Today is a momentous day for the Republic of Ireland and for the lives of millions of unborn children.
In a referendum that has been years in the making, the Irish population is now tasked with a staggeringly important decision: whether or not to legalize abortion.
A repealing of the Eighth Amendment of the Irish constitution would strip the legal assertion made in 1983 which ensured mother and child are endowed with an equal right to life – and protected accordingly. If the Eighth Amendment is repealed, this section of the constitution will be deleted and replaced with the text: “Provision may be made by law for the regulation of termination of pregnancy.”
While this means that the Irish population will not be voting on a law regarding the specifics surrounding legal abortion, it will open the floodgates for the liberal abortion laws that have swept across Europe. The Irish government has already proposed a legislative document outlining its plans for what it hopes will be a new era in abortion law. The most shocking element of this document is the legal provision for abortion up to 12 weeks, without requiring any specific reason whatsoever.
If this repeal is successful, as long as one doctor agrees, any Irish woman who has not yet reached 12 weeks gestation can terminate her pregnancy for any reason. Overnight, abortion law would go from criminal to convenience.
As this reporter walked through the beautiful streets of Dublin this morning, the lack of “No” campaigners on the streets was stunning. Millennials waltzed along, adorning clothes and signs with one fateful word emblazoned across their chest – “Yes.”
They appear to have adopted the American pro-choice line of argumentation, claiming abortion is a women’s health issue and nothing more than an overdue right of passage for this unique European nation. One thing is clear: it is decidedly unpopular to vocalize your support for the unborn today in Ireland.
As I sat down on a bench within the gardens of the inner-city oasis that is Merrion Square, I questioned several protesters and supporters . The spokeswoman from the pro-life campaign was gracious enough to sit with me for an hour, and expressed some grave concerns regarding the media coverage of this historic referendum.
“You have to be quite brave in Ireland to say you’re voting No,” pro-life spokeswoman Maeve O Hanlon told me on this wonderfully balmy day in Dublin. “There will be an awful lot of people who are voting “No” who have not told anyone.”
Dublin is awash with "Yes" campaigners, one of whom I've just spoken to after he'd posed for an all-smiles photo op. With that said, history shows that the "No" crowd can very much take on the mantle of "silent majority." #8thref #8thAmendment #irishreferendum @faithwirenews pic.twitter.com/O8BmSCxyb4
— Will Maule (@maule_will) May 25, 2018
“For the last few years, there has been a narrative pushed in the press about women’s reproductive rights, and that they need abortions,” Maeve continued. “For anyone to even mention that they are not in favor of abortion are immediately sticking their neck out.”
“The media has been shockingly pro-abortion,” O Hanlon told me, before adding optimistically, “but I think there is going to be a “No” win in spite of the media.”
Celebrities have also made their position clear, adding a considerable amount pressure to those who oppose. Ed Sheeran, Liam Neeson, U2 are among the big names who have derided those who oppose repeal.