2012-06-17 at 11:17
Pro-choice group holds protest in response to pro-life tour
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Kari Jefford says she’s worried about women’s rights in Canada.
The president of Canadian Auto Workers Local 229 and about 15 other people held a protest in response to a pro-life group called the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform. The Calgary –based group stopped in Thunder Bay over the weekend as part of their cross-country tour.
The group arrived in a caravan and showed graphic images of aborted fetuses. The tour is a twist on Canada’s first national feminist protest in the 1970s called the Abortion Caravan that advocated for an amendment to federal law making the abortions free on demand.
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Jefford said the fear, guilt and shock tactics behind the pro-life caravan works to alienate the public and to terrify women rather than work toward an informed and safe decision.
“We just want to make sure folks are hearing the other side of the story,” Jefford said. “They are gearing up for the fall vote on Motion 312 moved by Conservative MP Stephen Woodworth who is challenging when life actually starts. They are trying to reopen the whole abortion debate again. I’m always worried because Prime Minister Stephen Harper has been attacking women’s rights since he got into power.”
Jefford said they remained across the street when the group held a presentation for the New Hope Reformed Church Saturday night. Following the event, the large trucks used in the caravan drove around the area.
Many who came by stopped and asked what was going on and Jefford said most of those people she spoke to were disgusted with what was being shown and suspected that the group didn’t get the kind of response they were looking for.
Officials with the CCBR alerted local media to an incident near the corner Bay Street and Algoma Street after someone threw chocolate milk at the group members. Thunder Bay police were called about the incident and the group continued spreading their message.
Jefford said pro-life groups can sometimes be more vocal on the abortion issue and so it’s important to always have the other side to the story but always in a peaceful way.
“They are not only very vocal but very crash, harsh and in your face,” she said. “I don’t want this to be a fight from the side I want this to be a fight right from the forefront. I think being calm and being open to debate is the right way of combating that kind of aggressive, very American type of demonstration.”
The CCBR caravan has since left Thunder Bay.
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