The Irish Times reported last Tuesday that the anti-abortion group, The Life Institute claimed its supporters have made 56,000 phone calls to Fine Gael TD’s since the summer. The story was also picked up by Michael Clifford in the Irish examiner.
56,000 phone calls is a huge amount of calls to just 76 Fine Gael TD’s, It is also time-consuming and expensive. 56,000 phone calls amounts to on average 736 calls to each individual Fine Gael TD since the summer.
The Life institute an offshoot of Youth Defence are the main pro-life lobby groups and have a dark history intimidation, lies and liberal misuse of facts. You can read an eye-popping history on the origins of Youth Defence here… Origins of Youth defence
So about these claims of 56,000 phone calls. As a member of Fine Gael and as someone in regular contact with some Fine Gael TD’s. I thought it odd that I and others had not heard about these vast amount of phone calls being made till it was reported in the Irish Times. I made contact with some TD’s and a quick survey revealed that only one TD had a received a large quantity of phone calls. One TD has also been receiving pictures of aborted fetuses in the post. Needless to say this is an abhorrent needless act whose only aim is to cause distress to the TD’s family.
There has been a strong email campaign waged by the Life Institute and Youth Defence on Dáil members. On average most TD’s have received hundreds of emails from pro-life groups. The suspicion is that this email campaign is being waged by a small group of individuals that control a number of email accounts, giving the impression that have significant support. When in fact it is a small number of people copying and pasting emails.
The Irish Times have three political reporters that can pick up the phone to any TD in the Dáil, Mary Minihan, Harry McGee and Deaglan de Breadun . Anyone one of those three journalists could have verified if such a phone call campaign was being waged.
There is no phone call campaign on such a scale being waged.
The anti-choice groups are vastly overstating their support and it is only a small number of volunteers waging a campaign.
It is becoming clear now that the middle ground is holding. Reason and moderation are coming to the fore in the debate. While the anti-choice side are going to have accept there will be some form of legislation for X. The pro-choice side, equally are going to have to accept abortion on demand will not happen.