Anti-abortion campaign has Hamilton mother fuming

A citywide blitz of graphic anti-abortion pamphlets has one Hamilton mother fuming – even though she “doesn’t believe in abortion.” Warning: this story contains some graphic images.

Warning: this story contains some graphic images

A citywide blitz of graphic anti-abortion pamphlets has one Hamilton mother fuming – even though she “doesn’t believe in abortion.”

A representative from the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform (CCBR) visited Liz Cabral’s home on the West Mountain on Wednesday. The CCBR is a group based in Toronto and Calgary that is campaigning against abortion in Hamilton with graphic pamphlets at people’s homes and banners on highways.

Live chat with the head of the CCBR

Do you want to talk about the campaign the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical reform has brought to Hamilton? Then join a live chat with Stephanie Gray, the co-founder and executive director of the group, on Monday, Sept. 30 at noon on cbc.ca/hamilton.

A truck carrying graphic signs has also been driving around Toronto and nearby cities, including Hamilton.

Cabral got a call from her neighbour Wednesday afternoon, telling her she had stuffed a door-hanger with a photo of a fetus into Cabral’s mailbox so her 14-year-old daughter wouldn’t see it.

“A child shouldn’t have to see pictures like that,” Cabral told CBC Hamilton. “If I want to discuss that with my daughter I will – when it’s time.”

Cabral says that she thinks many of the group’s methods – like demonstrating outside Hamilton schools – are just wrong.

“And I don’t believe in abortion,” she said. “But I don’t think that has anything to do with it.

“I know that a gun kills people, but you don’t have to fire a bullet at me for me to know that.”

This door-hanger has been placed on homes throughout Hamilton as part of a campaign by the CCBR. (Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform)

Stephanie Gray, co-founder and executive director of the group, said the images — which she describes as “graphic and disturbing” — are aimed to outrage people.

“We have found pictures to be effective in changing minds and saving lives, we know of women who have cancelled abortions based on our pictures,” she told CBC Hamilton.

The group has planned an 18-year campaign that began two years ago in Canada. Its Hamilton leg has started about a week ago, according to Gray.

“This isn’t ending any time soon,” she said. “Our philosophy is as long as children are being killed, the evidence will be brought to people's attention.”

The group plans to stage further demonstrations on public property outside Hamilton schools. She would not say which schools.

Sherwood Secondary students arrived at school Tuesday to find demonstrators from the CCBR holding graphic signs of fetuses in front of the school. Students reacted to the protest and videotaped their response and posted it to the web:

“We protested their protest,” the video description reads.

“There's an elementary school just behind this crowd and these people are coming in with their abortion signs,” a student said in the video.

Hamilton police are aware the group is in the city and say they have been liaising with the Mountain police superintendent, Police spokesperson Const. Debbie McGreal-Dinning told CBC Hamilton in an earlier interview.

“When it comes to demonstrations we remain neutral, our role is to protect the public, including those participating in the protest," she said.

Cabral says she hopes the group reconsiders the way they’re trying to get their message across – and doesn’t come to her home again.

“There’s a place for that, and it’s not at my door.”