The Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada says they are pleased that the City of Williams Lake rejected a request on Tuesday to approve Sept. 27 to Oct. 4 as “Celebrate Life Week.”
Executive Director Joyce Arthur, calls it a victory.
“Even though the name of their proclamation sounds kind of innocuous if you go to their website it’s all being anti-abortion, so we feel that their proclamation request was not sincere in the sense they’re really just out to oppose abortion and it’s not appropriate for the City to approve that kind of message or what’s implicit in that message is that women’s constitutional rights should be denied.”
Arthur says Williams Lake is not the only City that has had issues in such proclamations and adds that the Abortion Rights Coalition has worked with other cities including Kelowna and Kamloops.
She says she does believe that it is still important for cities to have proclamations when approved responsibly.
“I think they have an important role in the community- it can help the community and citizens,” Arthur says.
“There’s nothing wrong with the City promoting causes; most causes are fine and not problematic but this particular one was. I don’t think the City should be worried about for example legal challenges because in fact, the City is open to legal challenges for approving such a request.”
Arthur says that it is important that Council members verify a groups mandate and primary activities to ensure that a proclamation request is not an attempt to smuggle in a hidden agenda under the pretense of human rights advocacy as was the case with the Choice of Life Society’s request.
The proclamation which was proclaimed by the Lake City last year had garnered a protest by local pro-choice activist Carrie Julius and caught media attention around the province.