Calgary city council continues its ideologically-driven escapade against social conservatives after approving another bylaw amendment restricting the distribution of pro-life materials.
In May, city councillors passed a motion mandating that images depicting the 'graphic' reality of abortion be hidden inside an envelope with a content warning. It must also clearly indicate the name and address of the sender.
Violators of the city bylaw will now be fined $1,000 for openly parading anti-abortion paraphernalia, which Calgary Councillor Jennifer Wyness called "deeply traumatizing and harmful" for some residents.
In March, the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) revealed doctors performed 91,551 and 87,485 abortions across Canada in 2020 and 2021, respectively.
Surgical abortions constituted 63% of procedures, while medical abortions using oral treatments such as Mifegymiso accounted for 37% of abortions in Canada. Physicians did not include the gestation period of the aborted fetuses in the latest report.
"While we want to uphold the freedom of advocacy groups to express their opinions, we need to balance our responsibility to protect communities," said Wyness.
"As a society, we accept that not all content is appropriate for everyone, so we have R-ratings for disturbing or mature films. These pamphlets fall under that same category, and it's reasonable to ask that they come with a content warning."
However, anti-abortion advocate Richard Dur, the executive director of the political party Prolife Alberta, does not buy the rationale for the bylaw.
"If the images are 'too graphic' for public consumption, then perhaps the act of abortion, which brings about these horrific images in the first place, ought to be further regulated," he told True North.
Dur promptly noted the Calgary city council's hypocrisy for protecting graphic expression through drag queen story hours at public libraries while restricting opponents of abortion.
On March 14, the city council updated its harassment bylaw to prevent opponents of drag shows — particularly those involving children — from peacefully voicing their displeasure with the alleged sexualization of minors.
During drag queen story hours, adults dressed in drag read to children in recreational facilities, typically libraries, earning tense pushback from concerned parents.
Councillors added "intimidation" to the existing bylaw. Also, they passed the safe and inclusive access bylaw that prohibits protests within 100 metres of a recreation facility or library.
"Recent protests have targeted members of the [LGBTQ] community and impeded the city of Calgary's ability to provide safe and inclusive access to city services," reads the second bylaw. "The public is entitled to access these services without being exposed to messaging, or behaviour that is hateful, intimidates, harasses or discriminates."
Violators could face up to $10,000 in fines or six months in prison.