Safeguards now required for graphic images of fetuses on flyers
Calgary City Council has approved an amendment to the Calgary Community Standards Bylaw that will help protect people from viewing graphic images of fetuses when delivered to their homes.
Effective immediately, the amendment outlines that flyers that have graphic images of fetuses must be concealed in an opaque envelope, with a graphic content warning, and include the name and address of the sender, when delivered to homes.
The amendment introduces a layer of protection against individual family members being inadvertently exposed to graphic content when collecting flyers with the family mail. Through engagement, The City of Calgary heard that flyers containing these graphic images can be disturbing and painful for those who have experienced miscarriage or pregnancy termination.
“Images of aborted fetuses can be deeply traumatizing and harmful for some individuals when viewed unexpectedly,” says Councillor Wyness, who championed the bylaw amendment. “While we want to uphold the freedom of advocacy groups to express their opinions, we need to also balance our responsibility to protect communities. As a society, we accept that not all content is appropriate for everyone, which is why we have R-ratings for disturbing or mature films, for example. These pamphlets fall under that same category and it's reasonable to ask that they come with a content warning.”
The three requirements of the bylaw amendment carry separate fines of $1000 if violated.
If Calgarians receive a flyer with a graphic image of a fetus that is not enclosed in an envelope, with both a warning label and sender’s address, they may call 311 to report it.
All reported incidents will be investigated, and enforcement will be based on education, voluntary compliance and officer discretion. More information is available on Calgary.ca.