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LETTER: Intent of ads, group behind them, need to be questioned

Group's intention is to limit freedoms that our free society cherishes, reader says
2022-05-17 typing pexels-donatello-trisolino-1375261
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GuelphToday received the following Letter to the Editor from reader Ben Alles in response to the letter Young people need to be taught to value, uphold freedoms they enjoy.

Sue Woodward wrote:

“Freedoms of expression and religion mean that views, no matter how unpopular, must not be actively suppressed by civil authorities. One such view is the belief that all unborn children should be valued and protected, as well as their mothers.”

The “right to life” group has every freedom, be it for religion or expression, that everyone else in Canada has. However, the intention of the bus ads and the group behind them is what needs to be questioned. They do not simply represent a view or an expression of belief.

The intention behind anti-choice groups’ expression is to limit freedom by criminalizing health procedures. They want laws created which limit people’s choices, putting more people into danger. The bus ads are not a benign expression of belief because the intent behind them is directed at government policy.

It is not only people’s choices that are being put in danger because of such groups’ intentions. If the bus ads’ group were to affect change in policy, bringing in anti-choice legislation, those unfortunate (sad, painful, heartbreaking) miscarriages suddenly make women suspicious of being criminal, through no fault of their own, and at a very difficult moment.

As we have seen in the U.S., this criminal liability also affects doctors, including their ability and willingness to perform necessary miscarriage procedures.

With any ‘expression’, the intent must be measured. Letter writer Woodward should see that the intent of the bus ads group is to limit, not protect, the freedoms that our free society cherishes, and the result would be more lives put in danger.

Ben Alles