Pro choice advocates are upset to see public advertising for what they call an “anti-choice” organization on local bus shelters (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)

Pro-life bus shelter ads draw ire in downtown Victoria

Advertisements for Birthright Victoria spark outrage from Access Birth Control

Pro choice advocates are upset to see an advertisement for what they call an “anti-choice” agency at the side of a downtown Victoria bus shelter.

Access Birth Control (AccessBC) caught site of an ad for Birthright Victoria, a branch of an international crisis pregnancy society which advocates for mothers to pursue parenting skills and adoption rather than abortion.

On the Victoria branch’s website, the agency says abortions “may seem like the simplest way out of an unintended pregnancy, but there are no easy answers. Maybe you don’t want to have an abortion but feel it is your only choice…Birthright can explore the reasons you’re considering abortion with you and possibly offer alternative pregnancy options.”

ALSO READ: Still barriers to abortion access on Vancouver Island

AccessBC chair Teale Phelps Bondaroff was surprised that abortion was mentioned at all, since the mothering agency, Birthright International, avoids the topic altogether.

“When you go to the website of these kinds of organizations, they try to intercept women who are considering abortion,” Phelps Bondaroff said. “Their information is meant to have an unbiased presence, but they’re engaged in motivational counselling.”

ALSO READ: Anti-abortion protesters come to B.C. Legislature

For abortion doula Bree Gardner, who uses the they/them pronoun, this is a major concern.

“Without abortions being a normalized and supported option, we cannot have healthy, accessible, and sustainable families,” they said.

“It is not the only option but it has been proven time and time again that if abortion is made inaccessible, stigmatized, or discouraged, it has generational impact on not only those who can get pregnant, but their future relationships, livelihoods, and ongoing health. That many crisis pregnancy centres prioritize ideology above the health of their communities is quite frankly horrifying and should not be supported on any level.”

Ads on BC Transit bus shelters are managed by Pattison Outdoor and the local municipality, in this case the City of Victoria.

READ ALSO: Anti-abortion film screening cancelled after B.C. theatre receives threats

Black Press Media reached out to Pattison Outdoor, which did not respond for comment. However, BC Transit senior communications and engagement advisor Shellene McConnell added in an emailed statement that “Not liking an ad or an ad being controversial are not grounds for removing an ad, according to the Supreme Court of Canada” and that “As with all advertisements on buses, ads are not a reflection of the opinions of BC Transit, its partners or its staff.”

Birthright Victoria was also contacted by Black Press for clarification on its stance, but the organization did not reply for comment.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com


Send a Tweet: @NicoleCrescenzi

Like us on Facebook  

Just Posted

Nanaimo Timbermen in five-way tie for first place

Senior A lacrosse team has a home game Saturday, July 20

Nanaimo Ladysmith education support workers reach tentative three-year deal

Union membership to vote on collective agreement on July 31

Advocates for now-closed Nanaimo soup kitchen ask for city’s help

Wisteria Community Association’s Stone Soup shut down following eviction of owners this week

15-year-old with imitation gun caused ‘dynamic’ scene at Nanaimo mall last night

No one was harmed in Monday’s incident, say Nanaimo RCMP

Nanaimo Marine Festival honouring tubbing’s ‘mom’

Longtime volunteer Margaret Johnson depicted on souvenir coins and named parade marshal

VIDEO: B.C. MLA Michelle Stilwell takes first steps in nearly 30 years

‘It actually felt like walking. It’s been 27 years… but it felt realistic to me’

Nanaimo mom says she will go to court to try to get allegedly abducted daughter back

Tasha Brown says her estranged wife abducted their daughter Kaydance Etchells in 2016

Dormant Chemainus Foods building to be revived with new market

Initiative expected to bring new life to the community’s downtown core

Local artist explores Nanaimo’s old Chinatown in new video installation

Charlotte Zhang among eight artists in Nanaimo Art Gallery’s ‘Estuary’ exhibition starting this week

Taekwondo instructor, 21, identified as B.C. bat rabies victim

Nick Major, 21, an instructor at Cascadia Martial Arts in Parksville

Report of dead body in B.C. park actually headless sex doll

This discovery, made at Manning Park on July 10, led police to uncovering two other sex mannequins

Three blocks of Bruce Avenue will be closed until fall

Work will include utility upgrades, new curbs and sidewalks and new on-street bike lanes

Grand Forks fire chief found to have bullied, harassed volunteer firefighter: report

WorkSafeBC, third-party human resources investigation looking into allegations complete

Dog recovering after being drenched in hot coffee, B.C. man charged

Man was taken into custody, charged, and released pending a court date

Most Read