Ireland Should Learn from America’s Mistake on Abortion

By Nora Sullivan | February 2, 2018 | 3:54pm EST
Pro-life rally in Ireland (YouTube Screenshot)

Earlier this week, the Irish government announced the long expected news that a referendum vote on abortion will be held at the end of May this year. The Irish people will be asked whether or not to repeal the 8th amendment of the constitution, which guarantees equal protection to the life of the unborn baby.

The announcement came as no surprise, considering the relentless campaigning of the international abortion lobby. George Soros’ sponsored activist groups, Amnesty International, and the United Nations have all put tremendous pressure on Ireland to introduce abortion on demand.  The media, both in Ireland and abroad, have also regularly acted as cheerleaders for the “Repeal the 8th” cause, championing it as a progressive move for the country. Any attempt to debate the issue has been met with accusations of trying to keep Ireland in the 1950’s.

The fight for repeal has not come without push back. Disability rights activists, people with Down Syndrome (who are frequently targeted for abortion), and pro-life advocates have been vocal about the need to preserve legal protections for the unborn.

“The 8th amendment is the only constitutional protection that the preborn child has in Ireland; without it, abortion businesses like Planned Parenthood would be free to open their clinics anywhere they wished, preying on the vulnerable, exploiting mothers and killing their children for profit,” stated Íde Nic Mhathuna of the Life Institute in Dublin.

It is interesting that the referendum announcement has come so soon after the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C., which saw more than 100,000 pro-lifers descend upon the Capitol calling for an end to abortion or, at the very least, modest restrictions. While Ireland considers the possibility of opening its doors to abortion, America continues to struggle with the consequences of allowing it in.

Forty-five years ago, the United States stood on the same precipice on which Ireland now teeters. For this reason, perhaps the Irish people should look towards the U.S. for insight into what impact abortion can really have on a society.

Pro-abortion activists sold abortion to the American public with the idea that it was a basic freedom. Women would be free to terminate their pregnancies when necessary. They would be free to make decisions about their own lives and bodies. Legal abortion meant there would be equality of the sexes, reduced poverty, and happier families.

What has transpired since that time is far from the idyllic vision that was sold to America. Since 1973, more than 60 million American children have been lost to abortion. That is more than 12 times the population of the Republic of Ireland.


The legalization of abortion ushered in appalling injustices to the United States. The abortion industry has been involved in the exploitation of women (particularly minorities and the disadvantaged), grotesque criminal abuses such as that of infamous abortionist Kermit Gosnell, and the selling of aborted fetal organs and body parts. It has led to the, perhaps irreparable, polarization of American politics, countless protests, and endless debates.

America has seen that abortion is rarely the informed choice of an empowered woman. It is more often the last choice of the desperate. The purported freedom for women has been revealed to be simply another form of oppression.

The crux of the problem is that abortion is a violent and ugly act, one that pangs painfully at the conscience of a people. To institutionalize such violence is a dangerous step, the repercussions of which are far beyond what its advocates anticipate – as evidenced by the situation in which the United States currently finds itself.

In the words of John Updike, “Death, once invited in, leaves his muddy boot prints everywhere.”

The United States must now fight to repair the tragic fallout of abortion. Ireland still has a chance to make better decisions and protect its women and children from such a fate.

Nora Sullivan is a Digital Communications Writer at the MRC and an associate scholar at the Charlotte Lozier Institute.


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