Rally mobilizes support for pregnancy care centers

Carol Butler is not used to regularly participating in political demonstrations.

However, the executive director of Haldimand Pregnancy Care & Family Center in Dunnville, Ont., said it was essential to be present and speak at a rally on Parliament Hill on November 24 to give a voice to those who fear that the Liberal government is about to revoke the charitable status of crisis pregnancy centres.

Organized by Campaign Life Coalition, around 100 people gathered to protest a Liberal campaign pledge to ‘no longer grant charitable status to anti-abortion organizations (e.g. Crisis Pregnancy Centers) who provide dishonest advice to women about their rights and the options available to them at all stages of pregnancy.

If this legislation passes the House of Commons, institutions like Butler will be thrown into serious financial uncertainty, and therefore in a difficult position to serve their many dependent clients.

“(This year) we had over 700 one-on-one appointments, around 500 people participated in programs and over 600 children accessed our childcare services and crèche while their (guardian) participated in our program,” Butler said.. “We also distributed 1,400 childcare items to women in need and received 4,500 calls and text messages from vulnerable people.”

Campaign Life has collected a petition with 14,000 signatures asking MPs to oppose any bills, motions or regulatory policies that seek to punish pregnancy centers and pro-life entities. The petition was presented to three Tory MPs – Leslyn Lewis, Cathay Wagantall and Arnold Viersen – who attended the rally and pledged to deliver the petition to their colleagues in the House of Commons (it will also be sent to each MP’s office ).

Campaign Life’s national campaigns director David Cooke said more signatures had arrived since the rally.

“We want to create a snowball effect because we feel that the Trudeau government was hoping that this issue could stay in the background and that they could push whatever they wanted to push behind the scenes,” said Cooke.

He said the urgency of this fight was underscored on Nov. 26, when the government introduced Bill C-3 that would amend the Criminal Code to essentially criminalize pro-life activists from advocating outside of treatment centers. abortion.

“Indeed, Bill C-3 could criminalize efforts to provide women with alternatives to abortion through peaceful protests, prayers and sidewalk counseling across the country,” the official said. Campaign Life President Jeff Gunnarson in a press release. “Laws that censor Canadian citizens, depriving them of their rights and freedoms to speak and assemble, have no place in a free and democratic society. »

The financial hurt is already being felt at the Haldimand Pregnancy Care & Family Center, Butler said. She told the crowd of pro-abortion activists performing various “intimidation tactics” including threatening phone calls and online messages to potential donors in the community.

She identifies “fake clinic” and “forced childbirth” as the two misinformation slanders she hears most consistently about her own institution and others like it.

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