Waterloo Against Abortion displays at Hazel and University

Photo by Safina Husein
  • UOn Friday Nov. 17, members of Waterloo Against Abortion, a local anti-abortion group, were seen at the intersection of Hazel Street and University Avenue conducting an anti-abortion display.

The individuals present at the display were seen holding anti-abortion posters depicting graphic images. Individuals at the demonstration said they were not students at Laurier nor affiliated with Laurier LifeLink.

“We’re here to show people the humanity of the unborn and the inhumanity of abortion. Because a lot of people are misinformed about fetal development or that they’re not aware that Canada doesn’t have any law on abortion whatsoever,” Josephine Luetke, member of Waterloo Against Abortion, said.

“We want to educate people and we also want to reach out in case someone is post-abortive and needs healing or … they need resources.”

Members said they were present in the area at the intersection of King Street and University Street a week ago and were back again to speak to students and pedestrians in the area.

“Ultimately, we are trying to reach anyone who might be susceptible to abortion. And university students have many abortions given that … they’re at an age where many are sexually active so we are trying to reach people who are most in need,” Luetke said.

The individuals claimed that, overall, they received fairly positive reactions and feedback from those who were exposed to the display.

“We do believe in free speech. Being pro-life is a pro-woman position as well,” Luetke said.

“Ultimately, we respect that people have different opinions on this issue we don’t think it should result in censorship, I’ve talked to many people who disagree with me and we’re still able to have effective dialogue and that’s ultimately our desire.”

Brooke Dietrich, third-year undergraduate student at Laurier in global studies and sociology and a supporter of Pro-Choice, explained that a lot of harm could have resulted from the display, which appeared near campus with no prior notice.

“It’s causing a significant amount of anxiety, depression and just a lot of anger and frustration … for people on campus it’s causing a lot of confusion and a lot of hurt and a lot of damage and I think it is very concerning,” Dietrich said..

“There’s so many things that go on in abortions and there’s so many things that they’re not taking into account and it is so damaging for people who don’t have the right to choose.”

For Dietrich, among other Pro-Choice supporters on campus, she hopes that Waterloo Against Abortion and others partaking in Anti-Abortion displays will at least announce their demonstrations on social media and other vehicles of communication ahead of time in order for students to equip themselves to have conversations or to avoid the areas if they wish to do so.

“It’s actually impacting people in such an incredibly negative way that they’re never going to have a chance to have the proper confrontations that they want to have,” Dietrich said.

“We’re not trying to stop them, but we’re trying to create safe spaces for them to do it so that students have the right to choose whether or not they want to participate with these [discussions].”

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