Lawmakers in Ireland have caved to abortion activists’ demands to hold a referendum on whether to overturn its pro-life Eighth Amendment.
The Independent reports Taoiseach Leo Varadkar announced Tuesday that a referendum vote on abortion will be held in May or June of 2018.
The Eighth Amendment of the Irish Constitution recognizes that unborn babies have a right to life from the moment of conception. However, it has been a major target of abortion activists, backed by some of the richest men in the world.
Varadkar supports abortion. He said the Eighth Amendment is “too restrictive” because it protects unborn babies’ lives in all circumstances. On his first day in office, he indicated that he would push a referendum on the pro-life amendment, SPUC reports.
A special government committee was established this year to consider if abortion should be legal in certain or any circumstances. However, over the summer, Irish health minister Simon Harris started drafting legislation that could legalize abortion before the committee even issued its report.
The vote is scheduled just prior to Pope Francis’s visit to Ireland for the World Meeting of Families, according to the Shropshire Star. Abortion activists are afraid that the Catholic leader’s visit could influence voters to support unborn babies’ right to life.
Catholic priests and bishops in Ireland have been strong advocates for unborn babies in the on-going abortion debate, and Pope Francis likely would echo this during his visit in August 2018. The pope frequently has described abortion as a product of our “throw-away culture” and urged Catholics worldwide to be compassionate advocates for unborn babies.
Here’s more from the Star:
Article 40.3.3, otherwise known as the Eighth Amendment, was voted into the constitution in 1983. Although abortion has always been illegal in the country, the 1983 referendum saw it enshrined in the constitution.
It states: “The states acknowledges the right to life of the unborn and, with due regard to the equal right to life of the mother, guarantees in its laws to respect, and as far as practicable, by its laws to defend and vindicate that right.”
Some say this definition is problematic because it makes the life of the foetus and the life of the woman carrying it equal.
In effect, it means abortion is illegal in Ireland, unless it endangers the mother’s life. This means that abortion is illegal even in cases of rape, incest or foetal abnormality.
Pro-lifers estimate that the constitutional amendment has saved approximately 100,000 unborn babies’ lives from abortion in Ireland. The country also has one of the lowest maternal mortality rates and best health care for women in the world.
That’s one of the reasons why Niamh Ui Bhriain of the Life Institute in Ireland believes American billionaire George Soros and abortion activists are pushing so strongly to repeal the amendment.
“… Ireland’s experience shows that you could ban abortion and protect women’s lives,” Ui Bhriain told Breitbart in a recent interview. “We have one of the lowest maternal mortality rates and some of the best maternal healthcare 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.”
Documents leaked last year from Soros’s Open Society Foundations revealed that abortion activists have an extensive, well-funded plan to legalize abortion in Ireland. The document showed the foundations’ three-year plan through 2019 to target laws in Ireland, Mexico and other pro-life countries, the Catholic News Agency reported.
Soros, one of the richest men in the world, already has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to pro-abortion groups in Ireland through his foundation, according to Breitbart. This includes €137,000 to Amnesty International Ireland, €132,000 to an affiliate of the International Planned Parenthood Federation in Ireland and €25,000 to the Abortion Rights Campaign.
Other American billionaires also are supporting big abortion across the world. In 2015, Life Institute reported another American billionaire named Chuck Feeney poured about $18 million into Ireland’s pro-abortion groups through his foundation. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Ford Foundation also reportedly gave millions of dollars to the Centre for Reproductive Rights, which also is pushing abortion in Ireland, according to Life Institute.
Grassroots pro-life advocates are working hard to stop abortion activists from succeeding. Ui Bhriain said they have thousands of volunteers who are going door to door to talk to people about abortion.
“There are 1.1 million homes in Ireland,” Ui Bhriain told Breitbart. “We’ve reached almost 200,000 with the canvass so far, and expect to reach a total of 800,000 before polling day.”