The Knights of Columbus, a Catholic charity organization, is facing accusations of "shaming women" after the group erected a monument to aborted babies in a Canadian cemetery, according to LifeSiteNews.
"Life is sacred. In memory of all victims of abortion," says the inscription on the tombstone in St. James Roman Catholic Cemetery in the southern Ontario's bay town of Belleville. It also includes a biblical verse from the Book of Jeremiah. "Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you, before you were born, I consecrated you."
Protesting the tombstone
Local activists were offended by the gravestone's presence after learning about it on social media.
"Can you believe this?" wrote one on Facebook. "Knights of Columbus Belleville - Council #1008 (all men) organized this absolutely shameful act (dedicated this monument on November 2-2019) and also posted it on their facebook page."
Meanwhile, on Nov. 16, a group called Warrior Women of Quinte organized a protest in city's downtown area that was attended by about 30 people.
National Post reported that group coordinator Elissa Robertson addressed attendees at the demonstration where she accused the Catholic charity of "attacking a women's right to choose."
"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. "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."
Knights of Columbus responds
However, a leader with the local Belleville Knights of Columbus chapter, David Cameron, defended the memorial, according to LifeSIteNews.
"This is our belief and we don't feel we've done anything wrong … it speaks for itself," Cameron is reported to have told the Post, adding that the organization was not inclined to debate the issue. Cameron also noted that the Knights of Columbus have 137 similar gravestones across North America.
Knights of Columbus describes itself as a "pro-life voice" on its website. The group was an organizer of the annual March for Life in Washington earlier this year.
"I promise you this," stated a leader of the group. "The day is not far off when you will return, not for a demonstration, but for a victory parade down Pennsylvania Avenue!"
Earlier this year, the charity celebrated placing its 1,000th ultrasound machine in a pro-life pregnancy center.