A new ad campaign by the Youth Defence organization, an anti-abortion group in Ireland, urging mothers not to opt for abortion has stirred up controversy not only within Dublin city, but around the country.
A new series of print ads that have been hung around Dublin city proclaim “Abortion tears her life apart. There is always another option,” with ‘always’ underlined for emphasis. On the ads is either a picture of a seemingly distraught woman or a picture of a fetus.
Broadsheet reported on Wednesday from one reader who was particularly disgruntled. Said the reader: “By telling women that there is “always” (emphasised) a better option, and that abortion “tears” a woman’s life apart, this advertisement encourages and condones “dangerous behaviour or unsafe practices” as it discourages women from having an abortion in ANY circumstances, even when their lives are medically threatened as a result of the pregnancy.”
Many of those who were angered by the new ad campaign took to social media to air their frustrations. Youth Defence’s Facebook page saw a flurry of activity following the reveal of the new ads around Dublin - some in favor, some not.
Thursday morning it was revealed that some have gone further than just speaking out against the ad campaign. Broadsheet reported that some have taken to ripping the ads down during the night.
On Thursday, Broadsheet posted a reader-submitted comment that said “On the shortest night of 2012 some people got together for some direct action against the appalling Youth Defence posters that have been plastered all over Dublin city center.” Accompanied with the post was a video of the ad being splattered with paint and ripped down.
Some are now calling for the ads to be removed altogether as they are “disingenuous” and “misleading,” and hold potential for widespread “offense.”
In one opinionated blog post Beaut.ie, a writer named Kitty posted “These posters and the people behind them are labouring under the delusion that they’re helping and protecting women, when really all they’re doing is trying to bully and shame them, us, into falling into step with their own beliefs.”
While many are angered by the new ad campaign, there are those who support it as well. Youth Defence’s Facebook page features comments and ‘likes’ in praise of the new billboards.
The HuffingtonPost UK reports that Niamh Uí Bhriain of the Life Institute, who are co-sponsoring the nationwide campaign with Youth Defence, said the posters were inspired by a woman who had had an abortion.
"She told me that she felt her life was torn apart by the abortion, and that her baby's life was torn apart as well. I thought it was a powerful description of the reality of abortion, which is all too often glossed over in the debate on the issue.
"The truth is that abortion kills babies and harms women, and we're using this campaign to put that reality back into the debate," she added.
Youth Defence writes in their mission statement that their aims are to “inform thousands of young women of the wonder of the developing baby in the womb and the horror of abortion; save many women from being physically or psychologically destroyed by abortion; offer comfort, and direct towards counselling, those women who are suffering as a result of abortion; and produce literature dealing with the need to protect mothers from abortion and telling of women hurt by abortion.”
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