‘In memory of all victims of abortion’ tombstone causes controversy in Ontario town

A tombstone in Belleville, Ontario has gotten some attention because it was erected by the Knights of Columbus to commemorate “all victims of abortion.”
A tombstone in Belleville, Ontario has gotten some attention because it was erected by the Knights of Columbus to commemorate “all victims of abortion.”

A tombstone in Belleville, Ontario has gotten some attention, as it was erected to commemorate “all victims of abortion”.

The black gravestone, propped by the area’s Knights of Columbus, posted an image of their tombstone of Nov. 2 and Nov. 8, leading to a national debate across social media.

In response, comment sections flooded with reaction memes, insulting the eighteen men in the photo, calling them misogynists, crusty white boomers, and other insults.

The three photos collectively garnered about 3,300 reactions on Facebook. According to figures from The National Post, “roughly sixty-six percent of people reacted to the images with a ‘Haha’ or ‘Love’ while about 20 percent responded with an ‘Angry’ reaction.”

In response to the controversy, Belleville chapter grand knight David Cameron said there’s nothing to debate about it. “We’re not engaging in any sort of debate about it … This is our belief and we don’t feel we’ve done anything wrong … it speaks for itself,” said Cameron to the National Post.

Engraved in the granite are other messages, such as “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I consecrated you,” “unborn lives matter,” and “life is sacred,” a reference to Jerimiah 1:5.

The Knights of Columbus, a Catholic fraternity founded in 1882 did not give a figure for the cost of the gravestone, though Cameron did note that the cemetery,  St. James Roman Catholic Cemetery, supported the gravestone.

Local activists, though, say the tombstone attacks a woman’s right to choose.

According to Elissa Robertson, the co-ordinator of Warrior Women of Quinte, organized a demonstration in response to the Knights.

“It was designed to shame people. I think it was absolutely uncalled for and that money they put into this anti-abortion monument could have done a lot of good somewhere else,” said Robertson, according to InQuinte.

“It ties into patriarchal values and this idea that women’s bodies are meant to be controlled by men. It’s a broader issue that ties into violence against women, it ties into health care, it ties into safety.”

Cameron went on to say that there are 137 gravestones commemorating unborn lives across North America, each erected by the Knights of Columbus.