Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Abortion factions get tense

Counter-protest joins planned legislature rally

  • Print

OPPONENTS in the abortion debate tried to drown each other out with bullhorns Thursday as they hurled provocative slogans in emotional confrontations.

The event during the noon hour in front of the provincial legislature had long been planned by Winnipeg pro-life groups, co-ordinated with similar pro-life rallies in cities across Canada.

But in the hours before the rally, the stage was set for confrontation when pro-choice supporters from the women's rights and labour movements used social media to organize a counter-protest at the same time and place.

Pro-choice supporters outnumbered pro-lifers about three to one. About 200 people were involved in the event.

The pro-choice side clanged pots with spoons and chanted to drown out the pro-life rally.

Both sides held up placards, which ranged from the predictable call for a woman's right to choose to more provocative lyrics such as "Keep your rosaries off my ovaries."

Pro-life placards called abortion "killing" and protested the use of tax dollars that fund the service in Manitoba.

Both sides used bullhorns, making it difficult to get their messages out.

The mostly peaceful event came dangerously close to violence at times.

At one point, a pair of pro-choice adults got close enough to pro-life spokesman Scott Hayward to yell profanities in his ear.

Another time, a security guard stepped between a woman and a pro-life supporter who were staring each other down. She was warned to step away after one pro-life supporter aimed a bullhorn at her face and blew hard. "His spit hit me," she fumed afterward.

Organizers on both sides expressed dismay at the provocative actions and supporters said they were surprised at the charged atmosphere of the event.

"I knew there'd be opposition but I didn't realize that it would be that much or that loud. They were obnoxious. We were peaceful," said pro-life supporter Shirley Nolan.

A pro-choice organizer acknowledged their counter-protest came together on Facebook at the last minute. The appearance of a couple of city police officers part-way through the event was enough to maintain order.

In Manitoba, about 4,000 abortions are performed a year, at a cost of about $4 million to the health-care system.

alexandra.paul@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 4, 2013 A6

History

Updated on Friday, October 4, 2013 at 10:36 AM CDT: Replaces photo, adds video

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Tree remover has special connection to Grandma Elm

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • JOE BRYKSA/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Local-(Standup photo)- A wood duck swims through the water with fall refections in Kildonan Park Thursday afternoon.
  • STDUP ‚Äì Beautiful West End  begins it's summer of bloom with boulevard s, front yards  and even back lane gardens ,  coming alive with flowers , daisies and poppies  dress up a backyard lane on Camden St near Wolseley Ave  KEN GIGLIOTTI  / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS  /  June 26 2012

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

What's your take on a report that shows violent crime is decreasing in Winnipeg?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google