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Graphic pro-life events planned for Cork and Dublin airports 'won't get permission'

The group planning the events, the Irish Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform, is seeking volunteers and donations.

abortion airport Source: irish Centre for Bio-ethical Reform

A PRO-LIFE group says it intends on holding ‘education projects’ outside two major Irish airports – which would involve graphic abortion imagery and banners.

But spokespeople for both Cork and Dublin Airport have indicated that they are unlikely to give permission for such events. Both airports say they don’t give permission for protests.

‘Airport Education Project’

The Irish Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform says in a recent mail to supporters that it is appealing for volunteers and funding for its ‘airport education project’, which would take place between Saturday 29 July and Sunday 13 August at Dublin Airport and Cork Airport and city centre.

In examples of the types of posters and banners it would show, it includes graphic imagery of what it claims are aborted foetuses. It says that it intends on purchasing 15x5ft prints which would include the airport-themed signage.

It is seeking seven to eight display participants for the events, as well as people with experience in photography/videography, video editing and graphic design.

It is also looking for funding to support the airport events.

With regard to the callout for videographers, it says:

No doubt the abortion lobby and their journalist pawns will want to paint this event as pro-lifers filming women going abroad for abortions; something we don’t do. As though we would even know which 15 passengers among the thousands were travelling to the UK for abortion.

The ICBR says it uses body cameras “to protect our volunteers from false allegations”.

It also has two signs which claim the group would reimburse tickets for people intending to fly abroad for an abortion.

However, it appears highly unlikely that the group would receive permission for the events to take place on airport property.

A spokesperson for Cork Airport told TheJournal.ie that:

We do not give permission for protests of any type at Cork Airport.
[U]nder Statutory By-Laws, the distribution of leaflets, pamphlets or other documentation to staff, passengers or visitors, or leaving such like on vehicles or in any areas at or within the airport and conducting or taking part in public meetings, demonstrations or processions are specifically prohibited unless permission has been given by the airport authority.

This was echoed by a Dublin Airport spokesperson, who said:

Under statutory airport by-laws, the distribution of leaflets, pamphlets or other documentation to staff, passengers or visitors, or leaving such items on vehicles or in any areas at or within the airport and conducting or taking part in public meetings, demonstrations or processions are specifically prohibited unless permission has been given by the airport authority. We do not give permission for protests of any type at Dublin Airport.

The ICBR was asked by TheJournal.ie if it had contacted the airports in advance.

In an email, it said:

We always inform An Garda Siochana of our intentions to hold Public Educations Displays and this will be no exception. We will also be in touch with airport authorities of our intentions.

When asked if the campaigners would stand inside or outside the airport, it said:

As close to the airport buildings as we may lawfully stand.

It says its public education displays “will consist of medical images of aborted fetuses displayed on vinyl banners with brief, content-neutral, identifying captions”.

“They are non-judgemental and non-polemical and offer no negative commentary concerning abortion, or the people who choose abortion, or the people who perform abortion.”

The group is “confident that An Garda Siochana will abide by its obligation to protect the rights of every citizen within its jurisdiction, including the rights of those who speak out publicly against abortion”.

image 2 Source: ICBR

“It is our hope that they will do what they can to ensure that we, the volunteers, are free from unlawful interference with our Constitutional right to freedom of speech. In turn, we continue to pledge to scrupulously abide by all lawful rules and regulations governing public order on the public walkways of Dublin and Cork in which we intend on holding our education displays ie As close to the airport buildings as we may lawfully stand.”

Graphic images

With regard to the graphic images themselves, the group says in its mailing list:

Well we ask, if you support abortion, why does seeing it make you so angry? Again, these are medically accurate photographs of what someone has done to a baby. Their authenticity has been well attested. How can doing this thing to a baby be okay if seeing it is so disturbing, that it is immoral for us to show it to people?
That is why we intend on standing at the airport with our airport themed images as part of our consumer protection initiative. We will show their ‘consumer client’ what they would never dare to – abortion reality.

It adds of abortion providers:

We intend on cutting through their rhetoric and trickery by exposing the gruesome underbelly of their ‘abortion service’ by standing inside or outside the airport in Dublin and Cork. Their ‘service users’ have a right to know what ‘abortion treatment’ and ‘abortion care’ looks like
To have an open and honest discussion concerning abortion would signal the death knell for the abortion industry and those who stand to gain from its immense profits. And yet, we’re the extremists!

It describes pro-choice activists covering up or vandalising images of abortion as “a suitable metaphor for the efforts exerted by the abortion industry and its allies in attempting to ‘vandalize’ and cover-up the reality of abortion by sophistry and spin”.

The Irish Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform, a company limited by guarantee, was set up on 7 July 2016, with an address in Co Tipperary. The company’s current directors are Jean Simonis Engela and Jacobus Engela, according to SoloCheck.ie.

A spokesperson for the pro-choice Abortion Rights Campaign told TheJournal.ie:

Obviously we think it’s disgusting. The anti choice groups are not happy with keeping almost all abortions out of Ireland but now want to intimidate those who are forced to travel to get the healthcare they need.
As the stats from the UK department of Health show 10 women a day leave Ireland to get an abortion. They are already subject to shame and stigma by being exiled.

The spokesperson describes the abortion images as “fake and have no medical basis, they are designed to shock”. The ICBR says the images are not fake.

According to its website, the ICBR is connected to pro-life groups including the US-based Center for Bio-Ethical Reform and the UK-based Abort67, as well as the Canadian-based Canadian Centre for Bio-ethical Reform and the CBR Netherlands.

Read: Irish women account for seven in 10 non-resident abortions carried out in UK>

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