A boisterous anti-abortion rally in Fredericton became heated on Thursday when abortion advocates showed up with signs of their own.

The rally started early in the morning. Supporters placed 1,000 pink and blue flags on the lawn of the New Brunswick legislature.

“The pink are the girls and the blue are the boys, and these represent all the babies that have been aborted in the last year in New Brunswick,” said anti-abortion protester Anita Durette.

A much smaller but vocal group showed up to voice their opposition, and members of the anti-abortion group tried to hide their signs. 

“I didn’t think that people would actually come up to us and be aggressive, that was kind of a surprise to me,” said Sorcha Beirne of the Fredericton Youth Feminists. “But we didn’t think they’d be too pleased that we’d be here.”

Nearly all of the province’s elected Conservative MLAs came outside to address the crowd.

“PC MLAs have continued to maintain that only abortions that are medically necessary be performed in public hospitals,” said PC MLA Jody Carr.

The governing Liberals ran on the promise to repeal Bill 84-20, which requires the signatures of two doctors to deem an abortion medically necessary. Some of the  protesters say the government hasn’t acted on that promise.

“It’s not happening quickly enough, it’s not happening in the right places,” said Hannah Gray of Reproductive Justice New Brunswick. “They’ve added more abortion access in Moncton City (Hospital), about 10 minutes from where abortion access currently existed, and they’re doing nothing for the rest of the province.”

A march through the streets of Fredericton brought the rally to an end, but the debate about abortion is ongoing.

With files from CTV Atlantic’s Jonathan MacInnis