In 1983, Ireland passed the Eighth Amendment outlawing abortion in most cases. Its future will be decided in a May 25 referendum. Activists from both sides have drawn support from inside and outside the country. One of the most controversial issues to emerge in this protracted battle over the abortion law is the funding of Amnesty International by atheist billionaire George Soros.
Ireland makes it illegal to accept all but a small amount of money from a foreign donor for political causes. Yet this hasn't stopped Soros from giving Amnesty International $160,964 to fund its "My Body My Rights" campaign; he has also greased other pro-abortion groups in Ireland. Last year, the Standards in Public Office Commission ordered Amnesty International to give back the money to Soros' Open Society Institute. It refused and the case is now before the courts.
Ireland's Prime Minister, Leo Varadkar, is delighted that his Health Minister is encouraging voters to legalize abortion. He also endorses the government siding with Amnesty International, even though the human rights entity has received illegal foreign donations. So much for fidelity to the law.
What has not received the attention it merits is the tortured logic of Colm O'Gorman, the executive director of Amnesty International in Ireland.
On the one hand, he calls on the state to "protect foetal welfare" by ensuring proper healthcare and nutrition for pregnant woman. On the other hand, he says "there is a terribly important distinction between protecting foetal interests and conferring a right to life on the foetus." Interestingly, he never tells us what it is.
What on earth does fetal welfare mean if it doesn't mean the right to develop into a full-fledged human person? It most certainly will, provided its maturation is not interrupted.
Similarly, if the fetus isn't worthy of the right to life, why should we worry about its welfare?
The dilemma that O'Gorman is faced with—acknowledging the humanity of the unborn while defending abortion—is shared by virtually all of his Irish supporters. Consider the language of the Eighth Amendment: "The State acknowledges the right to life of the unborn and, with due respect to the equal right to life of the mother, guarantees in its laws to respect, and, as far as practicable, by its laws to defend and vindicate that right."
Are those who disagree with this statement prepared to say that "the life of the unborn" is a fiction, and that there was scientific evidence available in 1983 to validate that claim? If so, we would like to see it.
Are they prepared to argue that there is some new biological evidence indicating that life begins at birth? If so, we would all like to see it. If not, then they would be voting to deliberately end the life of an innocent human being.
The Irish people have a grand opportunity to affirm that life begins at conception, and that they will not listen to the likes of Amnesty International, and its shady benefactor, George Soros.