A group of rape survivors have said they are “tired of being silenced” by pro-abortion activists in the Republic of Ireland.
The women, who became pregnant from rape or were conceived in rape, have faced a strong backlash in their attempts to share a pro-life message.
They are speaking out as part of an initiative called ‘Unbroken Ireland’, which aims to raise awareness for the needs of those in such situations.
Speaking for the group, Laura Ní Chonghaile said pro-abortion campaigners have embarrassed themselves by threatening hotels that hosted meetings.
“We are tired of being silenced, and we will no longer accept attempts to silence us, or to make us feel ashamed.”
Ní Chonghaile, who is a survivor of rape, asked: “Is this the 19th century where aggressive men feel they can tear down our message and abuse us for sharing our experiences and having a point of view?”
Last week, several hotels, including the Spencer Hotel in Dublin, cancelled meetings after facing pressure from pro-abortion activists, with hotel staff members reportedly targeted and insulted on social media.
The meetings, called “Ending the Silence: women impacted by pregnancy from rape speak out”, were co-hosted by the Life Institute.
Niamh Uí Bhriain from the Life Institute said: “It is absolutely shameful that pro-abortion campaigners feel that they can shout everyone down”.
“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 added.
A meeting was eventually held in a public square next to the Spencer Hotel in Dublin, along with a separate meeting at a hotel in Cork.
It is absolutely shameful that pro-abortion campaigners feel that they can shout everyone down.
Last week, the Irish Government announced that the country will vote on its constitutional protections for the unborn in 2018.
Ireland’s Eighth Amendment currently pledges to “defend and vindicate” the equal right to life of the unborn and the mother, “as far as practicable”.
But following prolonged pressure to hold a referendum on the issue, Prime Minister Leo Varadkar announced that a vote will be held in May or June next year.