The appearance of a pro-life float in Olds’ Canada Day Parade has pro-choice supporters wondering if it’s time to join Alberta’s parade circuit.
Erica Posteraro, co-founder of People for Reproductive Freedom and Choice, said she has heard of one person looking into whether it was still possible to put a pro-choice float in a central Alberta parade after Red Deer Pro Life participated in Friday’s parade in Olds — on the heels of the decision by the United States’ Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade.
Red Deer Pro Life’s Facebook page shows pictures of its float in parades in Lacombe, Ponoka and Red Deer prior to the pandemic, and its spring newsletter indicated its intention to return to parades in 2022.
On Sunday, People for Reproductive Freedom and Choice held a rally at the Legislature in Edmonton and supporters marched through the downtown.
“We had about 500 to 600-person turnout which is really great. It was a really impactful day,” Posteraro said.
“For a lot of people it’s a really hot-button issue right now. As a lot of the information coming out changes, and more restrictions are imposed, we just felt it was really, really important to have solidarity rallies. People want to show up and just make their voices heard.”
No more rallies are planned for the rest of the summer, but that could change, she said.
On June 26, the U.S. Supreme Court’s conservative majority voted to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark ruling from 1973 that provided constitutional protections for women seeking abortions.
Posteraro said taking away the right to abortions is also being pushed by pro-life — who she prefers to call anti-choice —legislators in Canada so it’s important to counter the misinformation that is being spread.
She said 87 out of 114 federal Conservative members are endorsed and funded by a federal pro-life coalition.
“So (abortion) absolutely can come under threat here.”
She said access is already limited with few abortion clinics in Alberta. It would be a struggle for many people in rural areas to fund transportation to get to a clinic.
“We have abortion in Canada. Yes it is legal, but access is a huge thing still.”
Red Deer Pro Life could not be reached for comment by press time.
— with files from The Associated Press.