Ireland no longer wears the mantle of the most pro-life first-world nation. The Irish Eighth Amendment protecting unborn life has been toppled in a two-to-one margin. Yet it is not Ireland’s fall alone. The United States has paved the way and, tragically, set a ghastly standard for what it means to be a pro-woman nation.
As the world’s superpower, the United States is analyzed, applauded, and denigrated for its positions. Our policies are on full display, and free nations measure themselves by our standards.
While President Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, and United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley are all taking the United States in a decidedly pro-life turn, they’re late to the game. For too long, U.S. international aid has pushed abortion on poor nations. American charities have stormed into pro-life nations, telling them abortion will cure what ails their women. American media has praised abortion giant Planned Parenthood, setting them up as a model of woman-focused health care.
Ireland, you’ve been lied to. Pushing abortion is no more a prerequisite for supporting the freedom of women than making car seats optional would be for supporting the expression of rights in children. It’s a false premise to say women must have the right to tear apart their children in order to succeed. I know that my rights co-exist with those of my children, not supersede theirs. That attitude has not stymied my success as an attorney, scholar, published author, and a mother.
It Is Not Freedom to Kill a Child for Your Convenience
What a dangerous standard to accept the idea that, when I was in my mother’s womb, my rights were as fragile as my small, developing body. Had she chosen differently, my life could have been violently extinguished in mere minutes because she had the “right” to declare me “less than.”
In the end, this is exactly what abortion amounts to: the government’s permission to determine that a weaker, innocent human being is less than me, less deserving of her rights, less worthy of life, less capable of defending herself, less able to sustain her life. Because she is “less than,” she can be “terminated” — made to physically exist no longer.
How is this freedom? How is this the rallying cry of any modern nation? To believe that I can only experience the fullness of my rights by treading upon the rights of an innocent, defenseless human is to believe that I am the be all, end all of the world. It is to believe that the entire world is encapsulated in the singular standard of “me.” It is to believe that another human being is only worthy of existence and valuable enough to be counted among the world’s population if one more powerful declares them worthy.
Abortion Leads to Other Losses of Rights
Abortion is prejudice and dehumanization at its worst, and the United States. has propagated this around the world as a model standard of pro-woman behavior. We have done such an excellent job shouting about a mirage of women’s rights that the globe is now suffering from the loss of women on a grand scale.
Rough estimates reveal the world is missing 101 million women, most of whom were violently killed in the wombs of other women — their mothers. The shortage of women is leading to forced marriages, increased rape, and human trafficking. Under abortion on demand, women are subjugated, abused, and treated as property. It’s hardly the paradigm of freedom and bliss abortion campaigners promise.
The Irish vote will lead to the dehumanization of people in that nation, too. Already, Irish Sen. Ivana Bacik has written in The Guardian, “The clause inserted into our constitution in 1983 that bestowed on the ‘unborn’ a right to life equal to that of a pregnant woman can at last be removed.” Notably, she put quotation marks around the word unborn, as if these tiny children are merely a myth. Clearly, they are humans she can barely bring herself to mention — humans without even a name and, now, without basic protection.
When we can erase human beings by putting quotation marks around their existence, we open wide the gates for man’s inhumanity to man. Only, in today’s modern world, the inhumanity is being led by women, who are turning on their own children. No longer can a child in Ireland grow safely beneath her mother’s heartbeat. The next heartbeat might bring irreversible destruction.
No One Can Have a Right to End an Innocent Life
Any right that comes at the cost of an innocent human’s life is not a right at all. By definition, it cannot be a right. Abortion is also not an issue of health, of choice, of freedom, or of safety. It is an issue of cruelty. In the Nuremberg trials, prosecutor Telford Taylor described how millions of human beings were victimized by those in power — those who believed they had the “right” to succeed on the bodies of others:
The defendants in this case are charged with murders, tortures and other atrocities committed in the name of medical science. The victims of these crimes are numbered in the hundreds of thousands. A handful only are still alive; a few of the survivors will appear in this courtroom. But most of these miserable victims were slaughtered outright or died in the course of the tortures to which they were subjected … To their murderers, these wretched people were not individuals at all. They came in wholesale lots and were treated worse than animals.
Abortion, too, is a form of torture. Many think of it as a death, but few know the heights of cruelty it reaches. One of the most common abortion procedures, D&E abortion (also known as dismemberment abortion, and dilation and evacuation), was described by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy. Kennedy took his information from the testimony of abortionist Leroy Carhart:
The fetus, in many cases, dies just as a human adult or child would: It bleeds to death as it is torn from limb from limb. The fetus can be alive at the beginning of the dismemberment process and can survive for a time while its limbs are being torn off.
Carhart agreed that “[w]hen you pull out a piece of the fetus, let’s say, an arm or a leg and remove that, at the time just prior to removal of the portion of the fetus, … the fetus [is] alive.” Carhart has observed fetal heartbeat via ultrasound with “extensive parts of the fetus removed,” and testified that mere dismemberment of a limb does not always cause death because he knows of a physician who removed the arm of a fetus only to have the fetus go on to be born “as a living child with one arm.” In Carhart’s words, the abortionist is left with “a tray full of pieces.”
Thanks to America’s failure to lead in human rights for all human beings, Ireland will tragically be confronted with many more “trays full of pieces” in the future.