Irish anti-abortion group goes to law after ads banned

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DUBLIN -- Youth Defence Ireland, a right wing Catholic group, is to take legal action after being stopped from broadcasting an anti-abortion commercial on Radio Telefis Eireann (RTE), Ireland's national broadcaster, and on local radio stations throughout the Republic. Funding for the $50,000 campaign came from donations made in the U.S., the U.K., France and Ireland.

As part of the "Project Truth" campaign, Youth Defence is driving a mobile poster around Dublin featuring a large picture of a two-month-old baby and the message: "Kill her now - it's murder. Kill her before birth - it's abortion."

The group's chairwoman Niamh Nic Mhathuna says the ban is a sinister move in which the Irish government and RTE are looking to "stifle the voice of the voiceless". The group is to seek a judicial review to overturn the decision.

RTE refused to air the commercials on the grounds that they are in contravention of Ireland's Broadcasting Act as having a political or religious direction. But Nic Mhathuna says the RTE's interpretation of the campaign is entirely false.

Copyright August 1996 Crain Communications Inc.

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