The Claire Byrne Live Show And American Anti-Choice Tactics Among The No Campaign

Judging by the apparent “swarming” of public meetings and events around the country by groups of anti-choice activists along with a series of bizarre publicity stunts at key locations, it seems that the No campaign’s access to American and British “pro-life” muscle and know-how is going to be a major factor in the forthcoming referendum on repealing the Eight Amendment of Bunreacht na hÉireann. If the Yes side loses the vote on the 25th of May it will not be so much a victory for the No side in Ireland as a victory for a closely-knit web of anti-abortion organisations in the United States of America and the United Kingdom who have turned the affairs of this island nation into a test case for “kicking back” against “liberal permissiveness” in their own home territories. What succeeds in Dublin will be translated to Washington and London, or lower down the state and regional scale, and by confusing the debate with a deluge of knowingly false facts and claims the conservatives’ so-called “rebellion” may well have its own “Trump” or “Brexit” day at the polls.

All this planning was evident from Monday’s episode of Claire Byrne Live on RTÉ, where the “balanced” audience was clearly infiltrated with a crowd of baying, clapping and cheering anti-choice supporters, many on intimate terms with the three leading No campaigners sitting on the interview platform. Indeed, at times it seemed that the conservative representatives on the panel had more control over the programme than the presenter herself, pointing to their associates in the audience for a comment or access to airtime, while haranguing those from the No side.

The best that one can hope for in the wake of the disastrous TV referendum special is that the audience at home saw through the charade and were as repelled and gobsmacked by the “pro-life” antics as I was (my seventy-three year old mother was so infuriated by the member of the odious Iona Institute that my brother had to take the TV remote from her hand before she fired it at the screen. Quite literally!). All in all, a bad day for Irish democracy and a good day for American and British religious fundamentalists and their Irish allies.

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5 comments

  1. Eh, there a lot of people opposed to abortion that are not religious zealots. The Claire Byrne debate has upset the Yes campaigners due to the fact that they are not used to having a balanced debate when their spokespeople appear on t.v shows I.e previous programmes normally have a sole No campaigner and at least 2 or 3 for the Yes side. Added to that the media pushes unproven statements as truth for eg “most people agree to repeal”(propaganda) allthewhile ignoring mass rallies by the No side in the capital, so I suppose it might comes as a bit of shock to some when they realise there might be a lot more against it than they first thought.
    As far as I can see it’s the Yes side that is striving to shut down debate with the help of Google etc and yet they still wail when things don’t their way.

  2. Laws are very very strict on this. If you have examples of debates where there are more yes campaigners than no you should report that. Personally, and I probably won’t be voting, I’ve noticed broadcasters going out of their way to give 50/50 chances to both sides.

  3. I wonder how the two sides would have been thinned out had ‘choice’ been available to their parents back in the day? (But then I probably wouldn’t be around to pose the question).

  4. Quite surprised you are Pro Abortion. This along with the Gay Referendum is just another push by the powers that be to denigrate humanity further. It’s not as though that these women don’t have access to the morning after pill. Has society become so used to “throw it away, we’ll buy / get a new one” mantra that is constantly being advocated by capitalists that we are now throwing the unborn babies out with the bath water. I thought we were better than that as a nation.

    1. Er, the morning after pill prevents fertilisation and ovulation, and can be taken up to 5 days after sex (though this is at the extreme end of effectiveness). What’s the difference with this artificial intervention into the “life cycle” of the “unborn”, say, and abortion pills up to ten weeks?

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