Is the Irish debate on abortion really over?
December 14, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Last May, watching the scenes of wild jubilation from Irish pro-abortionists as they danced and cheered on the streets of Dublin at the massacre of the innocents to come, one could be forgiven for feeling that, after such a landslide “victory,” the political issue of abortion was now as dead as the generations consigned to that fate by those who voted “yes.”
You may wish to think again, however, and here’s why.
The abortion-supporting “Repeal the Eighth” campaign saw the Irish constitution as the obstacle to legalizing abortion in the Irish Republic. In the constitution’s Eighth Amendment, a pro-life safeguard was enshrined. It blocked any proposed liberalization on abortion. The “Repeal the Eighth” strategy was a simple one. In one fell swoop: obliterate the Eighth Amendment. Then this would open the doors to abortion. And that would be that.
Well, they won. That much we know. But the Irish government’s removal of the constitutional pro-life defense in September has not led straight to abortion on demand. Not yet. The reason is that the subject of abortion has to be legislated on by the nation’s parliament, Dáil Éireann.
Within that assembly there is a small but determined pro-life group of TDs (elected representatives). The legislative framework within which abortion procedures may be carried out have to be thought through, proposed, and scrutinized. It is no longer enough for pro-abortionists to chant slogans and twist the meaning of words such as “compassion.” The abortion lobby and its supporters in the Dáil now have to come up with credible and workable regulations to make their long-hoped for dream a reality.
In ways not seen for decades, the referendum result has, incredibly, stimulated pro-lifers in Irish politics. A new pro-life political party is about to be launched following TD Peadar Tóibín’s exit from Sinn Féin, having been expelled for his opposition to abortion. Already in June, Senator Ronan Mullen founded the pro-life party Human Dignity Alliance.
While two-thirds of Irish citizens voted to repeal the Eighth Amendment, just prior to the referendum in a poll carried out for The Irish Times, 47 percent of the Irish electorate stated that abortion was wrong. A considerable number of people voted “yes” to repeal the Eighth Amendment not because they favor a liberal abortion regime. Instead, they were convinced by an unrelenting propaganda blitz, carried out by all the main political parties, the Irish media, and forces from abroad that suggested something needed changing with regards to Irish laws on abortion. When the reality of that “change” begins to dawn, the electorate may well have second thoughts.
In addition, the Irish government has had, and will have to deal with the Irish medical establishment. This is a body of men and women, doctors and nurses, who appear to know what an abortion actually entails and what its consequences are. Their compassion is not directed towards efforts to kill but in providing antenatal care and to the care of women in general. So Irish medics have started to make their voice heard. It is a voice that belongs to those who see through the political rhetoric to the medical reality and to the true nature of the procedure that they will be expected to carry out. Among those who will have to perform abortions, a number of GPs have spoken of their opposition to this provision as well as their right to conscientious objection in so grave a matter – much to the ire of the governing party Fine Gael.
Needless to say, the current Irish government who, in a rush to appear progressive to the world, have tried to push abortion legislation through without due consideration, have found that it is much harder to do so than the Fine Gael/Fianna Fáil/Sinn Féin pro-abortion cabal imagined. One female Irish Times columnist, lamenting the organized opposition to abortion within Dáil Éireann, writes: “It's as if the referendum never happened.”
Meanwhile, just this month, the Irish Bishops issued a statement saying: “Every one of us has a right to life. It is not given to us by the Constitution of Ireland or by any law.” The bishops have called for “resistance” to the intended provision of abortion: “Women's lives, and the lives of their unborn children, are precious, valued and always deserving of protection. Any law which suggests otherwise would have no moral force. In good conscience it cannot be supported and would have to be resisted.”
Resistance there will be, of that have no doubt. The Irish have a genius for rebellion and a love for the underprivileged. And there is none so vulnerable as the unborn child. Resistance to an oppressive and unjust law is part of the national psyche, and there is nothing so unjust as the deliberate killing of an innocent child. Be under no illusion, the culture wars and witness seen on the streets of the U.S. and U.K. will soon be apparent to all across Ireland.
After six referenda and 35 years of debate, many felt that abortion as an issue in Irish life had finally concluded last May. Yet, watching events recently in the Dáil and elsewhere across Ireland, it is clear that abortion remains a live political issue.
So if you thought the referendum was the end of the matter then think again. It was the start of something, not its end, for a resistance is now underway.