Tuesday 27 March 2007
Here is the podcast: http://www.newstalk106.ie/podcasts/abortion.xml
Here is an mp3: http://www.newstalk.ie/podcasts/library/Abortion/part1.mp3
Meet at TCD Front Gates at 6.50 pm.
At its meeting last week, the group confirmed the adoption of the name Choice Ireland. Topics for discussion at this weeks meeting include future action regarding the Rogue Clinic.
Report on last Saturdays picket on the Rogue Clinic at:
Audio and photos at http://www.indymedia.ie/article/81655
Photos and audio from the picket of the rogue pregnancy advice agency in Dublin. Audio (first comment) includes some an anti-choice activist trying to defend the agency on the grounds that the ends justify the means.
Picket from across the road
Note that the agency had covered up its usual sign for the morning, a further confirmation of its real agenda.
anti-choice activist who is heard on the audio
Audio interview with people at picket by Joe - WSM - personal capacity Mon Mar 26, 2007 19:30
Its 3.1 mb and around 11 minutes.Due to a technical problem with the recording equipment the are some short segments randomly missing, apologies for this
Interviews made at Saturdays picket
Saturday 24 March 2007
dublin rights and freedoms news report Friday March 09, 2007 16:49 by Pro Choice Activist
This article exposes the long history of the "rogue" crisis pregnancy agency operating from Dorset St. in Dublin, together with their links to parties of the far religious right. Since they have been in existence, the agency has continuously changed their name and location to avoid detection.
The "Women's Resource Centre" on Dorset St.
This is the full story of a rogue crisis pregnancy agency which has been operating in Dublin city for over a decade. Despite numerous infringements of the law, the agency has never been shut down by the state, nor have laws been introduced to ensure the regulation of crisis pregnancy agencies that purport to be pro-choice but are in reality, the complete opposite. Recently, a campaign has been set up which aims to target this agency and get it closed down – and this time, for good. We hope you will read this article and that afterwards you will consider becoming involved in this campaign and the broad movement for reproductive rights in Ireland. It is quite a long account so please bear with us – there are some very interesting things in it that we discovered along the way.Throughout the article, you will notice that we generally refer to the clinic in question as “the agency”. This is because it has no permanent name; following incidents that generate bad publicity, it changes its trading name, shop front, and sometimes even its location. The agency has had to change its name many times but generally uses a name beginning with ‘A’ (A Choice for Women, Aadams, Alpha etc) so they appear first in the phonebook. You can find the current advertisement for the agency in the Family Planning section of the phonebook – it is the largest advertisement in the section and states that it provides “all options” to women in crisis pregnancy situations. It also claims to have offices in “London, Liverpool and Manchester”, obviously implying that they are linked to abortion clinics in the U.K. In addition to this, it says that they offer “post-abortion counselling”. The layout and format of the ad are almost identical to those of genuine crisis pregnancy agencies – but their one is by far the largest. However, the advertisement for the agency differs from most of the other family planning advertisements in that it has no address, only a telephone number.From 1995 to 1999, the agency was known as the “Aadams” agency. According to their own estimation they saw 2000 women during this period. They were shut down due to a High Court ruling that they were running an illegal adoption agency. RTE covered the story at the time.“The High Court has ruled that the founder of a pregnancy counselling service had unlawful custody of a baby during the summer. The baby had been born to a student who had sought help from the agency. The infant is now being cared for by foster parents with the Eastern Health Board.In a 32-page ruling delivered over the weekend, Ms Justice Laffoy said that the agency founder had "singularly failed" to show that the 21-year-old mother's decision to give her baby to the man and his wife for adoption was a free decision. She said that they had acted in a totally inappropriate manner in relation to the young mother.The pregnancy advice agency at the centre of the case is believed to have associations with the Irish anti-abortion movement”(Full story - http://www.rte.ie/news/1999/0830/custody.html)
In addition to this, Miriam Donohue and Carol Coulter(Legal Affairs) were writing articles about the case in the Irish Times.. The links to these articles are here
Unfortunately you have to subscribe to be able to read the Irish Times pieces; however, here are some select quotes about the practices of the Aadams Agency at the time.
