Photo credit: UCDSU
A counter protest of UCD students took place today outside the N11 entrance to UCD, in response to the imagery displayed by members of the Irish Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform (ICBR).
Speaking to the University Observer, UCDSU Welfare Officer, Eoghan MacDomhnaill, said “we started off with 5 students, then more came along.” Pleased with the response of students, he added “students are skipping lectures to counter-protest, we’ve run out of flags.”
When asked why they decided to counter-protest in silence today, MacDomhnaill replied they were remaining silent, “because the women of Ireland haven’t had a voice on this issue for so long.”
Auditor of UCD for Choice, Aoife Gray explained why she attended the counter-protest: “the ICBR have very graphic imagery on abortion and at one point it’s misleading. They have the wrong gestational date on it and also it’s very triggering to people who have had miscarriages and abortions themselves. There is also kids around and it’s just highly inappropriate. We felt it was more appropriate to cover it with a bit of positivity.” The imagery displayed a “15-week aborted foetus” and “10-week living foetus moments before abortion.”
Feeling positive with the turnout of the counter-protest, Gray said “I think it’s great. It’s week 12. There is a big enough group here and I think that shows that people are really passionate and they’re angry, but they’re able to do something. I think it’s been really successful. It’s the first counter-protest we’ve done this year because we though not engaging and calling the guards would be better, but the imagery this time is just horrific and I think it was the last straw for a lot of people.”
After the protest had concluded, the University Observer approached members of the ICBR for comment. Dr. Jean Engela, Director of the ICBR said that they were gathered today “because we think it’s absolutely critical to reach the public, not just students, with the reality of what abortion represents and those it victimises.” Dr. Engela also stated that, “our ideological opponents don’t seem to be comfortable or confident with their message, that’s why they frequently, as they did today, use their signs to cover up our message. Which proves all the more why we have to show this to the public as it’s being censored at every level.” When asked to respond to people who say that the imagery they display is triggering, Dr. Engela replied “Absolutely it is. We have shirts that say ‘Feeling triggered? Ask us why.’ If you find the images so triggering, why do you support what you’re looking at? This is the photographic evidence of abortion. If you find a photo triggering or disturbing, why don’t you find the practise that produced that photograph triggering or disturbing? We would you celebrate it, support it, commit it?”