City officials in Grande Prairie, in northwest Alberta province, rejected a confrontational advertisement for the side of the city’s municipal buses, which led to a two-year court battle between the anti-abortion group claiming the right to freedom of expression against the city’s authority to decide what is appropriate and what is not appropriate for putting on the side of their municipal buses.
Last month, an appeals court judge ruled in the city’s favour — a decision that could guide other Canadian cities engaged in similar fights over controversial anti-abortion advertisements.
According to the Washington Post, the so-called Canadian Center for Bio-Ethical Reform believes gruesome images of aborted fetuses can jar people into becoming abortion opponents. But Court of the Queen’s Bench Justice C.S. Anderson ruled that this group’s proposed advertisement was inappropriate. “Expression of this kind”, she said, “may lead to emotional responses from the various people who make use of public transit and other users of the road, creating a hostile and uncomfortable environment.” The group’s website, she wrote, used “strong statements that vilify women who have chosen, for their own reasons, to have an abortion; that are not merely informative and educational.”
We have applied her ruling and not printed them in this newsletter either!