South House Halifax Crowdsources Choice
Halifax, NS – There’s been lots of conversations about anti-choice ads placed in Halifax’s Metro Transit buses and bus shelters. The South House Sexual and Gender Resource Centre would like to offer an alternative to these messages and help inform the community of the many pro-choice services available to them.
South House Halifax is proud to be one of several pro-choice organizations that provide resources, information and support 365 days a year, regardless of a person’s choice.
“Choice is a public freedom issue because reproductive rights are human rights,” says Jude Ashburn, Outreach Coordinator at South House. “We need to protect choice with medically accurate information, sexuality education, greater access to contraception and support services, and an understanding of choice as a basic human right, not by distracting from the very real issues that people in this situation, making these decisions, face.”
Even before the most recent ads, organizations that masquerade as health services have advertised on transit, seemingly hoping to target younger and more vulnerable women. These organizations are explicit about their intentions to dissuade people from having abortions on their websites but do not provide this information on their bus ads, nor do they properly disclaim their bias. South House is taking a stand against unscientific claims and confusing messaging. The choices surrounding pregnancy can be difficult enough to navigate without hidden agendas.
“We operate in a way that trusts people to make the best choices for themselves,” explains Jean Ketterling, Administrative & Volunteer Coordinator at South House. “By giving them information and resources we can help empower individuals to make the decision that’s best for them. You can’t make major life decisions based on shame, fear and misinformation.”
That is why South House is turning to the public to help get that message out.
“South House’s money goes to programs and resources,” says Allison Sparling, campaign coordinator. “Crowdsourcing these advertisements allow us counteract the misinformation that is out there without affecting the important services that are offered every day. Many people support the right to choose but do not see it threatened. This is a call to them. Access is a key part of choice. We need the public’s help to make sure vulnerable people are not targeted and see all of their options.”
South House is eager to get good information out there and to support people who need their services. Graphic designers are donating time in-kind so the only cost that remains is buying the ads on Halifax Metro Transit busses. South House wants to offer an alternative and empowering message to transit users, and Nova Scotians can help us get on the bus by donating to the funding page: http://www.gofundme.com/65csh0 or contacting South House directly.
Donations will both counter misinformation in Halifax busses and take a stand with all people who are fighting anti-choice messaging. South House appreciates all support in their mission to inform transit riders to of all the options that exist, and of organizations that support their right to choose, whatever that choice may be.
The South House (SoHo) is Halifax’s only full time gender justice centre. We are a volunteer driven, student funded, gender inclusive safe space for ALL members of our community. We are a trans-and queer-positive space and are proud to offer a wheelchair accessible space. We offer a resource centre, library, and free meeting space for woman-positive and anti-oppression organizing and gathering. Find more information at www.southhousehalifax.ca.