Anti-Abortion Protests Spread Beyond Clinics

For decades, abortion opponents have walked the streets outside of clinics, gathered in front of the homes of clinic staff and even picketed high schools in an attempt to woo teens away from the sin of premarital sex. But thanks to the ebb and flow of global abortion laws, “pro-lifers” are popping up in even more unusual places. And that now includes concert venues and airports.

Rock for Life isn’t the first to come up with the concept of taking abortion protesting to live music events. Through the years, self-styled “pro-life street preachers” have attended a variety of events, proselytizing about God, sin and the “murder” of the unborn. But those preachers never become an official part of the event — unlike Rock for Life, an anti-abortion outreach group that will be tabling at the Warped tour for the second year in a row.

Rock for Life, the anti-abortion organization whose presence at the 2016 Warped Tour attracted criticism from bands and the music media, is back for the 2017 edition of the tour,” reports Spin. “Festival founder Kevin Lyman confirmed Rock for Life’s return presence in a phone interview with SPIN on Tuesday afternoon. Lyman said that the Rock for Life’s politics ‘absolutely’ do not reflect those of Warped Tour, or his personal views, but added that last year’s minor controversy ‘strengthened my resolve’ to allow them back.”

Lyman promises a non-confrontational, gentle form of interaction at the Warped tour rather than the abrasive, combative abortion debate instigation that occurs at many of these gatherings.

Unfortunately, that can’t be said in Ireland, where a group of extreme abortion opponents are plotting to antagonize those who are traveling to another country to terminate a pregnancy.

Due to Ireland’s “no exceptions” abortion restrictions, many women who have unwanted pregnancies — and also the time and resources to travel — will just leave the country for the procedure.

But now, the Irish Centre for Bio-ethical Reform plans to show up at airports in Ireland, waving graphic banners allegedly in the hopes of stopping those people from traveling and terminating. “We intend on standing at the airport with our airport themed images as part of our consumer protection initiative,” they told the Independent. “We will show their ‘consumer client’ what they would never dare to – abortion reality…The more days we can organise volunteers to stand there, the more women will see these images and the fewer will undergo abortion.”

Airports, however, are not having it.

A spokesperson for Cork Airport told the Independent:

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 Cork Airport.

But the Centre has responded by claiming they will proceed, regardless

We intend on getting in touch with An Garda Síochána, notifying them of our intentions and we will stand as close to the airport buildings as we may lawfully stand,” they vowed. “If that means we are prohibited from standing on airport property by law, then we will stand just outside the perimeters on the public walkways of the airports.

Of course, the airport protest isn’t about stopping people from leaving the country by urging them out of having abortions. Rather, like many protests in front of clinics, the goal is to intimidate those who are arriving, instilling them with fear that their privacy has been violated and making them afraid to show up in the first place.

And by adding graphic images to the mix, it punishes the general population, as well, for allowing abortion to exist as an option in the first place — yes, even if it’s in an entirely different country.

Whether they are participating in more gentle outreach or in-your-face activism, it’s clear that as long as abortion remains a debate, opponents will continue to drag the issue away from clinics and into the public square. The only question is, what place will they think of next?

Photo Credit: Elvert Barnes/Flickr

72 comments

Marie W
Marie W1 years ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Michelle Spradley

Anyone else notice that people who are pro-abortion are the same people who consider both circumcision and the death penalty to be barbaric? What I find barbaric is the unnecessary termination of a perfectly viable life. To me, that is the definition of DOMESTIC TERRORISM, even if that viable life is just beginning to grow inside YOUR body.

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Amanda M
Amanda M1 years ago

When are these anti-choicers who engage in these aggressive harassment and stalking tactics (what else do you call it when they harass clinic workers, clinic volunteers, and even their FAMILIES?) going to be called out for what they truly are-DOMESTIC TERRORISTS? Their actions should be ILLEGAL and they should be prosecuted as such and stop being allowed to hide behind the First Amendment. Free speech should NOT cover their behavior at all!

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David C
David C2 years ago

you know, I am sick and tired of "pro-life" being stolen and corrupted by these persons, who often are not pro-peace (pro-life) or pro-health-care-for-all (also very pro-life) or anti-NRA/anti-gun (both pro-life) and often don't believe in truth of science especially climate change which will be a big change on all life.....they are only pro-fetus and anti-choice.............if you are truly pro-life, support and vote for birth control, Planned Parenthood, gun regulation, peace , Amnesty International, Oxfam, and don't support the gop

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Carl R
Carl R2 years ago

Thanks!!!

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Leanne K
Leanne K2 years ago

I have no time for those anti abortionists. Damn fools

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Angela K
Angela K2 years ago

noted

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Karen H
Karen H2 years ago

Guess it's useless to wait for the anti-abortion folks here (like Lenore K) to tell us what they're doing to HELP. They'll wait for the next article on abortion and again condemn the "baby murderers".

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Maureen G
Maureen G2 years ago

I don't feel the government should enter into the issue of abortion. In my view, it should be an issue between her and her doctor who hopefully would refer her on to whatever/whoever would be appropriate for the patient.

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Carl R
Carl R2 years ago

Thanks!!!

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