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City council opposed to anti-abortion flyer photos; Unanimous vote to demand graphic images be covered in any mail handouts

Media Type: Print
Outlet: Calgary Herald
Author: Brodie Thomas
Published Date: November 4, 2022
Calgary city council is taking specific aim at anti-abortion

flyers with a new bylaw that would ban the delivery of uncensored

images of fetuses.

The motion, brought forward by Ward 2 Coun. Jennifer Wyness, would

require anti-abortion flyers that have images of a fetus to cover

those images with adhesives or an envelope, and to include a viewer

discretion warning.

The steps would prevent people from inadvertently seeing an image of

a fetus - something that has been described as traumatizing by those

who have suffered miscarriages or gone through an abortion.

Wyness said she's heard from many residents who have had their young

children inadvertently find the flyers in their mailbox.

"This traumatizes the children and many, many months go by of

nightmares, and I've heard from many community members story after

story about this," said Wyness.

She said these images are too graphic for television, and they're too

graphic to be posted on social media without a warning, so she wants

the same for citizens' mailboxes.

Mayor Jyoti Gondek described her own experience with encountering

the flyers. "It is incredibly traumatizing," she said. "I've had this

dropped into my mailbox after a miscarriage and that is not something

I wish for other people." Gondek said she isn't worried that the

bylaw is too targeted. She said the city has to start somewhere, and

they are starting here.

"If you want to make an argument, you can go ahead and make it. You

can be pro-life all daylong, but we don't need to see your graphic


Several councillors commended Wyness for attempting to address the

problem, and for bearing the expected attack from critics.

The motion was approved unanimously.

Wyness's motion does not specify any fines or punishments for

breaking the proposed bylaw but does leave the door open for the

administration's suggestions.

Administration has been directed to report back to council by the end

of June 2023 with a proposed bylaw.

brthomas@postmedia.comTwitter: @brodie_thomas

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