15.11.2011: New approaches to spreading the pro-life message at PLC National Conference

15th November 2011

New evidence and new approaches to spreading the pro-life message should give heart to those committed to defending life, a packed audience was told at the recent Pro Life Campaign Annual Conference.

The Conference, held in the Alexander Hotel, heard PLC Chairman Dr Joe McCarroll encourage attendees to use social media and other new technologies to advance the pro-life cause.

The Conference, which was attended by pro-life advocates from across the country, represented a cross section of ages.  Those in attendance heard from a number of interesting speakers who outlined some of the current challenges.

Opening the conference, Senator Rónán Mullen spoke on the issue of Gendercide, the practice of killing unborn baby girls, which is widespread in countries such as China.

Referencing the recent Private Member’s motion he sponsored in the Seanad condemning the practice or gendercide and calling on the Government to take States practising or tolerating the practice to task, Senator Mullen expressed regret at the Government’s refusal to back the motion, and urged them to reconsider their stance.

He also told attendees ‘Never give up making your views heard by your elected representatives.  Make contact with them, regularly but respectfully, that’s how the woman and man in the street shape the formation of policy in a democracy.”

The Conference also heard from Ryan Bomberger, who works to focus attention on the destruction abortion has caused among African Americans.

Mr Bomberger, together with his wife Bethany founded The Radiance Foundation, a non-profit organisation dedicated to highlighting difficult social issues, especially abortion and adoption, with powerful live multi-media presentations.

Showcasing a number of these presentations, Mr Bomberger impressed on the audience that new media and imaginative videos can have a powerful impact in persuading people of the case for the unborn.

He explained how His Too Many Aborted campaign, which focuses on the disproportionate incidence of abortion within the black community in the US, has been extremely successful in 2011 and has resulted in widespread media interest.

He also spoke about his personal history as the background for his involvement in the Too Many Aborted campaign.   He was conceived following his mother’s rape.

He said “It was her courageous choice that gave me the gift of life. And so in my work I’m trying to let others see how she was right, that the choice she made that gave me life, was a good choice, that turned the injustice done to her into a force for liberation and justice for many others.”

The conference also heard from PLC Legal Adviser Professor William Binchy about the significant political challenges faced by the pro-life movement.

Professor Binchy explained that the recent ECHR decision in the case of A,B, & C v Ireland clearly acknowledges the right of the Irish people to protect the right to life of the unborn and to decide how this is to be done.  Ireland is not obliged to legislate for abortion following the judgment.

He said “One of the challenges facing Ireland now is the mounting evidence of  negative effects for significant numbers of women as a result of abortion.”

There was a good atmosphere, which provided pro-life advocates with lots of opportunities to network and to share tips as to how best to promote the pro-life message.  Delegates were sent home with renewed vigour and hope for the challenges ahead.