“Women taking calls to the Aadam's advertised phone numbers offered appointments for pregnancy counselling at its address when contacted last Saturday and Sunday. Callers to these numbers are not told that the counsellors are anti-abortion. On Friday a call to a different number led to an appointment at the same address. Asked if "all the options" would be discussed, the woman who took the call said: "You wouldn't believe the number of people who are suing abortion clinics in England because they are not given the full facts. The counselling is based on all the facts."” – The Irish Times
This is an account of a first-hand experience of the ‘counselling service’ received by a 20 year old Dublin girl (quoted from The Irish Times)
"In the room upstairs there was a small table and two chairs, and a television and video in the corner. The carpet was scruffy. The man asked me to do a pregnancy test and I went to the bathroom down the hall, which was just as bad. He asked me had I been using any protection. He took out a dummy of a 10-week-old foetus and said this was what was inside me, and did I want to kill it. Then he put on the video and showed all the instruments and how they perform an abortion. It was awful. I'm still going through it. He gave me all these pictures and letters from people he said went to him and decided to have their babies. There were pictures of the babies. He gave me medals and prayers, and a poem meant to be from a foetus to its mother asking not to be killed. It was spooky."
In 1999, the agency then became known as the “Women’s Counselling Network”.This is a quote from an article in the Irish Independent at the time,“THE founders of a pregnancy counselling service, who were ruled to have unlawful custody of a baby earlier this year, are now involved in a similar advice agency in Dublin. A garda investigation is underway into the activities of the former Aadams Agency, which operated in Dublin and Cork, arising from the decision of the High Court last August. The new agency, the Women's Counselling Network, is operating from Dorset St and is offering advice to women in crisis pregnancies. It is understood the new agency is operating within existing legal guidelines. Under current legislation any pregnancy agency which does not provide information on abortion is not subject to regulation.”(Full article at http://www.unison.ie/irish_independent/stories.php3?ca=...d=537)
The agency applied for government funding in 2003 under the name “Womens’ Resource Centre”, but was turned down.They also contributed to the government Green Paper on abortion, as did Youth Defence.“WCN” seemed to have broadly similar aims to the American "Pregnancy ResourceCentres"
This Time article http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,159044....html
details the reliances of these agencies on ultrasound scans to get women who wanted to have abortions to change their minds. One group of these American "Pregnancy Resource Centres" has a "Worldwide Directory of Pregnancy Help" on its website. Here's the site – search for Ireland at this link.. http://www.heartbeatinternational.org/worldwide_directo...y.asp
You'll notice The Majella Pregnancy Centre in Limerick, the Mariel Crisis Pregnancy Center in Cork and something called The WCN International in Dublin. Although it’s not operating from the same address as the Aadams agency was, an article in the Irish Examiner clearly linked the two agencies together.“THE founder of the pregnancy advice agency at the centre of an illegal adoption storm is running as an independent by election candidate in Dublin South Central.The candidate is the founder and proprietor of the Aadam’s pregnancy advice centre. He unlawfully adopted a four day old baby from a college student who had sought advice on her crisis pregnancy from the Aadams Agency.In the High Court in August, Justice Laffoy ruled that the man could not be named, in order to prevent the mother and baby from being identified. This man is now seeking election to the Dáil.This man is also involved in another crisis pregnancy advice centre called WCN International.”(Full story at http://archives.tcm.ie/irishexaminer/1999/10/23/ipage_3...3.htm)
Another Examiner article names the proprieter as Eamon Murphy.“Independent candidate Eamon Murphy is head of Aadams Women’s centre and he is a strong anti abortion campaigner.”(Full story at http://archives.tcm.ie/irishexaminer/1999/10/26/ipage_1.htm)
These websites detail the electoral career of Eamonn Murphy. He ran for election in 1994 and 1999, once under the banner of the Christian Centrist Party.
