Interview with David Quinn on Ireland’s Upcoming Abortion Referendum

By Susan Yoshihara, Ph.D. | April 5, 2018

DUBLIN, April 6 (C-Fam) On May 25th, the Irish people will go to the polls to decide whether they will amend their constitution to remove the right to life and replace it with one of the world’s most liberal abortion laws. David Quinn, one of Ireland’s frontline pro-life leaders sat down with the Friday Fax in his Dublin headquarters to discuss the ramifications of the referendum.

“If we vote to repeal we will become the first country ever to explicitly, as a people, vote away the right of the unborn,” Quinn said. “Americans never voted as a people to do that, it was ultimately the Supreme Court. In Britain, it was the British Parliament, and in all other countries it tended to be either a court ruling or Parliament.”

Ireland’s constitution explicitly protects the right to life of the unborn child. After the U.S. Supreme Court knocked down all protections for the unborn child in 1973, Irish pro-life groups campaigned for protections for the unborn in the constitution. In 1983, the Eighth Amendment was passed by referendum. Since then, abortion activists have worked to undermine and repeal it.

Quinn says international pressure has played a significant role. Various UN committees have created recommendations against the Eighth Amendment, claiming, falsely, that it violates various UN conventions based on the committees’ interpretations.

Quinn believes that Ireland is targeted because the country disproves abortion activists’ main claims. That is, they argue that without abortion a country endangers women’s lives. In reality, Ireland’s maternal death rate is one of the lowest in the world, while its laws are the most protective of the unborn. Both Britain and the U.S. have higher maternal mortality along with legal, accessible, and “safe” abortion.

UN committees, activists, and wealthy donors like George Soros have targeted Ireland for years. Quinn noted that Soros gave an illegal donation of $150,000 to Amnesty International Ireland. Soros’ Open Society Foundation admitted to the strategic targeting of Ireland, in order to open the door to eliminating other pro-life laws in countries like Poland and the Philippines.

Abortion activists see Ireland as a “last bastion of pro-life law in the world,” he said. They believe that if the country’s Eighth Amendment is repealed, it will be front page news in the New York Times, and have a demoralizing effect on the U.S. and international pro-life movement, while boosting the abortion movement worldwide.

A major source undermining the Eighth Amendment is the Irish media, Quinn said, who are “uniformly pro-choice…there’s not a single newspaper in Ireland against Repeal except for Catholic papers.” The major abortion activists include Amnesty International and the Coalition to Repeal the Eighth. The major pro-life groups include Pro-Life Campaign, the Life Institute, and Family and Life.

Quinn said the result of media bias is that in much of the public mind, the debate is about the hard cases of rape, incest, fetal abnormalities and maternal deaths. Quinn says the real significance is that if the Eighth Amendment is repealed the Irish will have a provisional constitution that will grant parliament full power to legislate as they will. The initial legislation proposed is more liberal than even Britain’s law, where abortion is never theoretically available without restrictions. Ireland’s legislation would contain no restrictions on abortion within the first 12 weeks, the time in which 90% of abortions occur.