PEI Right to Life criticizes pro-choice posters using Anne of Green Gables-like graphic

An anti-abortion group on P.E.I. is responding to posters that have gone up in Charlottetown and on social media calling on the province to make abortion available on the Island.

Posters of red-headed, pig-tailed woman call on premier to bring abortion access to P.E.I.

The posters have appeared around Charlottetown and on social media. (Krystalle Ramlakhan/CBC)

An anti-abortion group on P.E.I. is responding to posters that have gone up in Charlottetown and on social media calling on the province to make abortion available on the Island.

The posters show an image of a red-headed, pig-tailed woman or girl wearing a bandana, and use the hashtags #AccessNow, #SupportIslandWomen, and #HeyWade — as a direct appeal to premier Wade MacLauchlan.

"The character is Anne of Green Gables, which I find very ironic because she's the epitome and the poster child of how an unwanted child can demonstrate the unexpected blessings of choosing life, since she is adopted," said Nicole Dupuis, executive director of the PEI Right to Life Association.

"I don't think it's very effective."

Dupuis said she doesn't know who is behind the campaign.

The fictional character Anne Shirley was orphaned after her parents died of a fever when she was three months old. She wasn't officially adopted until she arrived on P.E.I. at the age of 11.

'They catch your eye'

Ann Wheatley, co-chair of Abortion Access Now PEI, said she doesn't know who's behind the posters and they aren't affiliated with her group.

Wheatley does like the posters, saying they're a clever and creative way to bring attention to the issue.

"I think the posters are quite brilliant," she said. "They catch your eye … and it sends a very straightforward message that is we need our political leaders to pay attention to Island women and do the right thing."

On Jan. 5, Abortion Access Now PEI served the provincial government notice that they would be filing a lawsuit suing for abortion access on the Island. Under the Crown Proceedings Act, any group filing a lawsuit against the province is required to provide notice of 90 days.

CBC reached out to the person or group behind the iamkarats social media accounts on Wednesday. They declined to reveal their identities but did release a written statement Thursday afternoon via an email address under the name Shirley Karats. Shirley is Anne's last name, and she was infamously called "carrots" by Gilbert Blythe in the L.M. Montgomery book.

"Karats is the voice of a community calling for justice," the statement read.

"Karats is trying to generate conversation on the topic and encourage the premier and the government to enthusiastically concede the pending court case brought forward."

The group addressed the comments from PEI Right to Life in a tweet from the iamkarats Twitter account, referencing the scene in which Anne smashes her slate on Blythe's head after he called her "carrots."

With files from Krystalle Ramlakhan.

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