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Feminists Protest Anti-choice Coalition

Dressing up and shaking things up at anti-choice fundraiser

by Jessica Ross

FLAPers marching to the Westin, Saturday evening.
FLAPers marching to the Westin, Saturday evening.
A radical interpretation of "Duck, Duck, Goose", "Safe Abortion, Safe Abortion, Dead" is played at the Saturday demonstration.
A radical interpretation of "Duck, Duck, Goose", "Safe Abortion, Safe Abortion, Dead" is played at the Saturday demonstration.

"Safe abortion.....Safe abortion......Dead!"  Members of the Feminist League for Agitation Propaganda (FLAP) mostly dressed up in ball gowns race around a circle in front of the Westin Hotel in Halifax, playing a modified version of the game "Duck, Duck, Goose.  This flashy group represent the newly formed feminist action group and are protesting outside the Campaign Life Coalition NS (CLC)'s Fundraising Gala Dinner, held on Saturday April 24.

Tickets for the dinner cost $100 and included a silent auction and talk by Michael Coren, the Canadian-based Roman-Catholic chosen for "his strong Christian values", according to the CLC.   Funds generated from events like  the gala dinner support the anti-choice, pro-life work of the organization.

In a show of protest for the gala event, FLAP participants marched to the Westin in ball gowns, carrying banners, a positive agenda, hula hoops and an accordion.

The action included performances by the 'Hula Hoopers for Reproductive Justice', awarding Coren with an "Anti-choice Asshole of the Year" award and a mock auction of lace trimmed clothes hangers - a symbol of unsafe abortions.

FLAP aimed to meet the gala attendees as they arrived with a "fun and exciting" energy, says Kaley Kennedy, FLAP member and media representative. The strategy proved effective as the protest remained police-free and was able to engage the passersby, whilst colourfully agitating the fundraiser guests and Michael Coren himself.

Kennedy, believes that feminist intervention of the CLC fundraiser was crucial. "Feminists in this town don't want... [the CLC] here in Halifax and so we are giving them a strong response", says Kennedy.

The work of the Campaign Life Coalition has ramifications for the women of Halifax, says Kennedy. They are "tirelessly lobbying against autonomy", she says.

The CLC is responsible for regular anti-abortion protests outside of Halifax's Victoria General Hospital, site of the largest abortion clinic in the province, says Kennedy. Victoria General is one of only 16 per cent of Canadian hospitals offering abortion services.  FLAP says this low number indicates the significant limitation of access to abortion services for women across the country.

Beyond anti-abortion campaigning, the CLC supports multiple pregnancy crisis centres that advertise as neutral resource centres for pregnant women in need, despite maintaining an agenda to dissuade women from having abortions. The CLC is also actively lobbying for legislation to restrict access to abortions, supporting fetal protection laws and "anti-coercion laws", like the bill recently put forward by Conservative MP Rod Bruinooge, explains Kennedy, that "could criminalize... referral services women need to access abortions".

"My body's nobody's body but mine, you run own body, let me run mine" sing FLAP participants during the demonstration.

For  information about FLAP action in Halifax during the G8 meetings, click here.

Click here for a photo essay covering the FLAP demonstration on Saturday.

Editor's note: a previous version of this article appeared identifying Michael Coren as an American Evangelist. He is in fact Canadian-based and Roman Catholic.

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Topics: HealthGender
486 words


I support your efforts

There is something incredibly inspiring about standing up and don't something for the sake of choosing. Individualism has presented challenges and perhaps some of the religious has interpreted the negative sides of our postpostmodern world but they don't see the importance of choice. Religion seems to be based on a form of cooperation to submission, in that respect it can be very valuable in its regard to faith. Having strong faith capabilities is important, but allowing yourself to completely give into the way of the other is not so good.

In canada, we have a fairly secular society and capitalism has provided its own form of religion which is largely a kind of apathy. Christians responding to this think they are changing the world for the better. All they are doing is dipping the french fry into the deep fryer a bit longer, when they don't realise the system they are in. By coating our sense with more fat (lies) we will never realise potential.

Being free is important, so I celebrate the people Feminists! Lets hope that we can't also learn from religion. We can't head in a positive direction without accepting our past or our Christian earth-mates.

That being said I personally do not understand pro-choice very well. Extremes aren't my favourite thing.

-I support their right to think that way, but I protest their privelidge to expect it on others- and to have the funds to enforce it.

halifax protest

You don't seem to post comments that are not supportive of your view. I will try once more, then forget it.

Michael Coren has posted on this on his site. go to www.michaelcoren.com and click on his blog.

In case you don't bother, he said this is another case of white girls with money protesting for abortion when those who are the victims of abortion are poor, black, brown, and too busy trying to keep life together to dress up and play games.

abortion protest

Yes, I stand up for choice - the choice to give the baby a life. Let's use the real words here, choice has to have an object, choice by itself says nothing. After all, you could choose to throw yourself in front of a car and cause a traffic accident. Abortion is the choice to end someone's life, that is a choice that I say is wrong. CLC is an organization that stands firmly for the choice of the baby in this - and the baby would choose its life.

When legalized abortion falls, and it will, be sure that you were on the right side of history in this debate.


Michael has posted a response to this at his blog.


There is no such thing as a "safe" abortion. Who are are you as comparatively wealthy white women to suppose that women of other cultures want or need abortions, or "should" have an abortion in difficult circumstances? This is bigotry.

in support of the Maputo plan of African nations




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In a recent CTV interview about the exclusion of abortion from Canadian foreign aid, Katherine McDonald, executive director for Action Canada for Population and Development, said:


“African nations themselves unanimously signed on to the Maputo plan of action in January 2006, which includes as a priority dealing with the issue of abortion, dealing with family planning, dealing with HIV, but abortion is certainly one of their six priorities.”


You can access the Maputo plan here:




We act in solidarity with women who need and want safe abortions in countries around the world, and call for better access to abortion for women in Canada.


Editor's note: this article has been corrected from a previous version which identified Michael Coren as an American Evangelist. He is in fact Canadian-based and Roman Catholic.

Keep up the good work!

  I applaud the work FLAP does around this city. I haven't seen anything quite like it before. While many sit complacent and unengaged with the world around them,  these young people are voicing their concerns creatively and getting attention by the way they go about it. I can think of so many opportunities around Halifax for this kind of positive action. Keep it up! 


That appears to be a rather ...small group of protestors. It will get smaller still as pro-lifers have more children than pro-choicers. New Canadians are often Islamic (generally pro-life), Central & South American (pro-life), Asians (often sick of China's 1 child policy, i.e. pro-life), Africans (often devoutly religious, i.e. pro-life). New Americans - same notation. Guess it didn't end in '69 here and '72 in the U.S. Best is yet to come.


Girls, feminism isn't just about agitation and abortion. Expand your definition, please.

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