Large pro-abortion advocacy groups based in the US, like the Center for Reproductive Rights, are continuing to donate big sums of money to organizations campaigning for wider access to abortion in Ireland.
Ireland is meant to be a representative democracy. We elect public representatives to reflect our views and interests in the national parliament.
Like pro-life supporters across the globe, the movement here works hard and hopes that our politicians are people of conscience. In the past decade or so, however, there has been a huge loss of trust as politicians caved to the demands of a hostile media on the issue of abortion and fawningly sought the approval of well heeled international pro-abortion bodies.
At present, the statutorily required Three-Year Review of Ireland’s new abortion law is underway. The Government is very aware of the strong pro-life support that still exists in Ireland and the campaigns being run to encourage voters to ‘think pro-life’ at election time.
In a shameless attempt to shirk responsibility, the Government has effectively outsourced decision-making on the future of Irish abortion policy to a network of liberal NGO activists and partisan academics.
Perhaps the most influential group today when it comes to setting the parameters of the Irish abortion debate is the National Women’s Council of Ireland (NWCI). The NWCI is a non-governmental organization formed in the 1970s which claims to advocate on behalf of Irish women. In fact, it pushes an extreme and fringe agenda under the guise of representing women’s interests.
The NWCI has received big sums of money from the American-based Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR), the group whose mission statement is to “use the power of law to advance reproductive rights as fundamental human rights around the world.”
In the past, the CRR brazenly bragged about interfering in Ireland’s abortion policy for the role they played in bringing a case before the UN Human Rights Committee about Ireland’s then pro-life laws. They attributed their intervention to helping to bring about the referendum in 2018 which saw the pro-life article removed from the Irish Constitution.
The NWCI which the CRR gives its financial backing to has an overinflated role in shaping public policy in Ireland. According to replies received to Parliamentary Questions in 2022, from mid-2019 to early 2022, the NWCI had 41 meetings with the Department of Health on a range of issues to give its input – and prominent among the issues discussed was abortion. This is a scandalous level of access for an activist organization to have.
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In determining the Government’s approach to the Three-Year Review, the NWCI was delegated by the Minister for Health to invite groups to a private meeting with the Minister. These groups included the Abortion Rights Campaign, the Irish Family Planning Association and the Southern Taskgroup on Abortion & Reproductive Topics (START) Doctors. Of course, no input was sought from the pro-life side on this matter and letters seeking meetings with the Minister from the Pro Life Campaign and others were ignored.
The Government disingenuously treats the fringe agenda of the NWCI as reflective of the broad opinion of Irish women, even though opinion polls in Ireland show that a clear majority of women favor positive alternatives to abortion being promoted. For all its talk about diversity and respect, the NWCI, which receives millions of euros of taxpayers’ money, rejects any diversity of views on abortion. For example, it has consistently ignored the voices of women who regret their abortions.
The policy of the NWCI with regards to abortion is very extreme, advocating for stripping away any gestational limits on abortion. Not only does the NWCI ignore pro-life women, but it espouses abortion policies so radical that they would alienate the majority of ‘Yes’ voters who foolishly thought they were voting for limited abortion in 2018.
The Government is constantly trying to present the flawed Three-Year Review process as “independent” and “expert-led”. Yet, from the word go, it was clear the review would be anything but fair. Those hand picked to produce the research which will underpin the review have a demonstrable history of pro-abortion activism, including on social media.
When pro-life groups criticized the unfairness of the process, abortion supporting Senator Lorraine Clifford-Lee said the “independent chair” of the review only has to be “independent of Government, not independent of the issue.” That’s the kind of blinkered and unthinking political outlook that has sadly taken hold in Ireland.
But behind all this suppression of pro-life voices lurks a fear that the truth about what’s happening under the new abortion law might be outed. In a shocking case recently, a young girl was locked in a room and forced to take an abortion pill. Horrifying stories have come to light about unborn babies surviving the abortion and being left to die alone in the corners of hospitals. It’s no wonder pro-abortion politicians and their media buddies are colluding to suppress the truth about Ireland’s new abortion law.
But despite their cozy arrangement, aided by groups like the Center for Reproductive, they have not been able to crush the resolve of the pro-life movement. The numbers who turned out to pro-life marches and rallies across Ireland in the last year is on-the-street proof of the strength of the pro-life movement. We are working day and night to encourage voters to ‘think pro-life’ at the next election and the message is getting through with each passing day. It has been a really tough few years on the pro-life front in Ireland but it has not fazed or diminished our determination in the slightest to turn things around and restore full legal protection for unborn babies and their mothers in the law.
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LifeNews Note: Eilís Mulroy is the CEO of the Pro Life Campaign.