As many as 50,000 Hamilton Mountain homes received disturbing images of aborted fetuses in their mailboxes this week after an anti-abortion group delivered postcards targeting NDP MP Chris Charlton.
The Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform (CCBR) targeted Charlton because of her opposing vote on Motion 312, which called for a committee to reevaluate Canada’s abortion laws.
Charlton is the first NDP MP to be targeted by the CCBR. Five Conservative MPs and the Prime Minister have also been targeted in the past.
This is also not the first time the CCBR has made a disturbing display in Charlton’s riding. In 2013, they hung a series of banners from a overpasses on the Lincoln Alexander Parkway with similar graphic pictures.
Charlton says she is concerned about the emotional effect these images could have on the families and children who may see them. Her office has heard from dozens of upset callers.
“Residents aren’t even talking about the issue itself,” said Charlton, they are just disturbed and upset to have received the cards.
“From my perspective people have the right to debate ideas with me... but I really believe I ought to be the target—not residents in my riding,” said Charlton.
Executive director for the CCBR Stephanie Gray compared their graphic campaign to that of anti-drunk driving campaigns that show car accidents.
Gray said that Charlton’s constituents deserve to know that Charlton opposed the motion, and her position on abortion.
"If she is open to changing her perspective [on abortion] I would be willing to talk to her," Gray said.
Charlton’s office has not been in touch with CCBR, but Charlton said she does not think residents will continue to be targeted, and that it is the CCBR’s MO that they will move on to another riding.
However, Gray said the CCBR, which is funded by private donations, has an 18-year program to target many areas of southern Ontario and Calgary where it is based.
Charlton received support from NDP colleagues over Twitter Thursday morning.