In 2000, the agency became known as “Alpha”. They painted over their sign on the Dorset St. premises and changed their Golden Pages listing after this Newstalkdocumentary: http://www.newstalk.ie/podcasts/library/Abortion/part1.mp3
From 2006, the agency has been listed in the Golden Pages as “A Choice for Women”, and also as “British Alternatives Pregnancy Services”. Two listings, two numbers – but only one place.This is the official listing for the “A Choice for Women” business. Note the name – Micheal O’Lorchain.Detail on Business Name (source CRO):
Name A CHOICE FOR WOMEN - WOMEN'S RESOURCE CENTRESAddress50, UPPER DORSET STREET,DUBLIN 1.
Effective date: 04/05/2000
Owner Name: MICHEAL O'LORHCAIN
Date of Birth: Not Available
Address: 5A, TOLKA COTTAGES,DUBLIN 9.
A certain Michael Larkin ran for election in 2002 on the Christian Solidarity Party ticket. Their office is around the corner from the agency at 14 North Frederick Street, Dublin 1. The links between this “crisis pregnancy agency” and the fundamental religious parties of the right are undeniable. Thankyou for reading this far – we hope that you consider getting involved. To be added to the mailing list, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
dublin gender and sexuality feature Friday March 09, 2007 15:24 by Pro Choice Activist
Pro Choice Activists marked International Women's Day by holding a protest outside a Rogue family planning agency on Dorset Street. The Agency, called "Women's Resource Agency" and also using the name "British Alternatives Pregnancy Services", was covered up with a brown sheeting - in an attempt to prevent their identity and location being exposed in the media. Advertised as a pregnancy counselling agency, it subjects women in crisis pregnancies to psychological manipulation, misleading and deliberately lying about pregnancy and abortion services to prevent women from travelling for abortion services.
The lies they tell clients are designed to force women to feel guilt and shame for even considering abortion as an option. A newly formed pro-choice group in Dublin (yet to be named) has been working over the last few weeks to gather information about this place. This has included reports back from women who have been to see a 'counsellor' of the agency to get abortion information.
Also Read: Rogue Anti-Choice Agency, Dorset St. - A History of Lies and Deception
Related Links: Indymedia.ie Gender & Sexuality Articles — Pro-Choice Campaigning — RAG Dayschool on Sexual Violence — Alliance For Choice — BODY Launch Article — Irish Family Planning Agency
International Women's Day... The Unmanageables Protest and Blockade Min for Justice Michael McDowell's Office
In Co. Derry: Graffiti by Road
and some interesting Sculpture Alterations
Audio: Class, Feminism and Revolution - Download and Discuss
The protest was called to reveal and undermine the ability of Anti-Choice elements in society to mislead and manipulate women about pregnancy options. This crisis pregnancy agency is a disgusting example of this.The action on the day was very successful. About 30 to 40 people showed up. When we arrived they had prepared for our coming. A large brown canvas was secured on hooks from above, to mask the façade of the building. A large barrier was in front of this and attached to the railings that were permanently on the windows. This was an obvious attempt by this anti-choice group to prevent exposure.
The canvas was soon removed with the help of some direct action by a group of protestors.The Anti-choice side that a few of its ‘bully boys’ out to attempt to intimidate us. It always amazes me that it’s the heavy set middle aged men who attempt to control a women’s fertility for her. They made a bit of a scene shouting, which only served to highlight the dodgy nature of this agency. One of the protestors was informed that due to her part in the protest ‘Satan is going to visit you tonight.’ The protester in question can confirm that she has no visitors last night. Some protestors tried to engage with other anti-choice individuals. On departing a protestor was threatened by the bullyboy in question. The protesters held placards exposing the lies the agency had told women. Here are some of the lies: “Irish women are unable to get medical abortions in England, and must wait until being at least 8 weeks pregnant to get a surgical abortion” “Abortion increases the risk of breast cancer” “Women who have abortions are more likely to become abusive of children, become alcoholics, and develop congenital depression” “Abortion causes frigidity in women”
The reaction from passers by was by and large positive. Some publicity was achieved. I believe that the most productive thing is that the agency obviously knows that we are on to them. They have in the past changed their name when exposed so now we have to see what they will do. They may be forced to change their location if we keep the pressure up. Ideally we have to put them out of business by making it impossible for them to operate. The group has a good momentum going now and its vital that it is kept on track. Women have been waiting too long for the right to choose. We should look to our Portuguese counterparts and take heart in the fact that if we fight hard enough for it, it will be achieved. Look out for the next meeting, which will be posted on indymedia shortly. Solidarity.
