Street information sessions continued again in the New Year, with brand new set of boards made by volunteers over the holidays. In 2004 we distributed over half a million pieces of literature and spoke to thousands of people about the reality of abortion. In fact we ran out of Life Books in October and had to make a bumper order for 2005.
The Midland Health Board was picketed on February 19th and again on March 18th by a large number of pro-lifers in response to the Board sending a 14 year old girl to England for an abortion in December. The girl had become pregnant while in the custody of the health board. None of the elected representatives on the Board protested the killing of this innocent baby and their inaction was condemned by the protesters.
In February Eoghan de Faoite of YD was invited on the Late Late Show where Dr Panos Zavos, an advocate of human cloning, was to discuss his failed attempts to clone a human being. Panos, an avid acolyte of the Dr. Meraux school of medicine, was into growing spare arms and bionic legs and things but Eoghan cut through the mad stuff to present the medical and scientific evidence which supports the view that the embryo is a complete new human being. He also pointed out that it was wrong to kill human beings so that we can harvest "spare parts" for whenever we might need them.
Our annual commemoration took place in Cork this year on March 13th. We thought it would be appropriate to highlight the fate of other babies who were killed at the hands of the health boards, the most recent being the case of a girl in the custody of the Midland Health Board. So it was off to Cork to picket the constituency offices of Micheal Martin, the Minister for Health at the time. We called on the Minister to put an end to state-sponsored murder in Ireland once and for all and to stop using Irish taxes to facilitate abortions.
Our stunt this year was tombstones: representing each of the babies killed by abortion through the actions of the various health boards. We also handed out rabble-rousing leaflets encouraging people to phone the Minister and object.
On the 24th and 25th of February the Irish Government organised a major two-day conference on HIV/AIDS as part of Ireland's European presidency. Many of the groups involved in the conference have publicly declared their support for abortion, including UNFPA, UNICEF and UNAids. One of the main speakers at the conference was Her Poloness, Mary Robinson, a long time abortion advocate who spoke about "reproductive choices" that should be on offer in third world countries (because that really stops the spread of AIDS? What are you like Robbo?). A YD protest outside the conference highlighting the pro-abortion position of the majority of organisations and speakers involved, and asked for aid efforts not to be tied in with hidden agendas.
Schools programme is developing further every year, and by now the website features ultrasonic photographs, video clips of unborn children moving in the womb, clips of the baby’s heartbeat during all three trimesters and more. It popularity continues to grow in the most remarkable way, especially considering no advertising whatsoever directs the 1.2 million annual visitors to the site.
This year’s annual Roadshow brought the truth about abortion to 18 towns and cities around the country, and considerable time was spent on local radio interviews.
YD and M&C members spent over two months of hard-work and campaigning trying to secure pro-life representation in the European Parliament. The good news was that Kathy Sinnott triumphed in the South despite the best efforts of Labour's Brendan Ryan to use her pro-life views against her. Dana Rosemary Scallon polled extremely well in the North-West, and narrowly missed taking the seat. Dana has consistently made a courageous stance in defence of life at all stages.
YD conducted a protest outside the offices of the Irish College of General Practitioners (ICGP) on 26th of June in response to the pro-abortion guidelines this group issued to the GPs in Ireland. The guidelines were published in conjunction with the Crisis Pregnancy Agency (CPA) and deal with the management of unexpected pregnancies. The document completely ignored the adverse effects of abortion for a woman and even criticized doctors who "have a moral objection to abortion."
In June partial-birth abortion advocate Bill Clinton was invited to sign copies of his autobiography My Life in Eason’s on O Connell St. YD decided to protest the former President’s visit because of his radical pro-abortion position. The morning of his arrival we gathered outside Easons with placards and chanted pro-life slogans at him. A number of people left the queue where they were waiting to have the book signed and joined the protest when they learned of Clinton's support for abortion.
In July the Mother & Child Campaign launched a comprehensive report on the adverse physical and psychological effects of induced abortion. It was a first of its kind not only for M&C and YD but also for Ireland. Entitled “Women have a right to know” it was mailed to every GP with the aim to help them respond to the ICGP’s misleading guidelines and also to allow medical professionals who deal with women in unexpected pregnancies to have the most up to date information available to them.
It was widely welcomed and order for additional copies began to roll in. With a foreward by Professor Eamon O Dwyer, this was the most comprehensive and well-researched report on this issue ever produced in Ireland.
Then we went to Cruach Pádraig on Reek Sunday for the good of our souls and to let people there know about the goings-on at the pro-life front.
Pro-life information stands were organised in Dublin and elsewhere during the various Fresher’s weeks of 2004. The stalls were extremely successful. The usual stuff here, talking to people, distributing info. etc. New pro-life societies were formed in Dublin City University and Maynooth.