- The Washington Times - Friday, January 6, 2017

A pro-life group in Canada recently suffered a legal setback over buying bus ads because its message was deemed not “safe and welcoming.”

Calgary-based Canadian Center for Bioethical Reform (CCBR), was on the losing end of a Dec. 22 ruling by Justice C.S. Anderson of the Court of Queen’s Bench in Alberta. The judge found that ads CCBR wanted to run in Grande Prairie might cause “psychological harm to women who have had an abortion.”

The court ruled that existing ads with a developing child at 7 weeks’ and 16 weeks’ gestation were unacceptable for public consumption, given the city’s laws, but that other versions would be considered by officials.

“If government can tell its citizens what’s upsetting and what isn’t upsetting in their speech, then democracy is threatened and, indeed, progress is threatened,” Carol Crosson, legal counsel for the CCBR, told LifeSiteNews on Thursday.

Joyce Arthur of the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada agreed with the judge’s opinion that CCBR’s ads “vilify women who have chosen, for their own reasons, to have an abortion.”

“The right to free speech depends on respect for your audience and their right to avoid your message,” Ms. Arthur told LifeSiteNews. “The decision is significant, and shows that anti-choice groups like the CCBR are wrong to wield their right to free speech like a bludgeon against the public.”

CCBR told the website that it was “looking at an appeal” for the court’s decision.

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