On April 3, nearly two dozen pro-lifers, led by Rosemary Connell of Show the Truth, displayed Genocide Awareness Project signs on the University of Toronto campus outside the Robarts Library. Thousands of students and members of the public witnessed the signs that compare abortion to other historical tragedies including the Holocaust and slavery.
On one picture, an aborted child and a prematurely born child of the same age are shown together, with the captions “Unwanted child” and “Wanted child.” Another sign has a picture of Jews in a concentration camp, a black man hanging and an aborted child, with the caption, “Ungentile. Unwhite. Unborn.” On another, a picture of a whale being butchered is shown beside a child, with the caption, “Save the whales. Kill the children?”
GAP organizers say that these signs are ideal for the university campus demonstration, because they target a mature audience and because they boldly illustrate the reality of the abortion slaughter. Because GAP signs compare unborn children to other groups that university students recognize as oppressed, they are more effective than the “Abortion kills children” pro-life signs which are often used in other venues.
The demonstration began at 10 a.m. and was intended to end at 2 p.m., but when a group of pro-abortion counter-demonstrators showed up at 1 p.m., the pro-life demonstrators stayed until 3:30 in the afternoon.
Participants reported that many people politely refused to take literature, but the group ran out of pamphlets they were distributing. Several passers-by stayed to discuss the abortion issue with the pro-life demonstrators, which is one of the goals of the GAP presentations: to get people thinking about the issue of abortion in a new way.
Three days earlier, members of Campus Pro-Life, the University of Calgary’s pro-life club, faced harassment in attempting to present the GAP message to the student body. The university threatened organizers with a trespassing charge the day before the planned event if they showed the GAP photos, but CPL was undeterred.
CPL students held a press conference in the parking lot of the Volleydome at 10:15 a.m., from which local media followed as pro-life students carried 4×8-foot GAP signs onto campus, and set up their exhibit at the same location that had been used on five previous occasions.
In a previous presentation, they were required to turn their signs inward, limiting the demonstration’s effectiveness. This time, however, they faced passing students.
Matthew Wilson, the club’s president, refused to bow to censureship. “We said, ‘We intend to exercise our constitutional right to freedom of expression, protected by the Charter. We call on those who disagree with our message to enter into debate, not to censor our opinion.’”
The university did erect signs warning passers-by that the GAP presentation may present material that could be considered offensive.
The U of T GAP presentation, unlike the U of C one, was not an official pro-life club activity and therefore, fell outside the purview of the student union and university administration, although campus police monitored the events.
There were no incidents at either GAP.
– With files from LifeSiteNews.com.