|Spirit & Life®|
|"The words I spoke to you are spirit and life." (Jn 6:63)|
Human Life International e-Newsletter
Volume 01, Number 83 | September 07, 2007
|Fr. Tom Reports from Ireland |
Greetings from the Emerald Isle! I am here in Ireland this week with Dr. Brian Clowes and his wife Kathy on a pro-life speaking tour of ten cities to conclude tomorrow in Dublin with a conference sponsored by HLI-Ireland. All the reports about the beauty of Ireland's "forty shades of green" are true but even more beautiful are the Irish people and culture. Although materialism and relativism have definitely invaded Ireland since it joined the EU, there is good reason to hope about Ireland's future: many good people are fighting to maintain Ireland's soul against a virtual onslaught of the culture of death.
First the bad news: Ireland had to endure a despicable pro-abortion test-case in 1992 when a pregnant teenager claimed that she was going to commit suicide if she could not get an abortion. Even though the Irish Constitution guarantees the right to life from the moment of conception, an abortion referendum in 1995 gave Irish women the "right to travel" to the UK to get abortions without penalty and the "right to information" about abortion, breaking a long-standing tradition of resistance to any cooperation in baby-killing. As a result, about 8,000 Irish babies are snuffed out every year in the abortion factories of England. Fanatical abortion promoters like the Family Planning Association (Planned Parenthood's affiliate in Ireland - of course) instantly streamlined the process of whisking Irish women off to England as quickly and efficiently as possible. Advertisements in women's magazines and abortion referral stickers inside women's bathrooms make sure that abortion is in the face of every young woman who could possibly become another source of profit.
If the Irish thought that their Solomon-like decision to split the baby in two would stave-off abortion in their land, they were sadly mistaken. Such compromises only embolden abortion promoters and weaken a nation's resolve to keep abortion out. Ireland has now begun to form an explicit abortion culture, and the arrogant abortion lobby is gaining momentum. Abortifacient contraception has been mainstreamed into Irish culture since the so-called Healthy Family Planning Bill in 1979, and as a predictable follow-up, a "Think Contraception" campaign has been perpetrated on the youth of Ireland by the very minister of Health and Children herself, Mary Harney. Notice how "healthy families" bills morph into "contraceptive thinking" programs for kids: give the abortionists an inch, and they take a mile. Harney is also one of the biggest advocates of the "morning after pill" for Irish children as young as 11 years old.
Now the good news: Ireland still has a strong pro-life culture and a fairly well-organized national pro-life movement that actively monitors the aggressions of the culture of death in this holy land, which is something that the US did not have before our Roe v. Wade watershed moment. There are also many movements of spirituality and evangelization in Ireland such as the Youth 2000 movement, which has had phenomenal success in getting young Irish men and women more committed to their faith. Brian Clowes and I have done nothing but encourage the Irish and let them know that we look to them for much inspiration and will do anything we can to help them keep abortion out. We tell them that now is the time for them to fight for the lives of their unborn children; not the "morning after" abortion is legalized. Abortion is much easier to keep out of a country than it is to get out once it comes in, and their pro-life fortress needs to be defended with fervor now before it's too late. I am happy to say that the Irish are responding with tremendous enthusiasm and openness to the message. Brian will give you a full update on Ireland in one of our upcoming Special Reports.
Let us keep holy Ireland, the land of saints and scholars, in our prayers. They are a pro-life culture that has not yet been destroyed - but - they have their work cut out for them. Since so many Americans have at least a "wee drop" of Irish blood, we all have a vested interest in helping our Irish brethren to prevent the shedding of Irish blood by an abortion industry that wants in the worst way to conquer one of the last bastions of pro-life hope in Europe.
Sincerely Yours in Christ,
PS - Please watch HLI's documentary on Ireland, called Dead in the Water, on EWTN on September 20th. You will love to see how HLI fought the abortion boat that came to Ireland in 2001.