First it was the atheists. now it’s the anti-abortion folks.
A year after a local campaign by the Kelowna chapter of a national atheist group caught the attention of the community with advertisements on the sides of local buses telling people “there is probably no God, so stop worrying and get on with your life,” the Kelowna Right to Life Society is using the same medium to spread its message.
The anti-abortion bus ads read, “Life begins at conception. Now stop denying it and let them enjoy life.” Accompanying the text is an ultrasound image of a child in utero.
KRTL executive director Marlon Bartram called the message “straightforward,” adding it is based on “scientific fact that cannot be refuted.”
“Countless textbooks and journals from the fields of embryology, fetology, biology, genetics, psychiatry and others conclude that without a doubt human life begins at conception,” he said.
“It therefore cannot be denied that abortion is the deliberate termination of a human life.”
He said throughout history, certain groups have been declared “non-persons” or “not fully human.”
“Today, it is the unborn child who has been dehumanized. She has been declared a “non-person” and therefore can be killed at will. The day is coming, however, when abortion will be recognized for the injustice that it is. It is destined to be looked upon with great disdain by future generations as a tragic chapter in human history.”
Despite that view, Canada currently has no abortion law, meaning it is not illegal to terminate a pregnancy and the Conservative government says it has no plans to introduce one. Abortion services are considered a core medical service by the province and are offered at Kelowna General Hospital.
The bus-side advertising campaign here is based on the one used earlier this year by the Kelowna chapter of the Centre For Inquiry Canada. It , in turn, was based on similar bus advertising campaigns by other chapters of the same group in other Canadian cities in 2009.
The atheist ads here proved controversial to some and angered a number of local transit employees, who objected on religious grounds and were reassigned after refusing to drive buses featuring the ads.
Dave Gaze, general manager of First Canada ULC,the company that operates the Kelowna regional transit system, said so far, there have been no objections expressed about the anti- abortion ads. He said any concerns would be addressed if they are brought to company’s attention.
He said the advertising is handled by a Vancouver advertising company and referred all inquiries to it. The company’s Kelowna representative could not immediately be contacted for comment.
Prior to end of the contract for the atheist ads, two were mysteriously removed from buses parked in the locked transit yard. At the time, First Canada, the advertising company and the City of Kelowna said they could not explain the disappearance of the ads, which were carefully removed with a solvent. After negotiations between the Centre For Inquiry, the bus company and the advertising agency, the missing ads were replaced and ran for another few weeks..
Gaze said no extra security precautions have been put in place to protect the KRTL ads.
The new ads rolled out on local buses earlier this week.