by Michelle Miller
Anti-abortion advertisements on Regina's public buses continue to roam Regina's streets. Pro-Life Regina claims the advertisements are educational and productive, but not everyone is so sure.
Statistics Canada says that abortion in Saskatchewan has increased by 15.5 percent in the past two years. But not a lot of people know the facts. At least, that’s what Bob Waldegger, executive director of Pro-life Regina says. The group began an ad campaign on Regina public transit in May, 2010. These bus-mounted advertisements state that abortion increases the risks of infertility, breast cancer and depression in women.
“There is so much misinformation and lack of information that we felt like we had to start doing something. This ad that we put out is talking about the risks of abortion. These are all researched and they're true. Nobody can refute them,” he said.
Waldegger argues that education and awareness are the important things and people need to know their risks. “It’s not like pulling a tooth. Unfortunately these women are not told all of the facts and it’s a crime!”
Morgan Clampitt, a full time student at the University of Regina says she doesn’t think the ads are a good thing. “The ads might be accurate. Abortion might cause all those things, but a lot of other things could cause those things too. The ads might have a negative influence on people and their decision making,” she said.
Clampitt signed a petition against pro-life advertisements on Regina public transit. The petition was started by a group of concerned citizens online in May, 2010. It was originally focused on advertisements with graphic pictures of aborted fetuses.
Their argument was that these photos violated The Canadian Code of Advertising Standards and The Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The advertisements with graphic photos of fetuses have since been pulled from the buses.
However, abortion ads still continue to run on Regina buses, touring the cities streets and ruffling feathers along the way. When asked to comment, Rawlco Radio stated that as long as the advertisements are not violating The Canadian Code of Advertising Standards or The Charter of Rights and Freedoms, people and organizations are free to advertise whatever they choose.
Waldegger doesn’t see anything wrong with their bus advertisements. “Abortion affects everybody. They say it’s a women’s issue. But I mean there’s a man involved, there’s usually other family members involved, there’s co-workers involved. It’s the whole society,” he said.
Clampitt says that although they are trying to help educate, the ads will only add to problems. “People might feel negative pressure from the ads. It’s as if they're saying anyone who gets an abortion is wrong. These ads shouldn’t have an influence on people’s decisions,” she said.
Photo: Pro-life ads began appearing on city buses in May. Photo courtesy of Regina Pro-life.