Hamilton

Pro-choice and anti-abortion groups to hold competing protests at Brantford MPP's office

"I was a little bit frustrated with being angry on Facebook," says the event organizer, who's protesting, among other things, MPP Will Bouma speaking at an anti-abortion rally.

'I was a little bit frustrated with being angry on Facebook'

MPPs Sam Oosterhoff (PC, Niagara West), Christina Mitas (Scarborough Centre) and Will Bouma (Brantford-Brant) took the stage at a pro-life rally at Queen's Park May 9. (Lisa Xing/CBC)

Pro-choice and anti-abortion factions will stage competing protests Friday outside the office of a Brantford PC MPP.

A group of Brantford residents concerned about provincial cuts to education and health care will gather at 3:30 p.m. outside the Nelson Street office of MPP Will Bouma. Organizer Reagan Amini says they're also upset Bouma left a Queen's Park question period May 9 to speak at an anti-abortion rally outside.

Bouma left his seat, Amini said, and quoted the Bible on the rally stage.

To do that for something that's "not in our city's best interest, is inappropriate," she said. "His priorities were mismatched that day."

The Hamilton chapter of the anti-abortion group Association for Reformed Political Action, meanwhile, will also show up to demonstrate.

"At the end of the day, we want MPP Bouma to know he is supported," the group said in a statement to the Brantford Expositor.

Bouma couldn't be reached for comment Thursday, but Amini said he's agreed to speak to the group at 4:15 Friday.

Amini said the group is protesting a lot of issues. Bouma's anti-abortion rally appearance, she said, was just "the breaking point." 

Amini, who's organizing the protest with friend Amanda Booth, said she has no political affiliation, nor has she ever staged a protest. "I was a little bit frustrated with being angry on Facebook."

Reps from the Sexual Assault Centre of Brant will speak, as will an LGBTQ rights advocate and someone from ​​​​​​Brantford-Brant Pro-Choice.

If Bouma speaks to the group, it'll be a different approach from Niagara West MPP Sam Oosterhoff.

Oosterhoff, who pledged at the rally to make abortion "unthinkable" in his lifetime, left a planned "coffee with constituents" event after a group of citizens dressed as handmaids from The Handmaid's Tale arrived to demonstrate.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Samantha Craggs is a CBC News reporter based in Hamilton, Ont. She often tweets about Hamilton city hall. Follow her on Twitter at @SamCraggsCBC, or email her at samantha.craggs@cbc.ca

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