What a week it was in Ireland. The votes are long counted, and the Irish people are now poised to join that sad community of nations who throw away irreplaceable human beings through abortion on demand. Ireland’s Amendment 8, which protected both women and their preborn children in that nation’s constitution, fell to those selling abortions as something women “need” to succeed. Tragically, the Irish people bought the pitch, opening the door now for laws permitting abortion on a scale the Emerald Island has never experienced, perhaps in effect as early as the fall.
Students for Life of America, led by Ally, sent team members and students leaders to work side by side with Irish pro-life leaders, aiding them in what was an uphill battle to preserve the Emerald Island’s greatest resource, its future generations. It was only fitting that U.S.-based pro-life students worked to lend a hand, considering that the U.S.-based Center for Reproductive Rights kicked off this current attack of Ireland’s pro-life protections with their lawsuit at the United Nations, filed on behalf of American-born Amanda Mellett.
I, Ally, personally know the pain of abortion and how something sold to you as a simple solution actually becomes a lifelong regret, and I am not alone in giving in to the pressure to believe that abortion is a meaningless act, rather than an irrevocable choice.
It’s mystifying that for so many self-proclaimed feminists ending the life of a preborn child is hailed as empowering for women. If a choice is meant to empower you, why does it leave so many regretful, grieving, hurt, and deceived?
For those who want to downplay American exceptionalism, abortion is the perfect issue to discuss as in the U.S. under regulated, poorly monitored, and highly profitable abortion vendors have worked to end the lives of more than 60 million people since 1973.
We had hoped that the Irish people would learn from the sad example of the United States on the issue of abortion, as 45 years after we liberalized our own abortion laws, many women have suffered, as Ally has, as abortion is pushed as healthcare, an easy solution or in the context of contraception.
We also know what it’s like for the decision of a moment to change history when it comes to ending preborn life. Harvard law professor Laurence Tribe wrote in 1973: “In Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton (the court) impos(ed) limits on permissible abortion legislation so severe that no abortion law in the United States remained valid.” Those cases expanded the definition of health so far as to justify abortion in the extreme.
Ireland had a chance to push back. During the Amendment 8 campaign, Irish psychiatrists wrote a letter, discussed in the Irish Times, arguing that the real purpose and professional ethics of true healthcare providers would be ruined by linking abortion and “health”. Abortion advocates want to use “mental health” as a reason for abortion, and want the law to allow for mental health abortions after 12 weeks of pregnancy. The psychiatrists wrote: “We do not want to see spurious appeals to ‘mental health’ being used to justify post-12 week abortions.
…To use ‘health’ as a justification for abortion, when the vast majority of abortions do not take place on any kind of health ground, inverts the true purpose of medicine and doctors who value their calling should have nothing to do with this.”
But the voters chose to allow legislators to enact laws supporting abortion, opening the door to the problems it brings with it.
Short term, abortion can result in all kinds of issues, from bleeding, to infection, to further surgeries, to name a few.
Testifying before a South Dakota Task Force to Study Abortion, Dr. Elizabeth Shadigian, clinical associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Michigan Medical School noted that on average, 10 percent of women will have a complication from an abortion and that 2 percent of women will experience a life-threatening event.
Long term, women who have experienced abortion suffer an increased risk of suicide, increased risk of substance abuse, increased risk of later reproductive complications, and psychological problems that weigh women down as time goes on.
And while U.S. abortion vendors would try and argue that abortion is safer than childbirth, in fact, that claim is impossible to make, as abortion data in the U.S. is not tracked as a medical procedure as is childbirth. The statistics provided by the abortion-favoring think tank the Guttmacher Institute or by the CDC are calculated by voluntary data offered by abortion vendors. Lacking a national abortion reporting law, we only know what they tell us.
Perhaps when Ireland enacts its own laws, the people of the nation can rectify that for themselves, to truly count the costs that women pay.
Today our pro-life friends and allies in Ireland face the hard work of building up organizations like pregnancy care centers, ministries, charities and pro-life student groups to support women in their moment of decision and in the years that follow. There will be a struggle as abortion vendors push abortion as a one-size-fits-all-fix to women. Students for Life of America will do all we can to assist our new friends, so that they and their countrymen and women are ready to help women in their moment of need.
Just because laws allowing abortion in Ireland seem on the horizon that does not mean all is lost, as people prepare to hold out a helping hand to the women who still have a choice to make.
Kristan Hawkins, @KristanHawkins, is president of Students for Life of America, which has more than 1,200 chapters on college and high school campuses in all 50 states. Ally Bowlin is Students for Life of America national programs coordinator and international programs director.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.