During the Dark Ages, the heritage of Western civilization would have been lost if not for heroic men and women of unconquered Ireland. Times are pretty dark right now in the West, and Ireland once again remains unfallen to anti-life barbarians. Might the Irish save civilization again?

That’s no exaggeration. Planned Parenthood International has wielded its gargantuan financial and political power across the globe overturning laws and notching up successes for the abortion movement time and again. But time and again, the pro-life forces in Ireland have withstood that pressure, and it remains a largely pro-life culture today. It’s hard to believe, but abortion is still illegal in Ireland.

I interviewed Life Institute’s Niamh Ui Bhriain before she left Ireland for a weekend event in the States to partner with efforts here to build a culture of life. It’s a two decade David and Goliath story, and no one speaks as passionately about it as Niamh. She gives the background.

This year is the twentieth anniversary of the “X” case, sometimes called Ireland’s Roe v. Wade, where a rape victim’s case was used to challenge Ireland’s pro-life laws.

Exploiting rape victims was a tried and tested formula, and it had brought about legalised abortion in a great many jurisdictions. For Ireland’s abortion campaigners, and their international allies, the case was not about protecting rape victims, but about a desire to have Catholic Ireland as just another notch on their belt.

Twenty years ago it seemed that they had succeeded. The Irish Supreme Court turned the intention of the pro-life amendment which had been inserted into Ireland’s constitution on its head. Its ruling in “X” could have legalised abortion on demand, since the grounds the Court accepted as a test – the threat of suicide – are so subjective as to be wide open to abuse.

Now, or so the abortion industry thought, all they needed was for the government to legislate. The then Taoiseach (Prime Minister) certainly told the Dáíl (Parliament) that legislation could be forthcoming. But, despite the near-apoplectic hysteria of the media, and the savaging of Ireland’s pro-life laws by powerful international organisations, the momentum for that legislation stalled.

It stalled because it was made evident to the government – and to every successive government since – that legalising abortion was opposed by the majority of the people. Ignoring the people, then, would have serious political consequences, and nothing matters more to politicians than keeping their seats. The pro-life movement got organised, Youth Defence brought it new energy and a new focus, there were enormous pro-life marches rejecting the X case ruling, and the majority of people rallied in favour of protecting unborn children.

Keeping the public informed, aware and engaged has been the major focus of pro-life activities in Ireland. Focusing on the humanity of the child, the reality of abortion and the enormous damage caused by abortion to women, has meant that for most Irish people, legalised abortion is just a step too far.

Their success has meant a doubling down of effort by abortion backers, fueled by big money.

The abortion industry is, of course, particularly discomfited by the fact that, according to the United Nations, Ireland, without recourse to abortion, is the safest place in the world for a mother to have a baby. And Irish medical experts have testified that their experience shows abortion is not needed to preserve the lives of mothers – whatever conditions arise during pregnancy.

Little wonder, then, that enormous global pressure is being brought to bear on Ireland right now. However, most people would be surprised to hear that the push to legalise abortion in Ireland is being funded by wealthy Americans: with funding coming from billionaires George Soros and Chuck Feeney, and from multinationals like Microsoft and Goldman Sachs through donations to legal centres supporting Planned Parenthood.

So Niamh reached out to the US on the recent trip to raise awareness and support for Life Institute and the coalition of other pro-life organizations determined to preserve the culture in Ireland and spread it. She and her allied forces are thinking big.

Two decades of persistent public engagement and education has maintained Ireland’s pro-life majority, and, in that time, abortion campaigners have failed to win the necessary public support to build momentum for abortion legislation. But they are now openly availing of the massive global funding being made available to efforts to overturn Ireland’s pro-life laws. As in many other jurisdictions, since they cannot get the people to agree with abortion, they want to use the courts and the massive wealth and power of a tiny elite minority to foist abortion on the nation.

Not if Niamh Ui Bhriain can help it.

Sheila Liaugminas

Sheila Liaugminas is an Emmy award-winning Chicago-based journalist in print and broadcast media. Her writing and broadcasting covers matters of faith, culture, politics and the media....