A Canadian judge has ruled that the city of Grande Prairie in Alberta, Canada, was right to ban a pro-life advertisement from appearing on buses, saying the ad was “likely to cause psychological harm to women who have had an abortion.”
The dispute unfolded after the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform — an activist group that vocally opposes abortion — submitted the bus ad in question to the local transit authority, and the city subsequently rejected it.
Grand Prairie reportedly disallows any ads that are “immoral, vulgar, disreputable, misleading or offensive to the general public.” This particular ad featured two developing fetuses — one at seven weeks and one at 16 weeks, along with a photo of blood and the caption, “Growing … Growing … Gone. Abortion kills children,” the Edmonton Journal reported.
It was a message that reportedly violated the city’s advertisement standards, with Court of Queen’s Bench Justice C.S. Anderson issuing a Dec. 22 decision that called the rejection of the ad “reasonable,” citing concerns over the way post-abortive women and children would have processed its contents.
“I find the ad is likely to cause psychological harm to women who have had an abortion or who are considering an abortion,” Anderson reportedly wrote, adding that emotional reactions could create a “hostile and uncomfortable” environment. “It is also likely to cause fear and confusion among children who may not fully understand what the ad is trying to express.”
See an image of the ad in question below:
The judge also cited a fear for children who might see the message and become troubled or confused, the Peterborough Examiner reported.
“They may not be familiar with the word abortion, but they can read and understand that ‘something’ kills children,” Anderson wrote in her ruling.
The Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform had taken to the courts not for monetary gain, but to see the ad be approved, arguing the rejection hampered the group’s freedom of expression. But while the ad won’t be going on display on Grand Prairie buses, it will be shown in the city of Peterborough.
While Peterborough officials also reportedly initially banned the ad, a previous court challenge by the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform led the Ontario Superior Court of Justice to conclude that the organization’s freedom of expression was, indeed, hampered; the city later agreed to allow the ad, which will run before the end of March, the Examiner reported.
As Faithwire previously reported, this isn’t the first time a pro-life ad has made headlines after being banned or rejected.
In fact, France recently refused to lift a ban on the airing on TV commercial that shows children with Down syndrome speaking out about their experience living with the disorder. The European country rejected an appeal on Nov. 10 to overturn the ban that was originally imposed by the French Broadcasting Counsel.
The clip in question was released in 2014 to commemorate World Down Syndrome Day, and, though it was recognized by the United Nations, France’s government reportedly found that it was inappropriate, as it was “likely to disturb the conscience of women who had lawfully made different personal life choices.”
(H/T: Live Action News)
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