Youth Defence: fanatical and bigoted roll out of national anti choice campaign

By Kitty | June 21 2012 | 218 Comments

Those wonderfully tolerant and understanding people known as Youth Defence have been busy little bees of late. Did I say tolerant and understanding? I meant fanatical and bigoted. The billboard spaces of Dublin city have been playing host to their latest campaign, the sensitively sloganed “Abortion tears her life apart” ads, with a picture of a foetus or a crying girl on them. If you haven’t spotted them yet,
it’s only a matter of time, as unfortunately their campaign is soon to be seen on public transport and rolled out nationwide, like a big sinister cloud of misinformation and emotional blackmail.

There are episodes of Reeling in the Years that I find myself getting exasperated with. The ones covering the early Nineties that show the referendum on divorce and Seventies ones showing women defiantly crossing the border to buy condoms, while a priest faints at the sight of these scandalous hussies, taking control over their own damn bodies. The priest may have been out of shot, actually. Those are the ones where I find myself wondering how it could have taken so long for this country to cop on to itself and stop being so bloody backward. And yet I know the day will come when I’ll be watching the episode summarising 2012 and wondering how the hell abortion and same sex marriage still weren’t properly legislated for by then.

But as much as I’d like to dwell in this fancy futuristic version of our country, where women in Ireland have the basic human right to decide what’s best for our own bodies and minds and where a couple can get married, regardless of their gender, for now we’re stuck here in the present. Where we’re being visually assaulted by these hysterical, hand-wringing, anti-choice posters on our daily commute and being fobbed off by the ASAI, who have decided that they want nothing to do with complaints about the campaign.

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.

The one thing that calms me down when it comes to self righteous anti choice shenanigans like this, is that the reason these groups are being so vocal and noisy right now is because they know change is on the way.

And if you ask me, change can’t come soon enough.

This is an opinion piece. Please respect the opinion of others. Off topic and abusive comments will be deleted.

Feminism, Politics , , , ,

218 Replies to "Youth Defence: fanatical and bigoted roll out of national anti choice campaign"

  • Nicola says:

    Well said!

    What worries me is the influence of violent protestors in America, who have started to go over to England. They hang around outside the clinics and harrass the women who are going in and out. Harrass isn’t the word – they yell, scream, threaten. And some of them bring kids along to hold up banners.

    I really cannot understand how that is legal.

  • lemon verbena says:

    Actually I don’t know anyone who’s lives have been “torn apart by abortion”. This is just guilt tripping and emotional blackmail. But I know quite a few women who made the decision to have a termination and it was the best choice for them – and they have no regrets.

  • OtherMary says:

    Stop murdering babies! To God, unborn babies’ innocent lives are sacred and the unborn must be protected at all costs! What if your mother had killed you, eh? With having a choice, people have neglected responsibility – responsibility to protect innocent human lives!

    Your life is of course worth less to god than a guppy’s, and I don’t really care about logic and that you would not have an opinion at all if you had not been born. Shame on you for thinking that you should have the right to choose to not be pregnant, slut.

    Did any of you who went to Taste of Dublin see the bags with “CHOOSE LIFE” printed on them, being handed out by young women at the gates? I was too enraged from the sight to even ask if this was anything but an anti-choice thing. It could have been something else, in which case I apologise for my prejudice.

  • balletgirl345 says:

    Have been seeing these signs around the city all month!!! Seriously, can’t women be allowed to take control of their bodies, and not be forced to have an unplanned child when, for example, money is low, jobs are unstable, and the world the child would be brought up in would be unstable and so would it’s future? It’s ridiculous… it shows how backwards our country is!!!

  • Eileesh says:

    Regardless of anyone’s moral objections to abortion there are still medical reasons it can be needed and even in those cases it’s still not available in Ireland.
    Personally I think everyone should have the right to choose for themselves what they want to do and they should not have to leave the country to make that choice.
    There are plenty of other issues that can cause people long-term mental anguish, and youth defense would be far better off addressing those issues – depression, child abuse, etc. instead of hopping on a catholic-church backed hobby horse.

  • Acat says:

    Totally agree. I tried to complain to the ASAI and could not. On their website they state that as it is not a commercial that they can do nothing. So who can do something? Can people just put up whatever they want on billboards across the city? I don’t understand how this is allowed. Surely SOMEONE is responsible for monitoring things like this? If the posters were racist or upset the pc brigade then they would be removed.

    I find the ads to be very upsetting, the same way if a pro choice one said “abortions makes her life better – it is always the best choice.”

    It is a personal issue and I don’t want other peoples opinions rammed down my throat. Disgusting campaign by a disgusting group.

  • joanne says:

    I really cannot believe this. Have we gone back 20 years? The Youth Defence are actually being allowed to put these images on public transport? Beggars belief. Is there someone we can contact to complain about this?

    In the news during the week- Victims of symphysiotomy, a practice in which doctors broke women’s pelvises to ease childbirth without their consent, have called for Dáil support in their bid for justice and compensation. Why not put images of sawn pelvises on public transport to show exactly what the catholic church did to these poor women then? I’m sure there would be outcry about that

  • Lisa says:

    I saw a YD member handing out leaflets recently, hadn’t seen one for years and she was smiling like she has handing out free sweets. I know several women who have had abortions and not one said that they regret the decision. If abortion isn’t for you unless someone is pressuring you or forcing you it’s unlikely you will have one. But regardless of the legitimacy of the claims in these adverts the fact that we have noticed them means they have succeeded which is a problem in itself.

  • avicakes says:

    I think they have the right to express their opinion just as I have the right to follow it or ignore it. I see other posters & campaigns I’m not interested in & I just glance & then pay no attention. There are people out there who believe in pro-life & that’s their choice to do so. Horses for courses & what not.

  • Rosamaria says:

    I had seen the posters, but couldn’t read the small print (driving the car seemed safer when on the road :) ) but Youth Defence makes sense.

    I expect that it is the fact that this government is probably going to have to legislate on the X/Y/Z decision that has caused this latest outburst.

    Having heard a lot on the radio yesterday about Danny Talbot’s brief traumatic life, I seriously wish they would have some concern for born children.

    And of course there should be choice – and the ability to not have to leave the country to truly exercise that choice.

    It gives me worms to think of this whole debate kicking off again.

Content © and partners