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Leading Irish pro-life organization analyses why they lost abortion referendum

by | Aug 15, 2018

Editor’s note. The following introduction comes from our friends at Life Institute. To read the entire report, click here. It explains why the referendum to remove the pro-life 8th Amendment succeeded.

Your referendum update

The vote against the right to life was a wound to the soul, perhaps the darkest day in Ireland’s history. A terrible cruelty has been inflicted on the most innocent in our society – helpless preborn children. Worst of all, two thirds of the Irish people are complicit in this cruelty. It bears their stamp: every abortion is one they voted for.

All of you who worked, campaigned and prayed to protect life, however, should hold your head high. You fought the good fight to protect mothers and babies and your conscience is clear.

Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts for your heroic efforts.

Now we need your insight and your ideas as we reflect, plan, pray, and rebuild the culture.

The result of the abortion referendum was utterly devastating. We have lost something precious and beautiful and we are all broken-hearted. The fall of Ireland’s pro-life protection was a wound to the soul, and the complicity of the people is a dark stain on the nation. It feels like an unexpected and traumatic death, because that’s what it was, the death of decency and kindness and compassion. But we must now pick ourselves up off the floor, and we must fight on, because no referendum can ever make abortion right. We must also keep the path lit so that, together with the next generation, we can rebuild the culture.

In this report to you, then, we will examine:

  • Why the referendum was lost
  • How the media, not the Yes campaign, repealed the 8th [amendment to the Irish Constitution]– with Google’s help
  • The strengths and weaknesses of our fight to Save the 8th
  • The role of the Church in re-establishing a culture of life
  • What must we do now – we want YOUR opinions and YOUR ideas

Every one of you who took part in what was an inspiring, brilliant and heroic NO campaign should hold your head up high. You fought to protect both mother and baby, and to save entirely innocent children from abortion.

You stood up against the greatest injustice in the world, and time will show that you are on the right side of history. That should make you proud, and we are proud to stand with you and with 723,632 people who voted for life and against abortion. The dedication and commitment of so many ordinary people was nothing short of heroic.

Many of you volunteered two years of your lives to knock on doors and talk to people. In every constituency, you joined local canvass teams and gave everything you could to help fight against the campaign for abortion in Ireland. Over four thousand of you volunteered to canvass, leaflet, put up posters, hold street stalls and much more. Tens of thousands of you donated money, came to events, prayed, and supported us in every way you could.

We are forever grateful, and you should know that, although our hearts are broken, your work was not in vain. Many people will come to regret their vote, and will remember the truth that you shared with them when the reality of what repealing the 8th means becomes apparent.

This country has lost something beautiful and precious; but, we did not lose on May 25th, the unborn child did. They lost their right to life because so many voters were cowed and bullied and deceived – but we will always be their voice. We will fight on for those babies and for their mothers, because if we do not speak for them no-one will. Fulton Sheen said “Moral principles do not depend on a majority vote. Wrong is wrong, even if everybody is wrong. Right is right, even if nobody is right.” We must always defend the right to life of innocent babies, even if we stand alone.

But we do not stand alone, and this movement has been energised by the huge influx of new members throughout the country, and of young people who gave this fight their all, and will continue to do so.

Know this too: in keeping abortion out of Ireland for 35 years, you have saved hundreds of thousands of lives. That is no small achievement, and you should feel very proud that, because of you, Ireland protected preborn babies long after many other countries had fallen.

History has shown us, time and time again, that evil eventually destroys itself. Abortion, too, will destroy itself. As Tim Jackson wrote: “But this will not be the last word. Whilst the deconstruction of the island of saints and scholars is nearing completion, the architects in their haste have forgotten to ask: who will inherit the land – is it those who kill their young or those who welcome each as gift?”

We have lost this battle, but we are not defeated. We live to fight another day and together we will fight for both mother and child. We will never be deterred in that work.

Categories: Ireland