Organizer hopes other groups take up information campaign
For the past 39 years, Peterborough Pro Life Corporation Inc,. has been dedicated to fostering respect for the dignity and sanctity of every human life, from the moment of conception to natural death. The group can be seen peacefully protesting every Saturday morning from 10-11 am on University Drive near the Peterborough Regional Health Centre Hospital. Their goal is to raise awareness about the negative consequences and effects abortion procedures have on those involved. While many believe that the PRHC hospital provides life-affirming care, most are unaware that they also regularly carry out abortions.
In 2015, the group started a visual campaign throughout the city of Peterborough by posting pro-life advertisements on public benches. One such advertisement was located right outside the PRHC and read “take my hand not my life…” on one side with a crisis pregnancy hotline number on the other. The purpose was to offer life-saving information for women in need of support during their crisis pregnancy.
Valerie and Bruce Davis are active members of Peterborough Pro Life. Through interactions with the general public during weekly activism, they discovered that many people are unaware Canada has no abortion laws. “We found that people just didn’t have a clue about the facts – that they were killing babies from the minute they find out they’re pregnant, right up to nine months,” said Valerie. The number of misinformed passers-by they encountered was alarming and prompted them to educate the public on a larger scale.
The couple met with two other Peterborough Pro Life members to compose a list of notable Canadian abortion facts. The top ten were used to create an advertisement titled “Do You Know…” and were published in their local paper, the Peterborough Examiner. The objective was to provide easily accessible and accurate information that enlightens the general public and potential voters. The advertisement explained fetal development and significant abortion facts, for example, how an ultrasound can detect the preborn child’s brain waves, at 45 days. At this stage, all the organs are present and working, and the preborn child is sensitive to sound, heat, pressure, light, and pain.
The advertisement received backlash. Some readers wrote letters and phoned the newspaper to voice their complaints. “We still get a lot of resistance; a lot of people just don’t believe it, even though the scientific information is there,” Bruce told The Interimin an interview.
The main complaint the Peterborough Examinerreceived was the information was false and deceiving. As a result, the group reconvened to document all the sources and websites that were used to create the original advertisement. Once again Valerie and Bruce funded their “Do You Know…” insert in the local paper out of their own pocket, only this time they cited sources with each fact. As far as the Davises know, the paper did not receive complaints disputing or discrediting the facts because the evidence was provided, said Bruce.
Peterborough Pro Life hopes that other pro-life and church groups, such as the Catholic Women’s League and the Knights of Columbus, will be motivated to either publish the ad in their local newspapers or create their own. The goal is to educate the public about abortion in Canada.
Bruce said it is necessary for people to be exposed to and acknowledge proven scientific biology and fetal development in order to be concerned about the issue. Canadians should be aware of what their tax dollars are funding.