Anti-abortion postcard campaign over the edge?
Jon Woodward, CTV British Columbia
Published Saturday, November 16, 2013 6:40PM PST
Last Updated Saturday, November 16, 2013 7:14PM PST
A Chilliwack mom who was shocked by a graphic picture of an aborted fetus and a dead child when it was delivered to her doorstep doesn’t want anyone else exposed at home, and she’s calling for new rules to stop the practice.
Kim Mallory says she was shocked at pictures found on a postcard wedged into her door this week, one of hundreds of thousands delivered as part of a national anti-abortion campaign.
“There ought to be a bylaw, or a fine,” said Mallory, who says she’s just lucky she got to the photo before her children. “It was gruesome, gory and violent. These images could be very damaging to young kids.”
The postcard Mallory received is entitled “Butchered Children” and puts a bloody photo of an aborted 10-week old fetus next to a young child who has been hacked with machetes.
The child is portrayed as one of the victims of the 1994 Rwandan genocide, where ethnic hatred in the sub-Saharan African nation erupted into a slaughter of a million people. Many victims were hacked to death with machetes because of their ethnic group, sometimes by people in their own villages, often as they hid in churches or school buildings.
The postcard quotes an anonymous Rwandan woman as saying, “Abortion is worse. Because at least my family could try to run away.”
It was dropped off by a group called Valley against Abortion, led by Rachel Slootweg. She says the group is trying to educate people – and the shock value of the cards is one of the only ways to get their attention.
“Our number one goal is to save these children, save them from being aborted,” she said. “Feelings (of people who receive the cards) are less important than the lives of an actual person.”
Abortion is legal in Canada, and under Canadian law a fetus is not a legal person until its mother gives birth.
Slootweg ordered the postcards from a Calgary-based organization, Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform, which is run by Stephanie Gray, a Chilliwack native. That organization is known for using shocking images in displays on campuses, and has used the same images to target members of Parliament for their abortion views.
Hundreds of thousands of the postcards have been printed. Some of the images were provided by the American sister group, Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform.
When reached by CTV News, Chilliwack City Councillor Ken Huttema said he didn’t believe Chilliwack City Council had the authority to limit the deliveries, and if it did, he was reluctant to impose limits on free speech.
“I wouldn’t be in favour of restricting rights and freedoms,” Huttema said.
Mallory said she had talked to a variety of people in her neighbourhood who were turned off by the postcard – a reaction she said was more likely than moving people to be anti-abortion.
“I hope it backfires,” Mallory said.