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Vile Advertising Pisses Me Off

May 29, 2013

The theme on the e-rotica blog is usually sexy, quirky and a little bit fluffy. I like to steer clear of the heavy stuff over here. Today, however, Irony in its saddest form has forced me to go in a different direction.

Dr. Henry Morgentaler, a pioneer, champion and godsend in women’s rights, specifically in the pro-choice movement, died today at the age of 90.

After surviving the holocaust, this man emigrated to Canada, where he opened the country’s first abortion clinic in Montreal. His goal? To give women the opportunity to have autonomy over their bodies, their future and their well-being without running the risk of medical problems, future infertility and loss of life. Despite a lifetime of legal battles, bombings and direct attempts on his life, Dr. Morgentaler remained dedicated to his cause. Unlike many pioneers in human rights issues, Dr. Morgentaler was able to see the full results of his efforts within his lifetime.

Largely due to Dr. Morgentaler and his peers, abortion has practically become a non-issue in Canada. Other than on American news channels, I have never seen an anti-abortion protest or even an anti-abortion ad like I’ve seen in the USA. As a teenager, I once accompanied a devastated sixteen year-old friend to an abortion clinic and, with the exception of an extra-high security system that included bullet-proof glass and multiple check-ins, it was not much different than any other clinic. No picket signs, no angry protesters hurling blood or condemnation in our direction. No parental signature or exorbitant fee required – we’re in Canada, after all. Like any other non-cosmetic surgical procedure, it was free.

I lived in the US for quite a while and I’ve traveled extensively throughout the country. I always looked upon their religious and/or anti-abortion ads with interest. I cannot say I’ve found them personally offensive, exactly. I understand that the United States is so much different than Canada in the aspect of politics and communications. There is a lack of subtlety in political and religious advertising; perhaps it is out of necessity. Americans are much more direct in their conversation and in there opinions. In other words, they say shit that you just couldn’t get away with here. I’m not going to lie, I usually enjoy America’s straight forward speech and penchant for blurting out their opinions regardless of whether or not it is solicited or contrary. I often find it quite refreshing. I mean, I would just love to spout out an argumentative sentence without carefully formulating it beforehand to ensure it validates my point in the least offensive manner.

Now, I just mentioned that I’ve never seen an anti-abortion ad or billboard in Canada. Unfortunately, I have to follow up that statement by saying, until today. Today, on the day of Dr. Henry Morgentaler’s death, a huge 18-wheeler rolled down Yonge Street, and it was completely covered in graphic and disturbing anti-abortion advertising. I was not the only person to stop and stare, jaw dropping to my shoelaces. On the truck was a picture of an aborted foetus alongside a woman with a sign in her hands that read, “I regret my abortion. It felt like being raped again.”

Oh. My. God.

Can I just say that this is not okay?Β  Even those who believe that abortion should be illegal should be against this form of advertising. Think about it, what if a pro-choice group drove down the street with an image of a woman being raped to prove their point of view? Or a picture of a pregnant tween with a caption above her head that says, “I was raped and my parents are forcing me to keep the baby. I feel like I’m being raped again.” It is simply unacceptable, especially in Canada, where our rights were clearly established and outlined on January 28th, 1988, when the Supreme Court struck down Canada’s abortion law, deeming it unconstitutional.

I am posting an image of the truck at the bottom of this post so that you may choose not to scroll down if you do not want to look at it. Before that, however, is a two-minute CBC video about Dr. Henry Morgentaler.

disgusting and vile advertising

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31 Comments leave one →
  1. May 29, 2013 11:48 pm

    We see a truck like that with a giant aborted fetus printed on both sides driving around Columbus every few months or so. It was more frequent and more prominent when they were trying to pass that “Fetal Heartbeat Bill” in the statehouse. Good times.

  2. May 29, 2013 11:55 pm

    Great post. Seems the fight continues. Guess we have to stay vigilante on our rights as women, and at the same time continue the process of spreading the word that women have those rights in Canada!

    • May 30, 2013 12:45 am

      Thank you!

      It just shocks me that this was in the middle of downtown Toronto, and it actually represents the thought process of a subset of our citizens and residents. It’s illegal to show people drinking beer in advertisements but an aborted foetus is perfectly acceptable? I find this so un-Canadian.

      • May 30, 2013 10:37 pm

        It truly is a contraction, but then there is so much hypocrisy I guess it failed to shock me this time. I was reading an article on Mr. Morgentaler’s passing and was shocked with comments left by those who claim to follow a religion of “love and forgiveness”. Ignorance and fear are still strong motivators I guess.

  3. May 30, 2013 12:01 am

    Horrible. In Texas, they actually had places that supposedly offering pregnant women “counseling,” which was a poorly disguised way of religious folk telling them they were going to hell if they aborted their babies. They also have a terrible law that requires women to view their sonograms, with narration from a doctor about how developed the fetus is, before they are allowed to go through with the abortion. They have to actually wait another day before having the surgery, in order to think it over. How insulting is that?

    On the plus side, the U.S. Supreme Court recently refused to hear a case on abortion, since they have already decided that it’s legal. Now if only we can get states to stop stripping women of their rights by manipulating health care funding to Planned Parenthood and other such women’s health resources, that’d really be groundbreaking!

    • May 30, 2013 12:47 am

      Insulting and disturbing on so many levels. Even if the girl does not change her mind, she is made to feel like she was supposed to. Crazy.

  4. May 30, 2013 3:10 am

    Unbelievable. Australia is much like Canada,. I’ve never seen anything like this over here – and I hope it stays that way.

