Support the Motion to Restrict Graphic Anti-Abortion Leaflets in Niagara
St. Catharines City Council is considering a motion to restrict the unsolicited delivery of anonymous, graphic anti-choice leaflets that have been left in mailboxes and door handles across the region for over a decade.
These leaflets are being left by youth interns with the Canadian Centre for Bioethical Reform, an Alberta-based anti-choice organization. These interns call themselves “Niagara Against Abortion.”
The leaflets are extremely graphic, depicting gruesome images that the leaflet claims is an aborted fetus. The leaflet spreads misinformation about abortion and uses fear mongering and guilt to try to convince people to become anti-abortion.
The leaflets are anonymously distributed by hand, meaning there is no way to protect yourself from receiving one. They are often left in unmarked envelopes and placed in mailboxes or wedged into door handles and door frames. They may be especially harmful and triggering to people who have had abortions or experienced trauma or loss.
Here are some testimonials from people in Niagara who have received these leaflets over the last two years. All testimonials are shared with the consent of the individual.
“I was FURIOUS. I’m still furious. I’m strongly and proudly pro choice and have had an abortion.”
“It makes me extremely upset that these organizations claim to “care for women” and life, yet promote fear mongering and false claims.”
“I am disgusted. I feel harassed and violated. I am going to be fearful everytime I open my mailbox from now on.”
“It made my wife and I feel angry and disgusted to find that kind of flyer with those graphic images in my mailbox. We have a one year old daughter and we’re trying to raise her in an open and loving environment.”
“I was first angry and then started crying. The disturbing content had triggered emotions related to a recent traumatic loss in my family.”
“The fact that a sexist, misogynistic, hater of people with wombs got this close to my front door is appalling.”
“Anti abortion flyer was insanely graphic and taking this out of my mailbox at 38 weeks pregnant is just disgusting. What if my daughter had seen it first?!”
How Can I Help?
Tell your City Councillor to support the motion to restrict the unsolicited delivery of graphic anti-abortion leaflets.
- Click here for your Ward Councillor’s contact information.
- Click here to determine what Ward you’re located in.
- Feel free to use our template:
Hi Councilor ______, I’m writing to ask you to support the motion to ban the unsolicited delivery of graphic anti-abortion flyers in St. Catharines. I would be very ____ [upset, angry, hurt, disgusted] to receive a flyer at my home that depicts such graphic imagery. The anonymous distribution of these flyers without the recipient’s consent is unacceptable. Please support the motion to ban these flyers, and all graphic anti-abortion imagery. Thank you, _______ [your name].
Encourage others to share their support!
Share a Tweet: The City of St. Catharines is considering a motion to restrict the distribution of anti-abortion flyers. Find helpful tips from Niagara Reproductive Justice about how to support the motion: bit.ly/BanGraphicFlyers
Fill out our Anti-Choice Activity in Niagara Reporting Form if you see or hear about any anti-abortion protests, leafleting, messaging, or events.
Learn about how you can support abortion access in the Niagara Region.
- Learn how to access abortion in Niagara so you can help your friends, family, and community members: How to Access Abortion in Niagara
- Get involved with Niagara Reproductive Justice: email email@example.com to hear about different ways to get involved.
- Volunteer with Niagara’s Abortion & Reproductive Support Network. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Volunteer with the Rapid Response Network to counter anti-choice activity in Niagara. Email email@example.com
- Learn about the anti-choice organizations in Niagara, especially the anti-abortion fake clinics called Crisis Pregnancy Centres, so you can help make sure other people aren’t subjected to them. Visit Anti-Choice Organizations in Niagara.
By-Law Precedent for Graphic Materials
In May 2022, the London, Ontario City Council passed a motion to restrict the unsolicited delivery of graphic anti-abortion materials unless they were covered up and clearly marked. These materials were being distributed by London Against Abortion, a group of youth interns with CCBR, just like here in Niagara. London created a new by-law. Inspired by London’s bylaw, the City of Woodstock’s council soon after unanimously supported a motion to support a similar bylaw.
Since then, Calgary (May 2023), Ingersoll (June 2023), Strathmore AB (July 2023), and Okotoks AB (Aug 2023) have all passed similar by-laws. As well as St. Catharines, Norwich, Oakville, and Toronto are moving towards passing a flyer by-law soon, and it’s now on the agenda of other cities including Burlington, Mississauga, Oakville, Vancouver, and others.
At the provincial level, you can support Bill 41, Viewer Discretion Act (Images of Fetuses), 2021 – Ontario Legislative Assembly.