An "anti-free speech and pro-abortion" legislation that sought to ban pro-lifers from holding demonstrations outside abortion centers in Canada was shot down, a report says.
Bill 207 was defeated in the Manitoba legislature in Canada on October 1 by a vote of 30 to 20. This bill, sponsored by the New Democratic Party (NDP) and proposed by NDP House Leader Nahanni Fontaine, aimed to make it a crime to hold pro-life rallies outside abortion facilities.
Under the bill, abortion-related "bubble zones" would prevent pro-life advocates from demonstrating or trying to discourage women from aborting their young if they were near or surrounding abortion facilities that provided "infanticide services," as LifeSite News aptly termed them.
In a statement, Campaign Life Coalition Manitoba's Maria Slykerman praised the decision of the legislature.
"Bill 207 (the Abortion Protest Buffer Zone Act), which claimed to be about preventing harassment of pregnant mothers entering an abortion facility, was actually focused on criminalizing anti-abortion voices and denying these mothers the right to know about alternatives to abortion, such as adoption," Slykerman pointed out.
"Bubble zones unfairly vilify people who offer women the support they need to carry their babies to term," she added.
Abortion regulations in Canada are said to be among the most lenient in the world, with no time limit on when a woman may have an abortion. On the other hand, according to a government brochure titled "Teen Pregnancy Options," pregnant teens in Manitoba will have a much more difficult time obtaining an abortion beyond 16 weeks since most physicians would not terminate pregnancies after that point.
Although late-term abortion is legal in Canada, Fontaine criticized the government's move to allow people to demonstrate in front of clinics where such crimes are carried out despite the legality of abortion in Canada.
"It's disappointing that the Manitoba Conservatives decided this morning to get up in the Chamber and vote against protecting Manitobans' right to safely access reproductive health," she said.
Slykerman, in contrast to Fontaine, was grateful for Manitoba's decision, noting not just a win for the pro-life cause but also for Canada's fundamental principles.
"By voting to shut down this anti-free speech and pro-abortion bill, the Manitoba legislature has upheld fundamental rights and freedoms, including the right to free speech and expression, and the right to peaceful assembly," she said.
Josie Luetke, the CLC's youth organizer, also thanked the ruling body and hoped that the win would encourage other provinces to pass similar laws.
Despite government pro-abortion measures, abortion rates in Canada have decreased steadily over the past decade, notes Life Site. In 2011, Canada had 108,844 abortions. By 2019, that figure had fallen to 83,576.
There are 38 Conservatives in government who are firmly pro-life, despite Erin O'Toole, leader of Canada's Progressive Conservative Party, calling himself "pro-choice."
The CLC's head of political operations, Jack Fonseca, thinks that O'Toole's defeat in the recent national elections was due in part to his disconnect with social conservative beliefs.
It was because of O'Toole's "shameless support for abortion, LGBT ideology, oppressive lockdowns, and liberty-destroying vaccine passports," that the Conservative Party failed to defeat Justin Trudeau in September, said Fonseca, who argued that the party would have done way better if O'Toole had not neglected the party's staunchly conservative base.
Conservatives hoping to unseat O'Toole as party leader and assist the party regain historic pro-life and pro-family principles are emboldened to do so because of his stance.