Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Anti-Choice Bullying Backfires

Don't you love hate it when that happens?

Idiot Fetus Fetishist tries to bully a young pro-choice woman and the attempt backfires. Spectacularly. (OK, 'spectacularly' for little PEI.)

There's an annual online contest to promote youth leadership in the only province in the land where abortion is simply NOT DONE.

So it makes sense that an advocate for addressing this inequality would qualify as a potential youth leader.
But the contest, now in its third year, has encountered some controversy. One of the youth ambassadors, Kandace Hagan, has set as her goal improving access to abortion on P.E.I., which is the only province in Canada where legal abortions are not performed. That prompted Anne Marie Tomlins of the P.E.I. Right to Life Association to write an email urging people to vote against Hagan and instead vote for the current leader, Tara Brinston of New Brunswick.

The email was not sent on behalf of the Right to Life Association, and was meant to stay within a select group of people. But it leaked and went further.

"My initial reaction was, 'Gee, what if this makes the whole movement look bad.' So I got defensive and I felt a little bad about it," said Tomlins.

"But the more I thought about it, no. What I did was right and I stand by it."

This signature rightwing tactic is also known as freeping. The Fetus Lobby used it very effectively to skew the CBC's dumbass Great Canadian Wish List a few years ago.

We at DJ! took note of this since the prevaricators at ProWoman ProLie took up the cause, couched as the 'selfish baby-killer' against the 'virtuous defender of the disabled'.

Look at this glurge.
[Hagen]'s campaigning for the rights of powerful people to trample over little people.

Aw. But nowhere does Mrozek mention the powerful adult who tried to rig the youth leadership contest.

Now it's been resolved, in a typically Canadian way.

A P.E.I. woman lobbying for abortion access in the province has tied for first place in regional youth leadership contest that unwittingly became a platform for the Island's virulent abortion access debate.

Kandace Hagen, one of the founding members of the P.E.I. Reproductive Rights Organization, was one of eight finalists for the Active 8 Campaign, an initiative of the Atlantic Council for International Cooperation (ACIC). The online contest aimed to promote youth leaders working for change in their communities and the world.

She was announced co-winner of the campaign after she and fellow finalist Tara Brinston each garnered over 1,600 pledges for their causes.

The campaign was marred by controversy when P.E.I.'s ongoing abortion access debate spilled into the contest.

Hagen's campaign was targeted by pro-life activists after an email penned by local pro-life advocate Ann-Marie Tomlins was sent to multiple people, then leaked to media, encouraging people to stop Hagen from winning by voting for Brinston.

News stories about Tomlin's email went viral, with pro-choice websites such as Jezebel promoting Hagen's campaign and pro-life sites like Life Site News encouraging votes for Brinston.

This led to a surge in votes for both women during the final week of the Active 8 Campaign, forcing organizers to carefully inspect pledges to determine whether they honoured the spirit of the competition.

"Anything that was not motivated or inspired by the work that each of them was doing we considered not in the spirit of the campaign," said Jennifer Sloot, executive director of the ACIC.

"There were some that probably fell into a grey area and we had to do some deep thinking on it and in the end that was part of the motivation for declaring co-champions. They were very close and that was the primary reason, but we also realized it was impossible to moderate the pledges 100 per cent accurate. We had to do a bit of reading between the lines."

Not surprisingly, both young women were pissed at being having their causes hijacked.
Brinston, who was campaigning for her work in disability rights, said she was disappointed her campaign was hijacked by pro-life activists.

"I was not prepared to be pulled into an abortion debate, that's not my work. I have five years experience in the disability movement," Brinston said.

"I was unprepared to have my face put up in a sort of pro-life, pro-choice movement. It was unnerving."

While Hagen said she was prepared for some backlash from pro-lifers, she is disappointed the Active 8 Campaign was used as a platform for an abortion debate.

"It was very disappointing to see both of our images used to create a level of separation and controversy between the two of us when personally there absolutely is not."

There's dough involved: $1000 to the winner's cause. Hagen has said she'll put hers towards a travel fund for women needing abortions off-island.

Who knows who would have won without FF interference? But that interference probably guaranteed money for abortions.


Coming up: How Stephen Woodworth's campaign to Open the Abortion Debate is going to blow up real good too. (I'll link when it's up.)


prowomanprochoice.org said...

Go Kandace!

I didn't read this particularly insightful post from Mrozek until I read this entry. And oh boy:

She’s campaigning for the rights of powerful people to trample over little people, in a world where people starve, are put in jail for nothing, have their freedoms removed, have to move across oceans away from their families and homes in order to survive.

I'd say the same can be said about the PWPL campaign.

The Pedgehog said...

Also, if people are interested in donating to PEI Reproductive Rights Organization (the org that Kandace co-founded), I'm campaigning to match the $1000 prize: http://prro.chipin.com/prro

fern hill said...

The Pedgehog's link.

Niles said...

I'm in with filthy lucre, Pedgehog. Time to stop letting the anti-women forces frame the argument.

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