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What Ireland’s Vote On The Abortion Referendum Means For Them And Us


In Ireland, “na mbeo gan breith,” or the “living without birth” are protected by constitutional amendment, at least for the time being.

Ireland will vote May 25 on a referendum to repeal their Eighth Amendment which reads: “The State 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.”

Notice the carefully chosen language. The amendment does not merely declare a right to life for the unborn but acknowledges it, because the right to life is preexisting and natural, unable to be removed by the whims of the state or even the will of the people. If the referendum passes and the Eighth Amendment is repealed, the right to life for the unborn will not be removed, it will be violated.

Proponents of the referendum include notable Irish celebrities. U2, the Irish rock band known for espousing the Christian faith, voiced their support for the referendum by posting a picture of a heart with the words “repeal the 8th” on twitter. Liam Neeson, the actor and native Irishman, has also come out in favor of the repeal effort. In a letter to the independent, Neeson argued that repealing the Eighth Amendment is “the right thing to do,” while also boasting of his service as a Unicef Goodwill ambassador for, get this, “children’s rights.” Seriously, it reads like it was written by Sybil.

Here’s to hoping the Irish people don’t fawn over the political and moral opinions of their celebrities.

Despite the pontificating of Irish elites, the Irish people should take pride in their country’s protection of the unborn. They have set a standard for human rights to which the rest of the world ought to aspire. If the Eighth Amendment is repealed, Ireland will take a giant leap backwards, ironically in the name of progress. Historians will not speak kindly of this era; in which the world unequivocally denied the equality it so often preaches of to the unborn. But Ireland is different, and if it remains so it will be spared inevitable future embarrassment.

The referendum effort is the latest push for Ireland to follow the rest of Europe and the United States into madness. But when it comes to human rights, we should strive to be more like Ireland. It has been over a year since Donald Trump was elected President, supposedly to “Make America Great Again.” To be fair, the Trump administration has an impressive resume to date.  Despite some unorthodox behavior, there have been several commendable accomplishments. But are we great again? I’m not so sure.

When the late Antonin Scalia passed away, a noticeable void was left on the Supreme Court. Neil Gorsuch appears to be a worthy and admirable successor. Tax reform has spared some of our future earnings from the greedy clutches of the IRS. Three American hostages have safely returned from North Korea and the negotiations between North and South Korea have some claiming the Nobel Peace Prize will soon read “TRUMP” like many of his hotels. So far so good. But Planned Parenthood continues to receive taxpayer funding to the tune of roughly half a billion dollars per year. Not great.

If tomorrow we vanquished poverty, but continued to permit the killing of unborn children, we could not call ourselves great. If we brought peace to the middle east and removed the threat of terrorism without spilling an ounce of innocent blood, but continued to spill gallons within our own borders, we could not call ourselves great. A nation that continues to claim “equality” must be paid for with the deaths of the vulnerable and innocent is delusional and most certainly not great.

This is not to say that I do not love my country. I am extremely fortunate to call the United States home and the blessings I have received far exceed my worth. But patriotism does not require denial. I cannot call great a country that has the audacity to permit the killing of unborn children and with a straight face call it “health care.” That doesn’t sound like patriotism, it sounds like hubris.

No, America is not great, but she can be. We should join Ireland in acknowledging the right to life of the unborn.

Admittedly, I do not know whether Ireland has an honest claim to greatness or even goodness. But, to stand athwart the rest of the western world and boldly proclaim the natural rights of the unborn, well, it’s a start.

Repealing the Eighth Amendment will likely be the final nail in the coffin of the once deeply Catholic culture in Ireland. If the Irish people choose to sacrifice the rights of the unborn to the libertinism of the sexual revolution, they will have no more right to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day than the average American who chooses to honor the great saint by spending March 17 drinking green Miller Lite.

So, Ireland, before you cast your vote on May 25, remember to ask yourself, what would Saint Patrick do? (Hint: he drove the pagans out of Ireland, so you can probably guess how he feels about infant sacrifice).