The Irish fight for life

February 1, 2013
Filed under Columns, Guest Editorial

Michael Sullivan writes that Irish politicians will soon unveil abortion legislation . . .

Michael C.X. Sullivan

Michael C.X. Sullivan

by Michael C. X. Sullivan

Ireland is key to the global pro-life movement for one reason: The Emerald Isle is a model nation for women’s health, and abortion is banned in all circumstances.

In 2007, the U.N. reported Ireland as the world’s safest place for a woman to have a baby; the maternal mortality is the world’s lowest In the U.K. and U.S., where abortion is legal, maternal mortality is two times higher and 3.5 times higher, respectively, than in Ireland. The nation’s ethos has made it a model for the world in terms of maternal health. This threatens the abortion industry.

The international abortion lobby depends on the big lie that abortion is a women’s health issue and that abortion bans lead to women dying from “illegal, unsafe, backstreet abortions.” As a result, Ireland is at the top of the international abortion lobby’s hit list because model nations’ policies are studied and often adopted by other countries. Ireland shows the world that the best abortion policy for women is no abortion at all.

George Soros and Chuck Feeney, a wealthy Irish-American entrepreneur, have given millions to the Irish abortion lobby. They have influenced the media and elite opinion with the lie that Irish women are dying from the country’s “backward” ban on abortion.

Last November, The Irish Times reported on the death of Dr. Savita Halappanavar and her 17-week-old unborn baby. They died due to E. coli-related blood poisoning, yet her death was exploited by the claim that it was due to her being “denied a termination” of pregnancy in “Catholic” Ireland. Three days before the story broke, abortion activists began preparing a public relations strategy and then pushed the story global. Headlines blasted around the world condemning Ireland for its religious culture and its “medieval ban on abortion” that “murders” women, sparking protest vigils to change Ireland’s laws.

Two weeks after the damage, the reporter who broke the story, Kitty Holland, admitted that the details of the story were “muddled” and that she was “not satisfied” that Savita or her husband ever requested a termination. Holland happens to be the daughter of two prominent abortion advocates.

The stage is now set. Later this year, Irish politicians will unveil legislation permitting abortion in cases where the mother is allegedly suicidal. This is the culmination of the abortion lobby’s decades-long legal strategy. This exception will supposedly limit “social abortions” taken for personal reasons unrelated to a medical condition.

Of course the reality is that a mental health exception is simply a political ploy to place apparent restrictions on abortion where none will exist in practice. It’s a deceptive strategy for achieving legalized abortion on demand. The proposed Irish legislation parallels the scheme used in California in 1967 to open the floodgates there before Roe v. Wade.

The California Therapeutic Abortion Act of 1967 permitted abortions in cases of mental illness when three physicians agreed that the exception applied. In one year, 61,572 babies were aborted in California and 98.2% of them were under the mental health exception. The California Supreme Court noted, “Serious doubt must exist that such a considerable number of pregnant women could have been [involuntarily] committed to a mental institution [the medical standard to permit an abortion].”

This is why the elites are pushing this deceptive strategy, despite the fact that abortion is never a treatment for suicidality — and the evidence indicates that abortion actually contributes to elevated suicide ideation. Over the last 30 years, only 79 mothers died in Ireland, and only two were suicides of women with a long history of mental health issues unrelated to pregnancy. Using the California strategy, abortion on demand will be a practical reality in Ireland.

Throughout history the Irish have risen up and overcome. But this fight is different. Pro-life forces are outfunded, and the opposition has the media and the elite in their pocket. The Church and pro-life advocates have the truth and the majority of the Irish people with them. However, they need to reach the people directly through ads (billboard, bus, train), social media, and direct mail campaigns to communicate the facts ignored by the biased news media. This is obviously an expensive undertaking and Ireland can’t do it alone — especially since their financial crisis. They need our help.

We Americans know the high cost of losing this battle, and Life House Ireland is in the thick of it. Its special report — The Crisis in Ireland — was prepared especially for Legates who traveled to Ireland on pilgrimage last fall. You can get your free report at IrishFightforLife.org. Join us in the fight for life!

MICHAEL C.X. SULLIVAN is a Chicago-based attorney. He is special counsel to Life House Ireland and the Thomas More Society. He is also an allied attorney to the Alliance Defending Freedom.

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