A LOCAL academic has reacted angrily to the distribution of graphic anti-abortion flyers in female public toilets at Omagh Bus Depot over the weekend.
The flyers which feature distressing imagery including apparent dead fetuses claim, ‘This is a baby murdered by abortion’. Another shows an operating table and what appears to be bloody body parts being dissected stating, ‘Disgusted? Sorry, these are the pictures of abortion that are nice!’
The flyers were discovered on Sunday by local PhD student Maeve O’Brien, just one day after several thousand people took part in a pro-choice march in Dublin.
Describing her anger at the flyers, which she claimed incite “fear and guilt”, the local woman explained why she took steps to bin the publications.
“Whatever your views on abortion are, I would hope the people of Omagh would agree with me that finding disturbing, ill-informed and scaremongering leaflets in a public toilet is certainly not the best way to introduce such an emotive topic to schoolchildren.”
“While I respect the right to free speech, I do not believe that inciting fear and guilt is just. That is the reason why I binned the anti-choice, pro-guilt flyers.”
While the flyers did not contain the name of an organisation, the Ulster Herald understands that they were printed by The Sacred Heart House of Prayer in Cookstown. Established in 1994 by Patrick O’Kane and Patrick Rushe, the prayer house has Catholic connotations and Catholic members, however there is no direct affiliation to the Church.
Patricia O’Kane, a committee member at the House of Prayer, confirmed that a printing business was operated from the James Street headquarters in Cookstown, which prints anti-abortion material.
She said part of the group’s work was “to spread the truth about abortion”, which included distributing flyers through mailing lists. She also confirmed that their leaflets were used by Irish anti-abortion groups “to help their work”.
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