Young Americans Fight To Keep Abortion Out Of Ireland

Grace Carr | Reporter

Two Americans have spearheaded a campaign to protect life in Ireland ahead of the nation’s May 25 referendum that will determine whether abortion remains illegal in the country.

Emily Faulkner and her fiancé Nathan Berning founded the Colorado-based pro-life organization “Let Them Live” that’s making waves in Ireland. The group has raised over $8,000 to send pro-life activists to Ireland to advocate for life.

“Basically it’s a Roe v. Wade, but Irish style,” Faulkner told a group of American students interested in making the trip to Ireland, CNN reported.

Ireland’s Eighth Amendment outlaws and penalizes those who attempt to or successfully abort an unborn child. Abortion advocates have called for the amendment to be changed, calling it “archaic and dangerous.” Persons who violate the law can face up to 14 years behind bars.

“What we wanted to do, initially, was to come over to Ireland and to have conversations with the Irish and try to appeal to them and help them to see what happened in our country, so that the same thing doesn’t happen there,” Nathan said. He explained they found they were largely unwelcome, and faced threats from abortion advocates.

“We have been egged on the streets, received death threats for being here and been called a multitude of profane words,” Faulkner told The Daily Caller News Foundation Wednesday in an email. “We are in Ireland to spread awareness of the biology and embryology of the developing fetus in the womb and that is a misunderstood mission.”

She also noted that the response from young people in Ireland has been varied. “I have had some young pro-choicers that were very responsive to our efforts, but the majority of pro-choicers have not reacted kindly,” she said.

She and Berning arrived in Ireland in early May and have been documenting the abortion debate since.

About 125,000 voters have been added to the list of voters registered to participate in the referendum, marking a 90-percent increase in the number of registered voters compared to Ireland’s 2015 referendum on gay marriage, according to the National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI).

Forty percent of Irish people support unrestricted abortion until 12 weeks in pregnancy, but 33 percent think allowing unrestricted abortion until this pregnancy date goes too far, according to a Sunday Independent/Kantar Millward Brown opinion poll. Roughly 20 percent are undecided. The poll included 970 respondents and was conducted across Britain Feb. 6 to 14.

Fewer than three in 10 Irish support elective abortions, according to Breaking News. Support for elective abortions (namely, abortions for reasons other than to save the mother’s life, rape cases and grave fetal abnormalities) is low.

Facebook and Google banned all foreign ads related to Ireland’s upcoming referendum on abortion. “This change will apply to ads we determine to be coming from foreign entities which are attempting to influence the outcome of the vote on May 25,” Facebook officials said in a statement(RELATED: Facebook Bans Foreign Ads On Irish Abortion Referendum)

“Ireland is a pro-life country and the Irish are fighting to keep the unborn protected despite dishonest efforts of pro-choicers to take that protection away,” Faulkner wrote. “I am confident that Ireland will reaffirm the right to life on Friday!”

The vote will be tight, recent polling suggests.

Follow Grace on Twitter.

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Tags : cnn eighth amendment ireland
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