New Brunswick Votes Sept 24

New Brunswick Votes

Anti-abortion postcards targeting Brian Gallant lead to complaints

An anti-abortion postcard campaign targeting Liberal Leader Brian Gallant has upset several Fredericton residents, but police say the graphic cards distributed by the Campaign Life Coalition Youth and the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform are not breaking any laws.

City of Fredericton heard from 'significant number' of residents upset about graphic cards left in mailboxes

The City of Fredericton says it received a "significant number of complaints" from residents who discovered graphic anti-abortion postcards in their mailboxes on Monday morning.

The postcards depict the remains of a purported five-month-old aborted fetus, along with a photo of Liberal Leader Brian Gallant and the message: "A vote for Brian Gallant and the Liberals is a vote for this."

Michael Furlong was one of several Fredericton residents who complained to the city about the graphic anti-abortion postcards being left in mailboxes. (CBC)
Gallant, who is running in Shediac Bay-Dieppe, has declared himself “pro-choice” and has promised to review New Brunswick’s abortion restrictions if he becomes premier.

The postcards targeting Gallant were delivered to homes on the city's north side by members of Campaign Life Coalition Youth (CLCY) and the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform (CCBR).

Michael Furlong received one of the postcards at his home on Maple Street, where his wife teaches piano lessons to children aged six and older.

"My personal reaction to it is that it's obscene," Furlong told CBC News.

"You don't put something like this out, running the risk that children are going to see it,"  he said.

Furlong says he tore up the card he found in his mailbox in disgust and threw it in the garbage. But then he found another one on his step and decided to call the Campaign Life Coalition Youth to express his concerns.

He says the woman he spoke to had "absolutely no conscience" on the matter.

"Her reply to me was, 'Yes, they have to see that, they have to be aware of this stuff and they have to know what's going on,'" he said.

Furlong later called police to complain about the disturbing postcards.

But police say the postcards are not breaking any criminal laws or city bylaws.

Campaign defended

The CLCY and CCBR stand by their campaign.

"Gallant is ignoring 73 per cent of the population who do not support the public funding of abortion on demand, many of whom do not support abortion at all," Alissa Golob, youth co-ordinator for the group, said in a statement.

"The fact that he’s campaigning on making the killing of pre-born children more accessible in the province needs to be addressed, and these postcards will do just that."

Alex Vande Bruinhorst, spokesperson for the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform, agrees.

“If Brian Gallant and the Liberal Party remove all barriers to abortion in New Brunswick, it will lead to tax payer funded abortion that is unrestricted," he said.

“Our goal is to raise awareness about the fact that abortion is a human rights violation that decapitates, dismembers and disembowels the body of a child – the most vulnerable and youngest of our kind."

Gallant has suggested his promised review would almost certainly lead to the repeal of what’s known as the two-doctor rule.

Currently in New Brunswick, the provincial government pays for abortions at two hospitals, but only if a woman gets approval from two doctors who certify the procedure is "medically necessary."

But Gallant has refused to promise an immediate repeal of Health regulation 84-20, saying a review is needed to sort out what would happen once the restrictions vanished.

The Morgentaler abortion clinic in Fredericton, the province's only private abortion clinic, closed at the end of July following a 20-year fight with the New Brunswick government over funding.

Federal Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau has said he won’t allow anti-abortion candidates to run for his party in next year’s national election.