Pro choice advocates are upset to see public advertising for what they call an “anti-choice” organization on local bus shelters (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)

Pro-life bus shelter ads draw ire in downtown Victoria

Advertisements for Birthright Victoria spark outrage from Access Birth Control

Pro choice advocates are upset to see an advertisement for what they call an “anti-choice” agency at the side of a downtown Victoria bus shelter.

Access Birth Control (AccessBC) caught site of an ad for Birthright Victoria, a branch of an international crisis pregnancy society which advocates for mothers to pursue parenting skills and adoption rather than abortion.

On the Victoria branch’s website, the agency says abortions “may seem like the simplest way out of an unintended pregnancy, but there are no easy answers. Maybe you don’t want to have an abortion but feel it is your only choice…Birthright can explore the reasons you’re considering abortion with you and possibly offer alternative pregnancy options.”

ALSO READ: Still barriers to abortion access on Vancouver Island

AccessBC chair Teale Phelps Bondaroff was surprised that abortion was mentioned at all, since the mothering agency, Birthright International, avoids the topic altogether.

“When you go to the website of these kinds of organizations, they try to intercept women who are considering abortion,” Phelps Bondaroff said. “Their information is meant to have an unbiased presence, but they’re engaged in motivational counselling.”

ALSO READ: Anti-abortion protesters come to B.C. Legislature

For abortion doula Bree Gardner, who uses the they/them pronoun, this is a major concern.

“Without abortions being a normalized and supported option, we cannot have healthy, accessible, and sustainable families,” they said.

“It is not the only option but it has been proven time and time again that if abortion is made inaccessible, stigmatized, or discouraged, it has generational impact on not only those who can get pregnant, but their future relationships, livelihoods, and ongoing health. That many crisis pregnancy centres prioritize ideology above the health of their communities is quite frankly horrifying and should not be supported on any level.”

Ads on BC Transit bus shelters are managed by Pattison Outdoor and the local municipality, in this case the City of Victoria.

READ ALSO: Anti-abortion film screening cancelled after B.C. theatre receives threats

Black Press Media reached out to Pattison Outdoor, which did not respond for comment. However, BC Transit senior communications and engagement advisor Shellene McConnell added in an emailed statement that “Not liking an ad or an ad being controversial are not grounds for removing an ad, according to the Supreme Court of Canada” and that “As with all advertisements on buses, ads are not a reflection of the opinions of BC Transit, its partners or its staff.”

Birthright Victoria was also contacted by Black Press for clarification on its stance, but the organization did not reply for comment.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com


Send a Tweet: @NicoleCrescenzi

Like us on Facebook  

Just Posted

Ucluelet reconsiders rejected pot shop

Cannabis Open House coming up in November

2019 FEDERAL ELECTION: Courtenay-Alberni candidates address other issues of importance

Other than the topics already discussed, what do you feel is the most important issue in your constituency?

Courtenay-Alberni candidates trade barbs at Alberni all candidates meeting

Crime, climate change, seniors all on slate of questions

VIDEO: #MeToo leader launches new hashtag to mobilize U.S. voters

Tarana Burke hopes to prompt moderators to ask about sexual violence at next debate

Potent power play paces Canucks to 5-1 win over Detroit

Miller nets a pair as Vancouver wins third straight

UPDATE: British couple vacationing in Vancouver detained in U.S. after crossing border

CBP claims individuals were denied travel authorization, crossing was deliberate

After losing two baby boys, B.C. parents hope to cut through the taboo of infant death

Oct. 15 is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day in B.C.

Cheating husband sues mistress for gifted ring after wife learns about affair

The husband gave his mistress $1,000 to buy herself a ring in December 2017

B.C. massage therapist reprimanded, fined for exposing patients’ breasts

Registered massage therapist admits professional misconduct

B.C. boosts legal aid funding in new payment contract

‘Duty counsel’ service restored in some communities, David Eby says

Rugby Canada helps recovery efforts in Japan after typhoon cancels final match

Canadian players wanted to “give back in whatever small way they could”

VIDEO: Bear spies on cyclists riding by on Campbell River street

Riders seem unaware the bruin is mere feet away on the side of the road

Most Read