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An Ontario pro-life group hopes to bring attention to what it says are the harms of euthanasia and abortion – and why pro-life groups have so much resistance when they talk about them.

The Alliance for Life Ontario is hosting its 34th annual conference this weekend in Mississauga, Ont., with the goal of sharing information it believes is under attack not just by Canada’s government but also around the world.

The group’s mandate is to educate other pro-life groups in Canada and all who will listen about the science behind abortion and euthanasia.

AFLO executive director Jakki Jeffs told True North in an interview that the conference is a conduit for the organization to bring speakers and scientists together to keep pro-life organizations and thinkers well-informed about the issues they advocate against.

Jeffs said that this year’s conference will bring doctors and speakers from around Canada and other parts of the world to speak at the conference.

“What we try to do every year is bring speakers that have not, for the most part, presented in our province before, so that our groups, and we have about 50 of them across the province, can then see these speakers and take advantage and maybe bring them in,” she said.

This year, Dr. David Reardon, the founder of the pro-life think tank the Elliot Institute, is among the speakers.

Reardon recently conducted a survey among women and girls, which found nearly two-thirds of women respondents who received abortions did so against their own wishes and values, having been forced or coerced into it. This, Jeffs said, counters the prevailing narrative that abortion is a woman’s choice.

Jeffs said the conference will delve into the Charter of Rights and Freedoms violations she said pro-life organizations face in Canada.

She said municipalities have violated religious freedom rights by blocking pro-life from advertising. 

“We know that’s a very difficult pro-life message to send when you look at victim photography.

But we’re in a democracy, and we’ve got municipalities that are going against the Charter because those in their municipality just don’t like the message,” Jeffs said. “The Charter says our freedom of expression is just that, it’s not there for everything we agree with, It’s there for what we don’t agree. That’s what makes us a democracy.”

Jeffs said in certain municipalities across the province and other parts of the country, pro-life groups have been barred from advertising, or putting up flags because the municipalities consider those groups to be religious entities and will not publicize anything related to religion, events, messaging, or celebrations.

She said there have also been restrictions on the use of photographs of fetuses and getting permits to protest.

“In Kelowna B.C., there was a sign that said ‘respect life from beginning to natural death.’ And one of the city councillors said ‘Oh my gosh, I can’t walk down this street I’m so afraid,’” she said. “It’s a story that’s not being told. And it’s getting worse. It’s like they prevent us from really sharing the truth with Canadians.”

The group will also host Canadian military veteran Kelsi Sheren to delve into euthanasia, or medical assistance in dying (MAID).

“There’s just a lot that needs saying and we’re just in our little way trying to say it,” Jeffs said. “It’s a grave injustice for a country that says, you know, we are all for choice except for one that helps you save your baby.”