On May 25, the people of Ireland will be voting on whether to retain their Eighth Amendment, which protects the right to life, or repeal it. The vote is the result of intense pressure from pro-abortion advocates who claim thousands of women should not have to leave the country annually to obtain an abortion. Lawmakers also approved a proposal that would legalize abortions up to 12 weeks for any reason, in the event that the Eighth Amendment is repealed. The votes reveal a frightening shift in a country that was once fiercely pro-life.
Ireland's Eighth Amendment, introduced in 1983, “acknowledges the right to life of the unborn.” As such, abortion in Ireland is virtually non-existent, according to the BBC, as it is not legal in cases of rape or incest or in the event that a fetal abnormality has been detected. Pro-lifers estimate that the amendment has saved roughly 100,000 unborn babies from abortion, LifeNews reports.
The campaign to soften abortion laws in Ireland gained momentum in 2012 when a woman, Savita Halappanavar, died in 2012 after miscarrying her child at 17 weeks pregnant. This was just the catalyst that pro-abortion advocates needed to make a full-on push for legalization. According to LifeSite News,
The media reported that she had died because she was refused an abortion, a lie that abortion activists are featuring prominently in their Repeal campaign. The fact is that all three official investigations into Hallappanavar’s death found that she did not die from being refused an abortion — a fact that doctors confirmed. Rather, she died from sepsis (blood poisoning), and medical professionals apparently missed at least 13 separate opportunities to save her life.
Pro-life advocates believe that Ireland has been targeted by pro-abortion activists because the country is proof that abortion can be banned while women can simultaneously have some of the best healthcare in the world. Niamh Ui Bhriain of the Life Institute told Breitbart News in a recent interview,
“Ireland’s experience shows that you could ban abortion and protect women’s lives. We have one of the lowest maternal mortality rates and some of the best maternal health care in the world according to the UN. So abortion campaigners are focused on smashing Ireland’s laws because they know pro-lifers the world over can look to Ireland as a real, proven example of why abortion is never necessary.”
The move to repeal the Eighth Amendment is backed by leftist billionaire globalist George Soros, who has donated tremendous amounts of money to campaign in favor of repeal. According to LifeNews, leaked documents reveal a "well-funded plan to legalize abortion in Ireland." Those documents showed Soros's Open Society Foundations' three-year plan through 2019 to target abortion laws in Ireland, Mexico, and other strongly pro-life countries, the Catholic News Agency reports. The Irish Standards in Public Office Commission claims that the donations from Soros are illegal and pro-life advocates argue that the influx of outside money to pro-abortion groups in Ireland has created an unfair playing field.
Other outsiders are also manipulating the playing field. Pro-abortion advocates throughout the United Kingdom are providing Irish students studying in institutions located in England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland with vouchers so they can be home in time for the May 25 vote, reports the RTÉ, Ireland's national TV and radio broadcaster
In those countries, Irish students are offered a “bursary” ranging from £55 to £110 to travel home, according to LifeSiteNews.
Leftists are praising the May 25 vote as a step in the right direction. Amnesty International welcomed the announcement, calling it “a once-in-a-generation opportunity for Ireland to put in place laws which respect the #human rights of women & girls."
Irish celebrities such as rock music band U2 and actors Liam Neeson and Chris O'Dowd have also voted their support in favor of abortion.
Polls show that while there appears to be some support for repealing the Eighth Amendment, most Irish voters remain largely pro-life and do not wish to see abortion on demand in their country. A January Irish Times poll showed that while 56 percent showed an interest in repealing the amendment, 57 percent also had “reservations” about the proposal to allow abortion up to 12 weeks of pregnancy for any reason, Politico reports.
According to Cora Sherlock, a spokesperson for the ProLife Campaign, the public debate on the repeal has largely been monopolized by the government interjecting its views in favor of changing the Constitution.
Health Minister Simon Harris, who favors legalizing abortion, has praised the May 25 vote. “My message is if you can no longer accept thousands of women every year going abroad to access terminations, this is your time to right that wrong,” Harris said.
But Sherlock contends that a proper public debate on the issue would move the polls in a more pro-life direction: "The debate proper has not started and the case for keeping the 8th Amendment certainly has not received the airing it deserved. When this happens, I am confident that the polls will move in a pro-life direction.”
Grassroots pro-life advocates have been campaigning door-to-door across the country to encourage citizens to vote in favor of life.
Photo: AP Images