When Emily Price returned to her hometown of Athabasca, Alberta, to give a pro-life talk at her local church, she did not expect to make the local newspaper as the subject of protest spurred on by national and provincial abortion “rights” groups.
Price, a co-coordinator of Campaign Life Coalition Youth and CLC’s global policy and research coordinator, spoke at her former parish of St. Gabriel’s in Athabasca on July 12. About 50 people attended the talk on pro-life activities at the United Nations, including her personal experience of presenting a statement to the Commission on Population and Development on behalf of CLC.
Anything Goes Athabasca Facebook page, a website that promotes local activities, posted information about a protest against Price’s presentation. The protest, organized by Charity Jardine of the Athabasca Native Friendship Centre, was subsequently promoted on social media by the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada and Alberta Pro-Choice. There were about 25 protesters and while both police and peace officers were on site, there were no problems.
Price told The Interim that she was “blown away” by the protest because she does not recall ever seeing a protest in her hometown.
She also noted that “everyone inside the church knew everyone outside protesting.” Price said that among the protestors were several close friends and former co-workers at the local university.
Also among the protestors was Allendria Brunjes, publisher of the local paper, the Athabasca Advocate,holding a sign that said “My body, my choice.” In her column she said that she was scared attending the protest but felt the need to defend the right of women to control their own bodies. Brunjes wrote: “The anti-choice movement essentially states we do not have the ability nor the right to make choices about our own bodies. Anti-choice advocates do not believe we are capable of knowing ourselves.” Brunjes then went on about domestic violence and sexual assault.
Despite the publisher’s views, Price said the paper’s coverage by reporter Margaryta Ignatenko, was generally fair, noting that some who attended her talk had driven St. Albert, a community 90 minutes south of Athabasca. She also quoted Max Rypien, a pro-lifer who said she enjoyed the presentation.