‘Completely cross the line’: Anti-abortion ads on buses taken down
Chase Banger, CTV Kitchener
Published Thursday, April 4, 2019 2:17PM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, April 4, 2019 6:57PM EDT
A local sexual health centre is condemning anti-abortion advertisements on GRT buses, calling them “wholly inaccurate.”
The advertisements state abortion is linked to suicide, substance abuse, breast cancer, depression and infertility.
They direct people to KW Right to Life, an anti-abortion organization based in Kitchener.
“I'm not sure how these ads were ever approved, they completely cross the line between being simply opposed to abortion and outright lying about it,” says Lyndsey Butcher, the executive director of the SHORE Centre, in an email.
She says she has brought the ads to the attention of Regional Chair Karen Redman as well, calling for them to be taken down immediately.
Jane Richard, president of KW Right to Life, says she stands by the ads.
“The ads are based on accurate information from many years of studies by qualified researchers as far back as the 1950's,” she says.
She says that the SHORE Centre has a prejudice against anti-abortion organizations and wants to “control the narrative.”
In a letter to Chair Redman, Butcher cites the American Psychological Association in order to discredit at least one of the ad’s claims.
“The best scientific evidence published indicates that among adult women who have unplanned pregnancy the relative risk of mental health problems is no greater if they have a single elective first-trimester abortion than if they deliver that pregnancy,” Butcher quotes the APA as saying.
Butcher says she has also issued a formal complaint to Ad Standards Canada.
When contacted by CTV Kitchener, Grand River Transit said the ads will be taken down immediately.
“GRT has a review process in place for potentially controversial ads, this process was not followed by our contractor and the ads were displayed without approval,” a statement reads in part.
It goes on to say the contractor is obligated to adhere to the Canadian Code of Advertising Standards and will need to submit these ads for review by the Ad Standards Council before they can be resubmitted and reviewed by Grand River Transit.
Richard says she has not heard from Grand River Transit about their intentions to take down the signs.
It’s not clear how long the ads had been on display.