Rally seeks to end provincial funding for abortion

  • October 4, 2011

TORONTO - Young Ontario pro-lifers are gearing up for Canada’s first “Defund abortion rally” on Oct. 22 at Queen’s Park.

Instead of controversial photos of unborn babies, ads for the Campaign Life Coalition Youth-led rally are highlighting a new approach: an appeal to taxpayers.

“Ontario taxpayers pay over $30 million annually to cover the cost of abortions in their province,” begins a YouTube ad created by Campaign Life Coalition Youth.

“For $30 million, Ontario can hire over 200 family doctors or 400 nurses. Or purchase 20 MRI machines ... all of which would provide BETTER health care.”

Alissa Golob, Campaign Life Coalition’s youth co-ordinator, said the purpose of the rally is to stress to Ontario’s incoming government that defunding abortion is a priority for Canadian youth.

“We want to let our provincial government know that in order for something to be (publicly) funded, the morality of that should not be disputed,” she said, noting the contentious issue of abortion in Canada.

In May, an Abacus Data poll suggested that 59 per cent of Canadians believed there should be some restrictions on abortion as pregnancy proceeds. Currently, there are no legal restrictions on when an abortion can be performed in Canada.

According to the Canadian Institute for Health Information, there are an estimated 32,000 abortions in Ontario each year. The average cost is estimated at $1,000.

Golob said the rally was meant to question “whether abortion is medically necessary.”

Jason Spanton, communications director for the Ryerson Catholic Students’ Association, said some Ryerson students plan to attend the rally. Abortion is an issue of “social justice” and “human rights” of the child, he said. But Spanton emphasized that the group believes in non-violent protest.

“I do respect (pro-abortion groups’) freedom of speech as I would hope they would respect ours,” said the 23-year-old student.

He acknowledged that holding pro-life views in university can be unpopular and controversial.

For instance, five pro-life students at Ottawa’s Carleton University were arrested last year for displaying signs that the university deemed too “graphic” and Carleton’s pro-life club was banned by the student union in 2006, a decision which has since been overturned.

Ryerson University does not have a pro-life group and RCSA members recently decided not to establish a pro-life subcommittee. Instead, they suggested a  pro-life group at Ryerson that would include other faiths, not just Catholics.

So far, there have been no plans to establish such a group at the university.

For more information, see www.campaignlifecoalition.com.

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