Last week, Ireland voted to overturn legal protections for preborn babies. Before the May 25 referendum vote, the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution recognized the Right to Life of the preborn baby as equal to his or her mother. With this constitutional protection, abortion was illegal except in rare cases to save the life of the mother, although the reality is that abortion is never necessary to save the life of the mother.
Before the results of the referendum, abortion-promoting politicians had already proposed legislation allowing for abortion up to six months of pregnancy in certain cases. Since the results became official on Saturday, politicians have doubled down on promises for abortion-on-demand and said that abortions will be taxpayer funded. In a short time, Ireland will have changed from a country with some of the strongest Pro-Life laws in the world to a nation with taxpayer funded abortion on-demand.
Throughout the campaign in Ireland, the international abortion lobby focused on some of the same issues that propelled the Roe v. Wade case to the Supreme Court, which, in 1973, legalized abortion throughout the United States. Most notably, in both the United States and in Ireland, the abortion lobby exploited the tragic circumstances of rape victims in order to push for abortion for any reason up to birth.
“Jane Roe” of the Roe v. Wade case was Norma McCorvey, a 21-year-old Texas woman who was pregnant, homeless, and seeking a divorce from her husband. Lawyers promoting abortion manipulated her story and used her as the public face of the abortion movement. McCorvey, who gave birth to her daughter and placed her for adoption, later wrote about her experience during the Roe v. Wade case:
In retrospect, I was exploited by two self-interested attorneys. Worse, the courts, without looking into my true circumstances and taking the time to decide the real impact abortion would have upon women, I feel used me to justify legalization of terminating of the lives of over 35 million babies. Although on an intellectual level I know I was exploited, the responsibility I feel for this tragedy is overwhelming.
Similarly, in Ireland, the abortion campaigners exploited the stories of women like “Ms. C,” a pseudonym. At 13, Ms. C was raped and taken to England to undergo an abortion, because abortion was not legal in Ireland. Abortion groups have used Ms. C’s tragic story to demand that Ireland legalize the killing of the preborn. Ms. C, like McCorvey, became Pro-Life. In a video for a Pro-Life Irish group, Ms. C described the horrific experience: ““I was punished for what a rapist did to me, my baby was punished for what a rapist did to me. The government doesn’t care about women like me, they are just using us to bring in abortion for any reason.” Abortion campaigners were so committed to exploiting rape victims that when Pro-Life rape survivors held an event, abortion activists sent death threats.
Following the referendum, many people are rightly saddened by the legalization of abortion in Ireland. However, just as the abortion lobby used the same duplicitous strategy to legalize the killing of the innocent and defenseless preborn, so the Pro-Life movement in Ireland can learn from Texas. Over the past decades, the Pro-Life movement in Texas has advanced legal protections for the most vulnerable in order to undermine the legal foundation of the unjust Roe v. Wade decision that stripped the legal protection of the Right to Life from some human beings.
Texas Right to Life has worked closely with legislators to craft the Sonogram Law of 2011, the 20 week ban in 2013, and, most recently, the Dismemberment Abortion Ban. History has shown that when innocent Life is not protected, all lives are in jeopardy. With each piece of life-saving legislation, Texas has advanced greater protection of the Right to Life for all people. With this strategy, we hope one day all people will have the Right to Life from conception to natural death here and in Ireland.