|Image courtesy of the Life Institute|
While most countries in Europe have stricter abortion laws than the United States, many of those are generally accepting of abortion. There are a few notable exceptions, including Poland and formerly Ireland.
Despite their prolife history, including a public vote to add constitutional protection for children in the womb in 1983, the final tally showed 66.4% of Irish voters stripping away the right to life.
Why did they do it?
If you look at the reasons most often used to justify abortions, they simply don't apply in Ireland.
Irish women aren't dying in "back alley abortions." Despite their law essentially banning all elective abortions, Ireland has significantly better maternal mortality statistics than the United States. With our country's extremely permissive abortion laws, pregnant women are nearly twice as likely to die in the U.S. than in Ireland.
The European Union's European Institute for Gender Equality shows Ireland to be above the European average in their measures of equality between the sexes. Ireland's score is 69.5, right behind the neighboring United Kingdom at 71.5. Which country scores the worst? Greece, at 50, with abortion there totally legal before 24 weeks.
What about poverty? The Irish poverty rate is nearly half that of the United States. Their gross domestic product per capita is the envy of most of the world, more than $10,000 more per person than the United States or Sweden, making them one of the richest countries per person among large European countries.
Overpopulation? Did Ireland need to "cull the herd," to put it bluntly? Ireland's population density is below countries like Iraq and Ukraine, and most other large European countries. Ireland has a higher birth rate than other European countries, but their total fertility rate is below two children per woman, meaning their population will shrink in the future.
Looking at the facts, it seems Ireland is a better place to live than most everywhere else, including just about every country with permissive abortion laws. So, if abortion is a necessary evil, where is the necessity? Well, there is no "need." Ireland didn't need abortion to thrive; they are doing just fine without it.
So, why did Ireland want to legalize abortion?
There seems to be three reasons:
- The unique history of Ireland and the Catholic Church has led many Irish citizens to become resentful of anything that seems remotely Catholic. By voting for abortion, many voters thumbed their nose at the Catholic Church.
- Ireland wanted to join the European club. Most countries considered progressive allow abortion, so many voters thought it was time for Ireland to "get with the program." For years international institutions pressured Ireland to remove legal protection for children in the womb.
- Irish voters bought the talking points. Even though the statistics show Irish women are doing as well or better than their European sisters in other nations, and that Ireland's abortion ban isn't killing women, they still bought into the rhetoric that abortion is somehow a necessary evil, even though Ireland was the strongest example that proved that it wasn't.
Look to Poland as the next major target of the international abortion industry. After restoring protection for unborn children in the wake of the fall of the Soviet Union, Poland has also proved than abortion is not a necessary evil, and their country has growing prolife views. Will they weather the storm of those obsessed with bringing death to their nation's children?