    By the way, I saw that little bit of subtle sarcasm you slipped in there, don’t think I missed it πŸ˜‰

    • May 30, 2013 3:41 pm

      I am honestly so shocked and disappointed to see this in downtown Toronto. The more I think about it, the angrier I get.

  5. juliabarrett permalink
    May 30, 2013 3:56 am

    I feel nauseated on so many levels.

  6. jalessan permalink
    May 30, 2013 3:18 pm

    No matter how you look at this, you are taking a life. I’m am somewhat guilty, becuase I did not truly try to stop my ex from having an abortion. I didn’t do much at all. I know it is easier said than done, but we are punshing an inocent child for the most part, let me empahsis for the most part, for our pleasure, meaning sex.

    • May 30, 2013 3:50 pm

      Whether or not we agree on the issue of abortion, and I suspect we do not, we should agree that this is not the way to get one’s point across. There are people of all ages and sensibilities on the street, and this truck was rolling around in the middle of the afternoon. An anti-abortion group should not take it upon themselves to introduce children to graphic images such as this or to the subject of rape. It is sensationalistic advertising at its worst, and their cause takes a back seat to their methods.

      • May 31, 2013 1:23 pm

        D. C. That is part of the campaigns, scare the child young and they will grow up to be pro lifers. I was exposed to this stuff in SUNDAY SCHOOL from the time I was about 10. Make you feel guilty – for is that not this ad is all about? – and you won’t do it again, and you will help them fight them fight. Even if in your heart of you don’t believe in their message. You feel so guilty, you will back them.

  7. May 30, 2013 3:58 pm

    I wish Americans as a whole were capable of respecting one another enough that every single thing didn’t have to devolve into a nationwide screaming match.

  8. May 30, 2013 8:21 pm

    That ad is disgusting. It’s all in the name of shaming women. When I hear about men in our government in the US trying to take away a woman’s RIGHT to choose AND access to birth control I get SO ANGRY. Women are PEOPLE we should have the rights to control ourselves.

    Well written post. Thank you.

  9. May 30, 2013 10:22 pm

    As a mother, and a woman, and yes…an American…I’m 100% anti abortion. But, that being said, I’d still fight for my right to make that decision for myself. No one has the right to make it for me. I think that’s the mistake these stupid ad campaigns make just because someone wants the right to choose does NOT mean you’re FOR abortion. Is anyone really FOR abortion? People should be afforded the right to decide what happens in their own body without having to answer to someone else’s morality. It reminds me of the politician here who was totally anti gay until his own kid came out. He quickly changed his tune.
    Until the reality hits home, you really don’t know what you’d do.

    • June 6, 2013 2:59 pm

      Exactly! Do they honestly believe a woman will put as little thought into having an abortion as she would when choosing what nail colour to go with for the week?

      My boyfriend once said he is against abortion as a form of birth control. I affectionately called him an idiot. πŸ™‚ I mean, what girl would say, “Why go through the trouble of rolling a condom down his shaft when I can simply have a humiliating, invasive medical procedure that may or may not haunt me for the rest of my life?. Besides, I could go a couple months without that troublesome period.” And if there was such a girl, would you really want her spawning?

      There are a couple of politicians who changed their stance when their children came out. At least they had the brains to realize they were wrong. πŸ™‚

  10. May 31, 2013 1:32 pm

    Reblogged this on lyssareviews and commented:
    Agreed that this disturbing on many levels, and I am sorry, I don’t care your religion, culture, race, gender or anything else suburban streets are no place for this type of advertising.

  11. May 31, 2013 1:33 pm

    I hope it is okay, D. C. I rebloged this post. I felt it needed to be continued.

  12. June 6, 2013 1:27 pm

    I’m a little late reading this but thank you for the fine post in honour of Dr. Morgentaler and his dedication to women’s rights and welfare. I can’t believe that truck! I am always amazed at the lack of taste and the abundance of hysteria to which “pro-lifers” so often revert. Disgusting … absolutely disgusting.

    • June 6, 2013 3:06 pm

      I agree with you completely, Patricia. I have a hard time with the title of “pro-lifers” (I am sure you do, too, hence the quotations. They call themselves pro-life but they show absolutely no regard for the life of the woman at stake. I realize I’m giving a blanket statement – there are people who don’t believe it is not the right thing to do but also believe that it is an individual choice, like Erica and jalessan, who mentioned above that he did not try to stop his girlfriend – but the people in charge of this advertising and obscene protests are, as you said, disgusting.

  13. June 7, 2013 11:04 pm

    Wow! I am flabbergasted! That is way out of line IMO.

  14. zencherry permalink
    June 19, 2013 5:42 pm

    “No parental signature or exorbitant fee required – we’re in Canada, after all. Like any other non-cosmetic surgical procedure, it was free.” Jesus Christ, that would be lovely. My daughter just got charged 22,000 dollars for her husband’s broken ankle. An ankle. Ludicrous.

    And those that get in anyone’s face about their opinion? Well, I’ll just keep that opinion to myself, lol. Great post, chica.

    • June 21, 2013 3:44 pm

      $22,000? Holy Hell! HOLY HELL!

      • zencherry permalink
        June 24, 2013 8:20 pm

        I know, right? They forgot to bill her insurance so we’re still waiting on the verdict after it’s been applied. Betcha it’s in the 5,000 arena. Boo. 😦 I think I’m going to learn how to pull and set bones…on the sly. Anybody got some plaster?

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