Anti-abortion billboard

Ireland's abortion laws are the strictest in Europe, and anti-abortion group Youth Defence has launched a national campaign that urges women with crisis pregnancies to seek any option but abortion. The ads have attracted widespread criticism from those who believe it's wrong to take away a woman's choice.

Choice Ireland spokesperson Stephanie Lord had this to say about Youth Defence:

"If their concern for women was genuine they would not spend the large costs of these billboards on trying to make women feel bad about the choices they have made."

Anti-abortion billboard

Anti-abortion billboard

When asked about the cost of the campaign Niamh Uí Bhriain of the Life Institute said, "We’re getting really good value... we need to raise a hundred and fifty grand."

There'll be 200 advertisements on Dublin buses for four weeks, from June 25th, screens at Heuston Station in Dublin, showing a moving unborn baby, advertisements on buses in Limerick and Cork, and the printing of a minimum of half a million leaflets.

Anti-abortion billboard
Photos via Youth Defence

The Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland is deflecting complaints because the advertising "does not have a commercial element (e.g. a fundraising element) and is outside the remit of the Code."

This prompted Siren Magazine to create template complaints to send to JCDecaux, the advertising company hosting the billboards, and the Irish Government's Department of Communications.

"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."

Darragh Doyle tweeted from Dublin's Lombard Street where one poster was apparently ripped down.

Anti-abortion billboard ripped

Reported elsewhere:
For it or against it, abortion is not a billboard issue, on The Irish Times
'Abortion Tears Life Apart' Adverts Spark Anger in Dublin, on Huffington Post
Anti-abortion billboards 'do not speak for majority of women', on TheJournal.ie
Anti-Choice Billboards Arrive in Ireland, on RH Reality Check
ASAI powerless to act on anti-abortion billboards, on TheJournal.ie

Via Midpoint Creative.