Katie Ascough, a young voice of the pro-life movement in Ireland, challenged voters to consider one question before they go to the polls on May 25.
“Look at an ultrasound of a baby at 12 weeks and ask yourself the real and determining question for 25 May, ‘Do I really believe that it should be OK, in the society I live in, to end the life of this child, for any reason?’” she told Sky News.
In just a week, Ireland is scheduled to vote on whether to repeal its Eighth Amendment, which protects unborn babies’ right to life. Abortion activists, backed by some of the world’s richest men, are pushing the pro-life country to legalize abortion on demand.
If the amendment is repealed, government leaders plan to push a proposal to legalize abortion for any reason up to 12 weeks of pregnancy and up to six months in a wide range of circumstances.
Ascough shared a very personal experience that inspired her to become more passionately pro-life. At 13 weeks of pregnancy, she said her mother miscarried her baby brother at home. Her brother’s death affected her profoundly. She said her mother let her hold him in the palm of her hand, and she could see his tiny arms, fingers, ears, nose and mouth.
“Looking into his face, I felt a new sense of understanding. I understood that, he and others like him, are human beings whose right to life should be acknowledged, who are only separated from you and me by time,” she said.
Here’s more from the interview:
On 25 May, we will be deciding whether to remove the right to life for unborn children from our constitution. With the world’s gaze intensely upon us, Ireland has never been so crucial to the abortion debate.
Having witnessed events unfold in Ireland over the past few months, we have seen a colossal shift in the government’s conversation. At first, it was all about the hard cases, but that has rapidly spring boarded into a proposal for abortion on demand. …
The 2016 figures show only 246 abortions, of the 181,000 in England and Wales, were carried out under grounds A and B – in order to save the life of the mother and/or prevent grave permanent injury.
While these cases have been at the forefront of the Yes campaign, it is important to remember that many of these are covered in Irish law, by the 2013 Act and that in Britain the vast majority of abortions take place for reasons of convenience rather than medical necessity.
Ascough said voters need to understand just how radical the government’s proposals are.
“I understand that some people reading this agree with abortion in certain, restrictive, and rare cases, but please know that is simply not what the Irish government is proposing,” she said.
The proposal would allow abortions on healthy women with healthy babies for any reason up to 12 weeks; however, it also would allow abortions on viable, late-term unborn babies up to six months if there are risks to the mother’s physical or mental health. The term mental health is so broad that most abortions could be justified under the exception.
“From conversations on the street and at doorsteps, we have seen that most Irish people, when presented with this reality, do not want abortion on demand,” Ascough said.
Public opinion polls also indicate this. The pro-abortion repeal campaign has rapidly lost ground with voters ever since the government released its abortion proposal earlier this year.
On Thursday, a new Irish Times poll found that support for the pro-abortion side dropped below 50 percent. While support for the repeal still is higher than for the retention, polls no longer indicate an almost sure victory for abortion activists.