Pro-lifers in Timmins, Ont. were taken by surprise after an act of pro-abortion vandalism occurred. A pro-life billboard was vandalized sometime between June 20 and 25. The words “pro-choice” were spraypainted over the billboard, which is worth $2,000.

The president of Campaign Life Coalition Timmins, Eileen Meunier, said she feels “dismayed that this would happen in Timmins and sad for the people who committed the crime.” The police were contacted, but Meunier reported that there has been no immediate action. Whether or not the police have taken this event seriously will be determined if and when anything is done, she said.

One officer told Meunier that this incident is just a case of “mischief.” If the person or persons are found, Meunier would like them to repay the artist, Mike Reeder. Not only did he give his time for the creation of the billboard, he also paid for most of its cost.

Meunier said it is not the end of the world if the perpetrator isn’t found, but it is disheartening that the incident happened at all, after the work and money that had been put into the billboard. She did not wish for the perpatrator to go to jail, but would have liked the chance to talk to him or her.

In regards to whether her organization will fix the billboard, take it down or leave it as is, Meunier said that decision is up to Reeder. After all, “It is his artwork, therefore his decision.” She said some people feel he should leave it up with the vandalism in place, to show how the other side of the abortion debate works. Another suggestion has been to make numerous smaller signs and strategically place them in various areas throughout the city. The logic behind this idea is that if those signs are ruined or vandalized in any way, it will be much easier and less expensive to replace them.

Before the vandalism occurred, the message stated on the billboard was “Pour les enfants a naitre” or “Justice for the unborn.” It took three years to complete, with many people assisting financially. Although Reeder covered the majority of the costs, there was help from the Knights of Columbus and Campaign Life Coalition Timmins. The billboard was erected in October 2003.