Link to newstalk documentary on the same agency last year: http://www.newstalk.ie/podcasts/library/Abortion/part1.
dublin gender and sexuality event notice Monday March 05, 2007 19:49 by Mary - Pro-choice
To mark international women’s day we are calling for a Picket outside of a rogue crisis pregnancy agency.
This is the first general action called by the newly formed pro-choice group in Dublin. Over the last few weeks, we have been gathering information about a rogue agency operating in Dublin. We have gained first hand knowledge that this agency is using unethical tactics, such as providing false information about abortions. This may have the consequence of forcing a woman to go through a later term abortion and thus increasing how evasive the procedure need be. Also they use scare tactics such as stressing the possible side effects. For example they claimed that one such potential side was that women are more liking to abuse future children if they have an abortion. To mark international women’s day we are calling for a Picket outside of this rogue agency. This is to highlight the unacceptable Irish laws on abortion in this state also the horrific tactics employed by those that are anti-pro-choice.The action is to take place outside: 50 Upper Dorset St. @ 5:30pmHope to see ya all there.
dublin gender and sexuality news report Tuesday January 23, 2007 14:25 by Jane
Thousands of Pro Choice Leaflets were distributed in Dublin City Centre last weekend as part of a campaign to increase visibility of pro choice activism and to put the issue of Abortion Rights back on the agenda. Members of Labour Youth and BODY distributed leaflets advertising a Pro Choice Meeting that is taking place this Saturday at 3pm in the Central Hotel. There was an excellent reaction from passers by with several people stopping and to lend their support.
The issue of reproductive rights has been ignored by the mainstream media and political establishment. The positive reaction to the pro choice stalls ran over the last few weeks show that there is a growing demand for the issue of abortion rights to be discussed and acted on. Now is a great opportunity for everyone who wants to get involved in pro choice activism to unite and work together.The next stages of the campaign will be planned at the open working meeting taking place on Saturday.
Related Link: http://www.labouryouth.ie/
dublin gender and sexuality event notice Monday January 22, 2007 15:38 by Jane
The meeting will take place at 3pm on Saturday 27th January in the Central Hotel, Exchequer St. "Pro-Choice Campaigning" is intended to be a working meeting as opposed to one involving speakers and questions. There will be a series of workshops designed to produce realistic and practical ideas about how we can advance the pro choice campaign in Ireland today.
It’s time to put the issue of Abortion Rights in Ireland back on the agenda. Abortion is an issue that politicians and newspapers don’t want to talk about anymore. In comparison to the years surrounding the referenda, column inches in the press devoted to the issue of reproductive rights have diminished remarkably. But the situation in Ireland hasn’t changed. The women who travel daily from this country to the UK for abortions continue to be ignored.Ireland is maintaining its position as one of the strictest countries in the world in terms of reproductive rights – only the Vatican City and Malta rival Ireland at European level.Successive governments have failed to legislate along the lines of the X Case decision, which ruled that abortion should be allowed in cases where the woman’s life was in danger.As a result, doctors are left in an unacceptable position, unsure of whether they are legally able to perform a termination in any cases at all. This situation will never change unless those of us who care about these issues become involved in a broad campaigning movement working for womens’ rights in Ireland. This will be a functional meeting, using working groups and facilitators designed to produce practical and workable ideas rather than merely a string of speakers.People of all political persuasions and none are encouraged to attend. A diversity of tactics, ideas and approaches is what is hoped will be produced by this meeting, in order to establish a broad based campaign aimed at improving and increasing reproductive rights in this country.AgendaWorkshop 1 – Abortion: A class analysis – Facilitated by Aileen O'Carroll (Workers' Solidarity Movement)Workshop 2 – Pro-choice outreach campaigning – Facilitated by Ailbhe Smyth (Womens' Education and Research Resource Centre, UCD)Workshop 3 – Direct Action – Facilitated by Aoife Cooke (RAG Collective) This agenda is open to change and suggestions on the day. The meeting will take place at 3pm on Saturday 27th January in the Central Hotel, Exchequer St.
