen it.”
Tracey Coleman said her own son did find the brochure and was upset by its contents.
“I think it’s absolutely appalling,” said Coleman. “He was very shocked. He’s a special needs child so he doesn’t understand completely.”
The group also took to the streets of Halifax on Tuesday, holding up graphic posters on the corner of South and South Park streets.
Many pedestrians and motorists expressed outrage over the graphic images, including one woman who suffered six miscarriages.
“Ten years of therapy trying to deal with what happened to me and many other women in this city,” she said, visibly upset.
The anti-abortion protesters were eventually met by counter-protesters, who stood nearby and held signs featuring slogans such as ‘safe abortion = maternal health.’
Halifax Regional Police said they received dozens of calls from people complaining about the signs, and many questions and concerns about the protest were posted on their social media sites.
Police said, while the signs are graphic, the protesters aren’t breaking any laws and have the right to protest peacefully.
Jude Ashburn, outreach coordinator for South House, said he is concerned the protesters are spreading misinformation.
“It uses shame tactics and misinformation and fake science,” said Ashburn. “That is not what a 10-week-old fetus looks like. They’re computer-generated Photoshopped images.”
“Oh, they are real photographs,” said Rachel Wilson of Show the Truth, the group behind the brochures and protests. “They are 100 per cent what abortion does to the child.”
Members of Show the Truth said they are travelling across the Maritimes to make their point. They also said the material isn’t intended for children.
“Children are getting killed by abortion and we feel that that trumps the feelings of children who might look at these images and be disturbed or upset by them,” said Wilson.
But Arsenault disagrees.
“There’s the time and a place for it. My mailbox isn’t.”
With files from CTV Atlantic's Kayla Hounsell