Right to Life calls on pro-choice advocates to withdraw comments

PRESS RELEASE by New Brunswick Right to Life For Immediate Release, May 2, 2007

The New Brunswick Right to Life Association is calling upon two pro-choice advocates to publicly withdraw media comments they made about pro-life supporters last week. Executive Director Peter Ryan says the remarks are part of a smear campaign, designed to engineer a no protest zone around abortion sites. At press conference last week Ryan said that such zones would interfere with the civil right to peacefully express pro-life views. He states that, in separate interviews April 23, Jula Hughes and Rosella Melanson "made accusations that go beyond the pale of fair comment. They are patently untrue, fabricated and malicious. They are totally unacceptable and must be withdrawn." In a CBC interview Ms. Hughes, a law professor at UNB, said that protesters engage in "threats," "assault" and "violence," "yell," "intimidate," and "throw themselves in front of cars." In an ATV interview Ms. Melanson, executive director of the NB Advisory Council on the Status of Women Council said that abortion opponents were "barring the way" of women entering the clinic. A previous council news release (April 12) further suggested pro-lifers were illegally trespassing on clinic property and linked to incidents of violence. Mr. Ryan states that "the pro-life message of peace, love and non-violence are starkly contrasted by the current pro-abortion campaign promoting violence against children and mothers, maligning law-abiding pro-life citizens, and deceiving the public." He says that the real story of the current controversy was elaborated at last week’s news conference, available online. "Pro-lifers love babies and moms, and seek peacefully to save them from prenatal violence. So what do we get? Accusations of violence! Unreal." He says the smear rhetoric incites prejudice against pro-lifers like himself and endangers their safety. Last summer the building where the Right to Life office is located was vandalized several times. And Ryan says protesters in front of the Morgentaler clinic have been the targets of numerous incidents of verbal and physical abuse.

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