(Hosted by Labour Youth - everyone is welcome)
Related Link: http://www.labouryouth.ie/
Friday 23 March 2007
THE LYING GAME: ANTI-ABORTIONS CAMPAIGNERS AND THE WAR AGAINST TRUTH
Claiming to offer impartial family planning advice, rogue pregnancy information centres are pushing a pro-life slant. WORDS Daniel Finn
Fifteen years after the X case, Irish women are still being denied access to information about abortion. Now a group of pro-choice activists have launched a campaign against so-called "rogue" pregnancy information centres. They have highlighted an alarming pattern of distortion and manipulation by agencies offering advice to vulnerable young women.
"These agencies are rogue because they seem to be offering all the options, they're very much projecting an image of being pro-choice, you're going to be drawn to them if you're considering abortion as an option," argues psychologist Sinead Ahern, one of the organisers of the campaign. "They don't say explicitly that they think abortion is a bad thing and they disapprove of it, but they manipulate women into thinking abortion is bad and try to manipulate them out of making a choice to have an abortion, rather than giving them the facts of the matter."
The activists have targeted the self-styled Women's Resource Centre, a clinic based on
"We found the names of two alleged rogue agencies, A Choice for Women and the British Alternatives Pregnancy Services," says Sinead Ahern. "When women from our group phoned up the two numbers, we realised that they were both directing people to the same place on
One of the women who went to the
RELIGIOUS RIGHT WING
She was also given an information sheet, which described psychological effects of abortion, including "suicidal impulses", "preoccupation with death", "inability to forgive self" and "feeling of dehumanization". Although the literature states that women who have had abortions experience "thwarted maternal instincts" and "intense interest in babies", it also claims that they are much more likely to abuse any future children they may have - a suggestion that is entirely without foundation in experience or research. Another sheet which makes a completely fictitious link between abortion and breast cancer concludes: "The saying 'God always forgives, man sometimes forgives, nature never forgives' may be a good example in this case."
The agency behind the
While the name may have changed, it appears that the nature of the clinic has not. The evidence of the radio documentary is almost identical to the recording made last month and given to HOTPRESS. The same woman asked the same questions and gave the same advice in almost every detail - often repeating her lines word-for-word. Some figures associated with the clinic have been politically active on the Irish religious right-wing. Eamon Murphy, named by the Examiner as the head of the Aadam's centre, ran for the Euro Parliament in 1994 and 1999 as a radical anti-abortion candidate. Michael Larkin stood as a candidate for the Christian Solidarity Party in 2002 in both
Sinead Ahern wants the government to intervene and regulate the agencies offering advice to pregnant women. "One step that could be taken would be to strictly regulate the people who call themselves counsellors," she argues. "People working in this clinic present themselves as qualified professionals, but what right do they actually have to be giving pregnant women advice? A code of practice for counsellors could make a big difference."
The campaigners are planning to highlight other "rogue" centres they believe to be operating in
Tuesday 20 March 2007
a duty to establish effective mechanisms for ensuring that women have access to
abortion where it is legal. Judgement in the case of A polish woman , Alicja Tysiac
held that Poland was in breach of her human rights and awarded her 25,000 euros
in her case where she was left nearly blind.
The NGO ;- Centre for Reproductive rights http://www.reproductiverights.org
has the info and release.
AFC are putting the story out for immeadiate release so I just put the link in
also I have printed out the Rogue agency report to give it to the professional
agencies to have a look at the issue of non-directional counselling.
The case is Alicja Tysiac V Poland.
Monday 19 March 2007
both in AFC and www.indymedia.ie;
The history to the case and backround are available at these links:-
other interesting alliances:-
(this is the link to the federa organisation- Polish federation for women
and family planning who are fighting the LPR constitutional challenge
to the abortion rights. ( I did a piece on indy, but you will have to use the
search engine at the top right, all the articles on the issue are in there)
The indy womyn project for women activists is available from the womyn's
mailing list that you can google and the site is developing nicely. it is open to
contributing and activist women within the IMC family of writers.
