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Statue of Irelands patron saint, St. Patrick, at the foot of a famous pilgrimage venue on the west coast of Ireland Shutterstock.com
Fr. Shenan Boquet

Opinion,

Will Ireland rise up and do battle for the unborn?

Fr. Shenan Boquet
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Reputed Grave of St. Patrick, Downpatrick, Ireland.
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I bind myself today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through belief in the Threeness,
Through confession of the Oneness
of the Creator of creation.
— St. Patrick's Breastplate

Ireland – "Bulwark Against Abortion"

March 19, 2018 (Human Life International) – As people across the world celebrated the Feast of St. Patrick, Human Life International asks the inevitable: will Ireland continue to be the rare example of a modern nation which still recognizes the human rights of all of its citizens? Or will it cave to foreign pressure and strip its most vulnerable of their most fundamental right –  the right to life – based upon antiquated science, disingenuous propaganda, and brazen prejudice? These are the dire stakes of a pending referendum in the land of St. Patrick.

In recent weeks the Irish government and the country's supreme court have both given the green light to a referendum on whether to repeal the so-called Eighth Amendment to the Irish Constitution. Approved in 1983, the Eighth Amendment clearly states that the right to life of an unborn human being and that of his mother are considered "equal" and that the country's laws will seek "to defend and vindicate that right."

This amendment has served as a bulwark against abortion, protecting the emerald isle against the madness of Moloch – the biblical name of the Canaanite god associated with child sacrifices – that has swept other Western countries. While individual Irish women determined to abort their babies have still travelled abroad to do so, Ireland as a country drew a line in the sand: it would not permit the deliberate killing of innocent human beings within its shores.

Predictably, the country's determination to defend the Irish right to life against the darkest instincts of the sexual revolution has made Ireland a primary target of wealthy and powerful foreign pro-abortion organizations and foundations. The assault on Ireland has been relentless, especially in the past six years. In a case of tragic irony, in 2016 and then again last year a United Nation's human rights committee chastised Ireland for refusing abortions to two different Irish women –  both of whom successfully travelled to Britain to have their babies killed – and ordered the country to loosen its laws. Meanwhile wealthy foreign powers like the Ford Foundation, George Soros, Atlantic Philanthropies, and Planned Parenthood, are injecting millions of dollars into the Catholic country.

While repealing the Eighth Amendment would not automatically legalize abortion, the government has promised that if the repeal effort is successful, they will introduce legislation to make abortion legal on demand, in the first three months of pregnancy. If ever there was a reason for the pro-life Irish to show up to the polls to vote in droves, this is it. I pray that anyone in Ireland reading this will take deadly seriously their civic duty and uphold the Irish right to life and hold their pro-life family and neighbors accountable, urging them to show up and vote.

Deceptive Propaganda – and Hard Truth

Right now, with the assistance of foreign cash, Irish pro-abortion forces are engaging an aggressive campaign of misinformation and outright deception. Their efforts are carefully crafted to distract Irish citizens from the scientifically-verifiable fact that an unborn child is a living, moving, unique unborn human being, replacing the language of science and human rights with the deliberately obscure, but enticing language of "choice" and "freedom."

In advocating for repealing of the Eighth Amendment, for instance, the current Prime Minister, Leo Varadkar, said that the referendum "is about asking our citizens to allow women to make major decisions for themselves." Varadkar even had the gall to claim that changing right to life laws to allow unborn babies to be killed, for any reason, is a matter of "compassion" and "empathy." Varadkar somehow neglected to mention what, precisely, women were being given the freedom to chooseOr how vacuuming babies from of the safety of their own mother's wombs has anything do with compassion.

Fortunately  one of Vardkar's predecessors, former Irish Prime Minister John Bruton, has helped lift the fog of war with his own timely and eloquent intervention. Bruton this past week urged Irish citizens to stand by their unborn brothers and sisters, and to recognize that if Ireland stands practically alone in defending the rights of the unborn, this solitude is a badge of honor, not something to be ashamed of.

"It's true that we are probably one of the few countries in the world that has, in our constitution, an express recognition of the right to life of the unborn child, but that's something we should be proud of," he said. "To arbitrarily say that, after whatever number of weeks, it's okay to suppress that life is just not in accordance with the values of charity towards the weak in our communities that have exemplified the Irish over the last many centuries."

The pro-life Save the Eighth Campaign has also launched a powerful initiative to help Irish citizens see through the pro-abortion propaganda. Their initiative highlights the grotesque truth about what really happens during an abortion.

One billboard created by this Irish right to life campaign includes a photo of a nurse by the name of Caren, with the text, "The baby was in the kidney dish, and he was alive, he was breathing." On the Save the 8th  website, Caren tells her story in more depth, recounting how as a nurse in Australia she once stumbled upon a baby in a kidney dish, gasping for breath after an abortion at 22 weeks. Caren says that she wasn't allowed to do anything to help the baby, because it was an abortion. "To see that baby trying to breathe, and nobody helping him, was so distressing and it will haunt me for the rest of my life."

Spiritual Roots of the Abortion Push

Another way pro-abortion Irish media and activists are distracting from the facts of abortion is by feverishly attempting to tie the abortion ban to what they paint as the "oppressive" political power of the Catholic Church. As The Guardian newspaper shamelessly put it, the success of the repeal would "signal a further loosening of the grip of the Catholic Church."

The implications are clear: the abortion ban (abortion advocates imply) is just a lingering remnant of an outmoded superstition and imposed by a discredited institution. As disingenuous as this tactic is (after all, you clearly don't need religious arguments to prove that slaughtering innocent humans is evil) it points to a grave vulnerability in Ireland right now – one that has me deeply concerned.

Religious arguments against abortion may be theoretically unnecessary, but there's no question that Ireland's history of fierce adherence to the Gospel has given the country the moral strength to withstand the anti-life onslaught. Unfortunately, Ireland's spiritual roots have been weakened in recent decades. The horrific Irish sex abuse crisis, in particular, has undermined the Church's moral credibility, while a comfortable secularism has been more than eager to fill the void with an alluring message of wealth and worldliness. Unfortunately, many pastors have been hesitant to speak out against moral threats, with one consequence being the legalization of same-sex "marriage" in Ireland – once unthinkable in the overwhelming Catholic country. Ireland's spiritual fervor has been its one true defense against the surrounding anti-life forces. Any weakening of that fervor opens Ireland up to the spirit of the age, with all its murderous ambitions.

Don't Understimate Irish Faith

Nevertheless, pro-abortion forces shouldn't underestimate the depth and strength of Ireland's spiritual roots. The Catholic faith is in Ireland's blood. The spirit of St. Patrick ever haunts that island. Irish right to life campaigners must rely heavily on prayer and fasting, and work to remind their fellow countrymen that what St. Patrick brought to Ireland is precisely what has made their country great. Now, more than ever, Ireland needs the Gospel: it needs Christ's admonitions to "do unto others" as we would have them do unto us; it needs the example and intercession of the great Irish saints, who rejected the allure of the world for Christ; it needs that spirit of Irish independence that has defied the spirit of Moloch for so many decades, and stood up for the weakest and most vulnerable.

The famed prayer purported to be penned by St. Patrick – his "breastplate" – gives us some sense of the dauntless strength of Irish spirituality. Now is a time to pray that prayer, in conjunction with our pro-life Irish brothers and sisters, begging Christ to surround Ireland with His protection, and to draw her back to His Heart. Let us pray:

"Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ on my right, Christ on my left, Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down, Christ when I arise, Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me, Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me, Christ in every eye that sees me, Christ in every ear that hears me."

Published with permission from Human Life International.

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