Friday, January 18, 2008

Remember, questioning the status quo is offensive

Or, you only have a right to free speach if it's the sort of speach that doesn't upset the government.

HAMILTON, Ontario, January 17, 2008 ( - The city of Hamilton Ontario has decided to pull a series of pro-life advertisements from its bus-shelters, saying that they were "offensive" and too "controversial."

The ads, which are part of a nation-wide pro-life campaign coordinated by Life Canada, depict a pregnant woman. At the top of the ad are the words, "Nine months: the length of time abortion is allowed in Canada. No medical reason needed." At the bottom is the question, "Abortion, have we gone too far?"

Nothing graphic. Nothing about people going to hell. No protesters. Yet it's still too much for Hamilton.

Joanne Byfield, the president of Life Canada responded to the city's decision, saying, "Councillor McHattie asked for the ads to be pulled because he says, 'For me personally, it definitely was offensive.' I wish he was more specific. Was it the image of the pregnant woman that so offended him? Was it the statement of fact in the ad: 'Nine months: The length of time abortion is allowed in Canada. No medical reason needed?' Or was it the tag line, 'Abortion: Have we gone too far?'"

What's offensive is, I suspect, that someone would dare to question the prevailing orthodoxy that abortion is a human right. The councillor probably doesn't see this as much different from someone taking out an advertisement calling for an ethnic cleansing. I could be wrong. I often am. But that's my take.

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