Wil update this when I have a chance, other interesting developments are
in Nicaragua and Portugal (both on Indy.ie)
AFC has links to most groups and general reproductive rights issues
are coming up all the time on the various women's sites.
I will research the list and add in here as soon as I have time.
Sunday 18 March 2007
Following the successful picket on Wednesday 7 March at the rogue crisis
pregnancy agency, a follow up action will be held on Saturday 24 March at 12
noon. To build for this action a leafleting session will be held outside the
GPO on Thursday 22 March at 5.30 pm.
1. Leafleting at GPO Thursday 22 March at 5.30 pm (to be followed by Pro
Choice Direct Action Group meeting).
2. Picket at rogue crisis pregnancy agency, 50 Upper Dorset St. @ 12 noon,
Saturday 24 March.
Friday 9 March 2007
The “WRC” at number 50 on Upper Dorset Street is a rogue pregnancy counselling agency. It is a rogue agency because it masquerades as a pro-choice agency in order to deceive, misinform, and manipulate women who come here seeking an abortion in the pursuit of its pro-life agenda. “WRC” is what is currently written on the sign above the door but this rogue agency has operated, and continues to operate under numerous aliases. Founded in 1995 it operated until 1999 as the “Aadams Women Centre” when it was forced to close after a scandal concerning
illegal adoptions. It then began operating as the “Women’s Counselling Network”. There was then a further media scandal concerning a woman who attended this rogue agency and subsequently had her appointment at an abortion clinic in Holland cancelled by someone who falsely claimed to be her boyfriend. This rogue agency currently advertises in the Golden Pages through two separately branded ‘fronts’. These fronts are called “Choice for Women” and “British Alternative Pregnancy Services”. When ever a woman responds to either of these two different advertisements, which are deliberately designed to give the misleading impression
of representing a pro-choice agency, they end up with an appointment here at number 50 on Upper Dorset Street. Every time a particular brand alias is exposed this rogue agency changes it, so remember the address that remains the same! The “WRC” is not the only rogue agency operating in Ireland. “Ask Majella” is another known rogue agency that also advertises in Dublin’s Golden Pages but operates at a location in Limerick.
The Misinformation and Deception of the Rogue Agency at 50 Upper Dorset St
This rogue agency misinforms women that it is impossible to have an abortion before eight weeks, even though an abortion during this period is cheaper and safer.
They also falsely claim that there is no such thing as a medical abortion and that all abortions are therefore surgical, even though a medical abortion is when a drug is administered to end pregnancy. In England medical abortions are performed up until 9 weeks.
Having falsely asserted that all abortions are surgical abortions they then claim that this surgery puts the woman’s life at risk. This is a gross overstatement of the small risk of complications associated with any surgical procedure. There are similar risks of complications with carry a pregnancy to full term.
The agency demands that a woman seeks an unnecessary ultrasound at a private hospital before information about abortion services will be disclosed. The agency has no intention of providing such information, it simply seeks to delay the woman’s plans by weeks and cause additional expense to be incurred. Three weeks later the agency will try to use the ultrasound image in a further attempt to try to get the woman to reconsider her course of action.
They misinform pregnant women that this is their only opportunity to have a child because abortion causes sterility. Abortion terminates a pregnancy not fertility!
They falsely claim that abortion causes depression, even though abortion can be an empowering choice that improves self-esteem for women faced with the truly depressing prospect of living with an unwanted pregnancy and unwanted children. If this agency really cared about women’s mental health then they’d probably offer support instead of manipulating them through lies into fear and guilt.
They misinform that abortion puts the woman’s life at risk because it causes a 90% increase to the risk of breast cancer, yet no major cancer organisation in the world believes that there is a link between abortion and breast cancer. If a woman won’t describe abortion as “killing my own baby” then they are pronounced “psychologically unfit” to have an abortion because you are supposedly in denial if you describe abortion in any other [ie. less pro-life] way.
They confuse abortion with rape by describing abortion as a ‘hostile penetration’, manipulating the real recent trauma of rape victims seeking an abortion. They have even insisted that rape cannot cause pregnancy, saying, it must be your boyfriend's child!
They also have claimed that abortion leads to both ‘promiscuity’ and ‘frigidity’!