Interim Staff

Show the Truth, the Ontario-based pro-life organization that uses graphic photographs of aborted babies to witness to the truth of the humanity of the unborn and what happens during an abortion, raised more than its usual ruckus when it went to Fredericton, N.B. in July. Although executive member Rosemary Connell reports a better-than-typical reception among the public in the New Brunswick capital, the organization was criticized by the city’s mayor.

Fredericton Mayor Brad Woodside made it clear he didn’t want Show the Truth in his city, telling them to “go back to Ontario.” He said he did not have a problem with expressing a pro-life point of view, but disagreed with the way the message was presented. He claimed to have had more than 20 calls from city residents complaining about the demonstration. The Morgentaler abortuary, outside which the witness took place, also complained. But police said there was nothing they could do because the demonstrators broke no law. Woodside expressed his frustration that there was nothing the city could do and also admitted that Show the Truth broke no law.

The CBC interviewed a mother who was upset that she had to answer questions from her children about the graphic pictures featured on 1.5-metre-wide placards. “I resent the fact that they were exposed to these horrible graphic photos,” Fredericton resident Karen Robertson said. But Connell offered no apologies. “The pictures are upsetting. It’s a horrible sight to see the remains of an aborted child,” she told the CBC. She told that the organization is called Show the Truth “and that’s exactly what we’re doing.”

While the media focused on the angry reactions of local residents, Connell said the response was positive. Many drivers honked in support as they passed the demonstration and people lined up to receive the literature the organization distributed.

The Fredericton stop was just one of five in Atlantic Canada, with other demonstrations in Moncton, Edmunston, Saint John and Halifax. The focus on New Brunswick reflected Show the Truth’s desire to raise opposition to public funding of abortion. The province is currently in talks with Ottawa about its refusal to pay for abortions committed in Morgentaler’s Fredericton abortuary. Morgentaler closed his Halifax abortuary in 2003.