Supporters of the right of unborn babies to life, there can be no doubt the imminent formation of a New Democratic government will very quickly see the expansion of the banned-speech zone around the abortion clinic that has operated in View Royal for a decade.
The last time the NDP was in power, it passed legislation automatically setting pro-life protesters, sidewalk counsellors or prayer vigil keepers 10 metres away from the property line of the land parcel holding any abortion clinician’s office.
But the Access to Abortion Services Act also contains an option for the provincial Cabinet to extend this zone arbitrarily–by “Order-in-Council”—to 50 metres. And one clause also states the Cabinet “may establish access zones with different dimensions for different facilities.” Does this mean the zone can go further still? Several such zones were established in Vancouver by the previous NDP government and have withstood constitutional challenges.
Since then, and for the past half-dozen years, the international movement 40 Days for Life has held a prayer vigil across Helmcken Street from the clinic twice a year. The abortion operator, the Vancouver Island Women’s Clinic, has from the outset lobbied via NDP opposition MLAs and the Town of View Royal for the Cabinet to expand the banned-speech zone pushing vigil keepers across the six-lane Old Island Highway.
In support, the lobbyists make many false claims that vigil keepers have harassed pedestrians, obstructed people attempting to board city buses, and frightened their customers.
In actual fact, it is supporters of the clinic who have verbally threatened the lives of vigil keepers, hurled obscenities and objects at them, defaced the sidewalk and the walls of the facility, performed lewd dances and dumped food waste and livestock excrement beside the Helmcken sidewalk. One person was jailed overnight for violating a police warning to cease stalking one of our members.
We do not harass. We pray. We carry signs that are certainly designed to trigger the consciences of both staff and customers. But the messaging is mild. “Children are a blessing,” is typical. Also, our signs warn of the health risks of abortion with respect too mental health, suicide, and breast cancer. We offer references to counselling services.
This all depends for its impact on our proximity to the clinic, which is exactly why the abortion providers want to move us.
We ask you to contact your local news media and your MLAs. Stress that the pro-life position is not intended to limit women’s choice in any other area than the choice to kill their own children. All human rights are limited by other human rights—except, currently, the right to abort unborn children.
This link will provide your MLA’s contact info. This link will help you figure out who your MLA is. Not for the first time, your support for Christian values in the public square is called for. Please answer the call. It is your duty as a Christian in a democracy to participate.
The AbortioninCanada.ca site describes the health effects of abortion. As Christians you already know the moral impact on a country of permitting and, indeed, abetting the systematic killing of one in five conceptions, or well over 100,000 a year. We estimate a thousand a year happen right at this clinic.