PR award for pro-life group Both Lives Matter
Both Lives Matter, who are pro-women and pro-life have won the "best campaign in Northern Ireland" award at the recent Public Relations and Communications Association Affairs ceremony, for the group’s groundbreaking 100,000 campaign.
Both Lives Matter have sought to reframe the abortion debate in Northern Ireland by highlighting the 100,000 people alive today because of NI’s different laws on abortion. The British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) belatedly withdrew from the awards drawing attention away from the many campaigns seeking recognition.
Dawn McAvoy from Both Lives Matter commented, “Both Lives Matter has always been about three things – reframing the abortion debate in Northern Ireland and beyond; advocating for better care and support in pregnancy crisis; and creating a culture which values every women and unborn child.
“We were delighted to be nominated for ‘best campaign’ in our first year. We were surprised and disappointed by the reaction of bpas and others who essentially put pressure to have BLM excluded from the awards. By withdrawing in protest, they have attempted to make the awards about them rather than a celebration of the great work by all the nominees.
“In response to the open letter from bpas, we have written privately to the organisers to thank them for the professional way they have dealt with this matter. All the nominees deserve congratulations on their nominations. We all seek to serve our communities and raise the level of conversation in public affairs, so whilst we may not agree on some matters with other nominees, we hope the actions of bpas and others will not distract from the event and the honouring of all those involved.
“We have also highlighted the inaccuracies in the letters from bpas and the LIAR campaign. We are encouraged that the Public Relations and Communications Association have refused to be bullied by one of the UK’s largest abortion providers.
“Both Lives Matter faced similar no-platforming tactics in December 2016, when our application to hold a human rights lecture as part of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Festival was accepted. The co-chair of the festival resigned in protest simply at the inclusion of Both Lives Matter.
“Our successful “100 thousand” billboard campaign drew more opposition, with claims that it was inaccurate, misleading and offensive. However after five months of investigation the ASA used an independent health statistician who backed Both Lives Matter’s research and ruled that the billboard was accurate. In fact, this previous opposition and Both Lives Matter response is part of what why Both Lives Matter was nominated for a ‘best campaign’ award.”