The untold triumph and tragedy of Ireland’s fight to defend the unborn by JOHN JALSEVAC for Life Site News
There’s a powerful moment in Patriots, Jonathon van Maren’s brilliant new book about the Irish pro-life movement’s decades-long battle to keep the Emerald Isle abortion-free.
The date is May 24, 2018 — the vigil of the referendum on the Eighth Amendment to the Irish Constitution. This amendment, passed by popular vote in 1983, explicitly recognized the right to life of the unborn. It was the bulwark that kept abortion from Ireland’s shores for decades, even as nearly every other Western nation fell to the abortion regime. But on this day in 2018, it was hanging by a thread.
It is late at night, and a group of sleep-deprived pro-lifers has gathered for drinks at a pub in Dublin, around the corner from their headquarters. The preceding months have been consumed by an exhausting, all-out effort to counter the tsunami of propaganda, lies, money, and power — all in support of abortion — sweeping their nation. Ireland’s pro-lifers have left everything on the mat. Many of them have taken leaves of absence from work, or skipped a semester of school, just in order to be able to volunteer full time for the cause.
But on this night, with the vote scheduled for the following day, there is nothing else to be done. After having traveled to hundreds of towns and cities, distributed hundreds of thousands of pieces of literature, knocked on tens of thousands of doors, debated with countless voters on the streets, and protested and strategized and polled and marketed and lobbied using every technique that had proved successful over the past 3 1/2 decades … all that is left now is the waiting. The question on everybody’s mind is: Has it been enough? When the dust settles tomorrow night, will Ireland still be a pro-life nation?
Van Maren’s description of the scene is chilling: