Among pro-lifers decades-old grudges have been dropped and people who weren’t on speaking terms are making plans with each otherAn estimated 25,000 people joined a pro-life march in Dublin (Photo: PA)
Soon, an abortion Bill will travel through the Oireachtas, the two houses that together make up Ireland’s government. Our prime minister, Enda Kenny, wants legal grounds for an abortion if the baby’s mother is suicidal. He’s arguing that this will not, in everyday clinical practice, become “abortion on demand”. For most people, pro-life or pro-abortion, Kenny lacks credibility. This is the same politician who, prior to being elected in 2011, made a “promise” not to legislate for abortion, after which his party, Fine Gael, won by a landslide. Is his new pledge that allowing abortion in hard cases will not become “abortion on demand” as good as his pre-election promise of no abortion whatsoever?
With that in mind, approximately 25,000 people marched in Dublin’s city centre for the Unite for Life vigil on January 19. The most vocal chant was “Enda, keep your pro-life promise!” This phenomenally successful vigil was the fruit of a positive development that has occurred out of the glare of the mainstream media. Interpersonal difficulties between pro-lifers have been endemic in Ireland. But, during the Christmas just passed, I received news from friends telling me that they were putting aside their differences so that they could work with people of varying pro-life shades. That’s not to say that old injuries have healed, and that agreement has been reached on thorny issues such as which side you took in the 2002 referendum. But decades-old grudges have been dropped and people who were not on speaking terms are making plans with each other. Stopping abortion on demand is more important than sustaining quarrels. They know that if they don’t work together, abortion could be legalised and they risk living with regret that they did not mend relations. For this reason alone, they are a good example to British pro-lifers.