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Dublin hotel cancels rape survivors talk because of pro-abortion protest threats

26 September 2017


Unbroken Ireland have been trying to ensure that the voices of these brave women are heard.

They have been accused of trying to silence victims of rape.

An event hosted by Unbroken Ireland, a group which represents and advocates for those affected by pregnancy after rape, has had its booking cancelled after pro-abortion protesters threatened to demonstrate against it.

Key voices in debate

The Life Institute, which is co-hosting the event, hit out at the Gibson Hotel for giving in to intimidation. Spokeswoman Niamh Uí Bhriain said: "It is absolutely shameful that pro-abortion campaigners feel that they can shout everyone down, and that the Gibson Hotel have effectively let Repeal the 8th extremists silence women who have been raped. 

"Whatever your views on abortion, I think most people would recognise that these women have an important part to play in the debate – and that their voices are rarely heard. It is frankly disgusting that abortion campaigners want to silence them."

"She is not a monster’s child, she is my child."

The event, which is now taking place at a different hotel, is part of the "Ending the Silence: women impacted by pregnancy from rape speak out" initiative organised by Unbroken Ireland, and will feature talks from two women who had children after being raped, and from Rebecca Kiessling, who was conceived in rape. Another talk is taking place in Cork. 

One of the women, Shauna Prewitt, was in her senior year in college when she was raped. Nine months later, she gave birth to a baby girl. "We live in a culture where children who are conceived in rape are still spoken of in terms of an animal’s child, a monster’s child," she says on the event description. "She is not a monster’s child, she is my child. She’s wiped away my tears when she didn’t understand why I was crying and has just been with me through the darkness."

A better answer

Laura Ní Chonghaile of Unbroken Ireland says that the debate around abortion, and the Eighth Amendment, in Ireland, has almost never heard from those actually impacted by pregnancy from rape. "We hear all-too-often that rape victims need the 8th amendment repealed, but we hear nothing from women like us who have been directly impacted by pregnancy from rape, and who want a better answer than abortion,” she said. "Abortion would have hurt me more, I needed to be safe, to be cared for, and my daughter deserved that too."

The talk will now take place at the Spencer Hotel, IFSC, on Thursday, 28th September, at 8pm. This is the second time in a week that a pro-life conference in Ireland has been cancelled by a hotel due to intimidation - The Ashling Hotel cancelled an event run by Human Life International after receiving a barrage of online abuse and threats to its staff. 

The growing intimidation comes as news comes that a referendum on the Eighth Amendment is set to take place in May or June next year.

News in brief:

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Comments (1)
  • Rita Joseph

    26 September 2017, 9:34pm

    Abortion for rape victims leads to double victimization.

    Another act of violence perpetrated against a the innocent woman and her innocent little child. It is a totally inappropriate response to offer victims/survivors of violence a 'service' that comprises per se another act of violence, this time an act of violence in which there are two victims, the hurting mother and her own aborted child.

    The last thing a victim of rape needs is more violence.
    What she really wants and needs (and is entitled to receive) is an immediate and whole-hearted acceptance, love and ongoing care and protection for herself and her baby. She needs a firm promise that help will be there for her and her child, a comforting and genuine reassurance that both will be looked after both now and for the long run.

    As the most vulnerable of all pregnant women, victims of rape need non-ambivalent reassurance, more so than other women.

    The very offer of an abortion carries with it a subliminal message that her baby is not positively and blamelessly accepted, is not going to be compassionately and lovingly treated by family or adoptive family, friends and the wider community.

    It is indefensible to respond to rape with a lethal act of violence against her child who has committed no crime.

    The selective abortion of such a child is based on prejudice not justice.

    We need to deal with this appalling social climate in which vestiges of public censure of acts of rape spill over quite irrationally to the pregnancies that result from these acts so that the unborn babies themselves begin to be treated as unjust and evil and deserving of capital punishment for their fathers’ crime.

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