Opinion

EDITORIAL: Exercising the same rights

A field of little white crosses, and a sign that says “Abortion stops a beating heart.”

Offensive?

According to the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada, yes.

The ARCC recently sent a letter to Abbotsford mayor and council, requesting the pro-life display on private property on Sumas Way be permanently removed.

Staged by the Right-to-Life Society, the mock memorial has been  arranged for about two months every year for more than a decade.

The crosses represent the number of abortions performed in Canada each week.

It’s a stark message, to be sure.

So much so, says the ARCC, that it is unreasonably disturbing to women who may have had abortions, and/or are not Christians.

“Council has a responsibility to remain secular and unbiased,” maintains the ARCC.

From the perspective of city hall, which created a bylaw in 2000 regulating the type of signage allowed for non-profit groups, the Right-to-Life display is on private land and does not contravene any civic law.

Allowing groups to convey messages important to their causes does not automatically place civic government in a position of endorsement or support.

The property is owned by a farmer and businessman, who says “... in Canada there is the freedom to express views and opinions.”

He is quite correct.

Those who express opposition to such a display are exercising the same rights to free speech as those who put it up.

To muzzle one would be to muzzle the other.

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

COLUMN: Concentrate on concrete development
 
Cyrus Centre celebrates 10 years of supporting at-risk youth
 
VIDEO: Remembrance Day ceremonies in Ottawa and Hamilton
Rare pinto deer shot and killed
 
Langley RCMP release sketch of hammer attacker
 
BCA leaves nothing to chance
NDP’s survival is on the line
 
Rebuilding relationships top task for new mayor
 
Food drives to boost Cloverdale Christmas hamper appeal

Community Events, November 2014

Add an Event


Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Nov 21 edition online now. Browse the archives.