Happy International Women's Day

I "celebrated" the day by taking part in a demonstration against a rogue agency operating on Dorset Street, about 15 minutes away from my home.

This agency advertises itself under the names "A Choice for Women" and "British Alternatives". Names that are obviously designed to attract women considering abortion, under the guise that they will provide the information and referrals these women seek.

Instead, however, they try to terrorise the women out of their decision. They do this by lying about the future that awaits women who choose not to continue their pregnancy. They tell women that abortion leads to breast cancer (lie), to child abuse (lie), to congenital depression (lie), to whatever they can come up with to scare the woman out of terminating the pregnancy. They use delaying tactics such as telling the women that it is not possible to have an abortion before two months (lie) or that they have to have an ultrasound first (lie). Apparently, in the anti-choice mind, any woman who decides to go ahead with an abortion ought to at least be forced to have it as late as possible, to make it as unpleasant as possible. If they can't prevent an abortion, they can at least punish the woman who has one. And they wonder why we say they are anti-woman.

The agency that we demonstrated in front of made it very clear that they do not have a position they can defend. They tried to stave off the demonstration by covering up the front of the building with a canvas and scaffolding. I'd like to post the photos I took, but I keep getting error messages on this stupid blog hosting site, so you'll have to take my word for it (although there are pictures up on Indymedia if you're really curious).

The bottom line in any case is that this agency and others like it are now on notice that they cannot continue to LIE to women who find themselves pregnant about the choices available to them. We are watching you, and we will continue to watch - and we will take action against any of those who are found to be trying to force vulnerable women to live by their own moral code.

Oh, and apparently there was an election in the North today, too. I'll post about that later.

10 comments:

Ciarán said...

The Indymedia article and photos can be see here: Photos from Protest outside Rogue Agency

I think the blog will only allow you to upload one picture per post. You can use PhotoBucket or ImageShack to store images online for free, then simply include the HTML code in your post.

Great post, by the way.

Wednesday said...

Thank you Ciarán!

WorldbyStorm said...

The deceitfulness is disgusting. If people have a position based on their own ethical principles that's fair enough as long as it's open, but to actually entice people through incorrect and misleading information in order to browbeat them is repulsive in the extreme.

And one can only imagine what their response would be were it the other way around...

Chris Gaskin said...

Apparently, in the anti-choice mind, any woman who decides to go ahead with an abortion ought to at least be forced to have it as late as possible, to make it as unpleasant as possible. If they can't prevent an abortion, they can at least punish the woman who has one. And they wonder why we say they are anti-woman.

Wednesday

As you know I am against abortion/murder but to suggest that I and others in the pro-life side want to see suffering inflicted upon those who decide to have an abortion is disgusting.

It is not about punishing women, it's about protecting the unborn.

I was very glad to see Dawn Doyle clear up any confusion about our policy on abortion during the election campaign.

I am not and nor have I ever been anti-women and I am pro-life.

Your suggestion that people of the pro-life persussion wish to see women suffer is akin to me calling all women whores (something I would never do or believe)

Ciarán said...

Interestingly, The Volunteer magazine in Andersonstown in Belfast published as part of its recent election-centred issue the Sinn Féin position on several issues. Top of the bill was abortion, and part of it stated that:

"However, in exceptional circumstances where a woman's life or mental health is at risk, and in cases of rape or sexual abuse we do not believe in criminalizing women who make the choice to have an abortion." [This is the emphasis as it appeared in the magazine, more or less.]

Now, allow me to summarise what was said above: "However, in exceptional circumstances... we do not believe in criminalizing women who make the choice to have an abortion."

Criminalizing women? What lovely language for a supposedly revolutioanry party. So it would seem that even Sinn Féin supports punishing women who have an abortion for anything but the narrowest range of reasons.

Chris, it's easy to be anti-choice when you're not a woman and will never have to worry about the kinds of things they will (which I suppose could explain why the anti-choice movement is generally dominated by men). And another thing, why is it that anti-choice women are almost Bible bashers? Why is it so rare to see a secular or liberal anti-choice woman? But I digress.

Wednesday said...

Chris, how is telling a woman (inaccurately) that the only kind of abortion available to her is a later surgical abortion "protecting the unborn"? If she's going to have the abortion anyway, it should make no difference to them which kind she has - except that an early medicinal abortion is less complicated and painful...and apparently that's just not acceptable to them. If she's going to have an abortion, by God, she'll have to suffer for it! Clearly that is the attitude they are taking and I make no apologies for calling them anti-woman for doing so. That doesn't mean that all anti-choicers are anti-woman but if you don't recognise that some are, then with respect I think you are not paying close enough attention to the company you're keeping.

Ciarán, I'm quite horrified by that language as well. It's the first time I've ever seen our policy presented in those terms (as opposed to a vague sort of "we're against abortion" without any real explanation as to what measures we think should be put in place to prevent it). I'm going to follow that up with our policy department because I really don't think that is consistent with positions we have taken in the past.

Ciarán said...

Wednesday, a chara,

I'm not suggesting that this is the exact position as laid out by the party; afterall there's every chance that this could be the editorial interpretation of SF policy for their perceived audience.

To be honest though, it may sound crude but this is essentially the line the party is following with its policy of only tolerating abortion in certain "extreme" cases. It's something that definitely needs to be cleared up.

Wednesday said...

Well, I've checked with our policy department and I've been advised that it is not our policy that women should be criminalised in any circumstances for having an abortion, so whoever was quoted in that paper got it wrong.

Although I somehow doubt there will be a retraction.

Chris Gaskin said...

Chris, it's easy to be anti-choice when you're not a woman

It's always an easy decision to stand up for the rights of the unborn and against those who wish to kill them.

It's no decision at all!

And another thing, why is it that anti-choice women are almost Bible bashers?

I know plenty of women who are pro-life and are anything but bible bashers.

Why is it so rare to see a secular or liberal anti-choice woman? But I digress

It's not however in your social circles it may be

I make no apologies for calling them anti-woman for doing so

My opposition was not based on the facts of this case but your generic use of language.

"Apparently, in the anti-choice mind, any woman who decides to go ahead with an abortion ought to at least be forced to have it as late as possible, to make it as unpleasant as possible."

You included all prolife people in that statement, not just those in the present situtation.

Can you see where I am coming from?

but if you don't recognise that some are

In respect Wednesday you did not mention "some" you did a very broadbrush approach which was inaccurate.

Wednesday said...

Why is it so rare to see a secular or liberal anti-choice woman?

It's not however in your social circles it may be


The interesting thing is that it actually is very rare in other countries. I know this from experience in the US and England and I've heard it from people who have lived in Canada and Australia as well. Abortion is a simple left-right issue there - for the most part the only anti-choice leftists you'll ever encounter there are devout Catholics. That's why it seems clear to me that opposition to abortion is fundamentally a religious issue. And because of the extent of the Church's influence in Ireland, "secular, liberal" people here are still influenced to a great degree by the Church's teachings, even if they don't realise it.

In respect Wednesday you did not mention "some" you did a very broadbrush approach which was inaccurate.

Possibly so. Can I take it then that you condemn the use of such tactics?

  Subscribe with Bloglines