Anti-abortion campaigners pledge to go ahead with graphic airport protests

The Coalition to Repeal the 8th has called the planned demonstrations "intolerable"

Anti-abortion campaigners pledge to go ahead with graphic airport protests

File photo, 26-9-2012. Image: Eamon Farrell/RollingNews

Anti-abortion campaigners have insisted they will go ahead with plans to demonstrate outside Dublin and Cork airports.

The protests, organised by the Irish Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform (ICBR), will see demonstrators carrying placards with graphic images aimed at convincing women not to travel for abortion.

Under airport bylaws, all demonstrations are prohibited without the express permission of the authorities and the DAA has warned that it will not allow any form of protest on-site.

The Coalition to repeal the 8th meanwhile, has called the plans “unacceptable.”

Coalition spokesperson Ailbhe Smyth said the chosen location of the protests is particularly upsetting.

“I think it is a horrible thing to do to women who are in a very vulnerable situation - simply because our law denies them their basic right to good and proper health care here in this country,” she said.

“I think all of us respect each other’s right to protest, but not to intimidate people in this way.

“Not to behave in a way which can only cause greater distress and stress to women who are travelling to Britain for reproductive health care services.”

Placards anti-abortion campaigners plan to display at Dublin and Cork airports. Image: Irish Centre for Biological Reform

The ICBR has defended the proposed use of graphic imagery and insisted the protests will go ahead as planned in late July and early August.

The organisation has claimed the pictures are “medical images” of aborted foetuses which will be displayed on vinyl banners.

Organisers are also planning to display placards encouraging women not to board their flights.

ICBR director Jean Simonis Engela has insisted the images they plan to use are necessary:

“We agree that these are people who are in a very vulnerable state,” he said. “They are abortion vulnerable and they are being preyed upon - not by us but by the abortion industry.”

“If the abortion industry started showing these images inside the clinics, we would stop doing what we need to do.

"But it is precisely because they won’t dare to show these images which establish the humanity of the unborn and the inhumanity of abortion that we have to stand in the gap.”

He insisted the demonstrations will go ahead even if demonstrators are not allowed on airport property.

“We intend on getting in touch with An Garda Síochána, notifying them of our intentions and we will stand as close to the airport buildings as we may lawfully stand.”

“If that means we are prohibited from standing on airport property by law, then we will stand just outside the perimeters on the public walkways of the airports.”

Ms Smyth said the plans are “unacceptable, intolerable and it really should not be happening.”

“A peaceful protest is one thing, intimidation and bullying are quite another and we don’t put up with that in this country,” she said.

The dates set for the demonstrations are Saturday July 29th to Sunday August 16th.