The Pro-Choice Coalition of Ottawa is stepping up its efforts to revoke the permit of anti-abortion protesters who for years have stationed themselves outside the Bank Street Morgentaler Clinic.
The coalition has decided to target the permit after past efforts to maintain a pro-choice presence during the 40 Days for Life anti-abortion protests.
“We decided to think more structurally,” says Justine McNulty, a member of Pro-Choice Coalition. “By ending the ‘40 Days’ in the future, women are safe to access the clinic whenever they need to.”
The coalition is a grassroots, volunteer organization that advocates for people’s right to make their own decisions regarding sexual and reproductive activities.
In a petition to the City of Ottawa, the coalition has argued that “the City of Ottawa must immediately revoke this permit in order to respect the dignity, privacy, and legal rights of women to unimpeded access to health services at the Morgentaler Clinic.”
The petition is available online and partners with a letter-writing campaign .
Coalition member Jessica Oliver says the next steps will depend on the response from the anti-abortion group and the city.
The anti-abortion protesters are part of the 40 Days for Life campaign. They position themselves on the corner of Bank and Queen streets for 40 days each fall to pray and fast for an end to abortion.
Wanda Hartlin, of the 40 Days for Life organization, says the organization is complying with the terms of the permit and that she doesn’t believe anyone would be able to “infringe upon that area.”
Melanie Jubinville-Stafford says the coalition gives a voice to anyone affected by anti-abortion demonstrators.