Ireland Reaches Abortion Peak ... So Far
New statistics are showing last year marked an abortion high in Ireland. According to Department of Health statistics, there were 8,156 abortions committed in 2022, the highest number since the killing of the unborn was legalized in 2018. Abortion numbers have remained largely steady, going from 6,666 in 2019 to 6,577 in 2020 to an estimated 6,700 in 2021. Last year’s numbers mark a 21% increase over 2021’s.
This significant increase follows a recent government-ordered abortion review earlier this year, which recommended doing away with mandatory waiting periods and permitting abortions up until birth. Furthermore, abortion exclusion zones were enforced earlier this year, banning pro-life demonstrations and prayer from the immediate vicinity of abortion facilities.
Eilís Mulroy, CEO of pro-life organization VIE, which operates the Pro-Life Campaign, LoveBoth Project, and Students for Life in Ireland, told The Washington Stand:
“The release of the 2022 abortion numbers tells us that the government is failing women. … At the moment, the government’s approach is excessively cold and is simply leading them on a one-way road towards abortion. Women need greater supports which present them with positive ways to continue with their pregnancy and raise their baby.”
Hermann Kelly, founder and president of the conservative Irish Freedom Party, also offered his insight, telling The Washington Stand:
“It is quite an appalling rejection of human dignity that people are prepared to rip apart young humans in the womb. While the Irish birth rate has fallen to 1.5 children per woman, well below replacement level of 2.1, it is madness or malice on the government’s part, to allow the barbarism of abortion to take hold.”
Once considered among the most conservative nations, due in no small part to its population’s firmly-held Catholicism, Ireland has, in recent years, become a bastion of leftism. A recent decline in Catholic Mass attendance and a trend towards agnosticism may be responsible for the rise in leftism. A survey earlier this year found that only 14% of Ireland’s Catholic population regularly attended Sunday Mass. Statistics have consistently demonstrated that Catholics who attend Mass regularly tend to adhere more closely to Catholic moral teaching on subjects such as abortion.
As tragic as Ireland’s abortion pervasion is, it is only part of a broader trend across Europe. Spain, for example, drastically liberalized abortion earlier this year, allowing minors to procure abortions without parental consent, abolishing a three-day waiting period, and mandating sale of abortifacient drugs at pharmacies. A recent survey showed the U.K. is one of the most liberal nations on abortion — even more than leftist strongholds like Canada and France. Speaking of France, legislation is currently working its way through the National Assembly and the Senate to enshrine a ”right” to abortion in the constitution. Belgium is permitting abortions up to 14 weeks into pregnancy, Denmark is allowing minors to obtain abortions without parental consent or notification, and even in predominantly-conservative nations like Poland, strong pro-abortion contingencies are appearing with increasing regularity.
The U.S. is increasingly an outlier when it comes to abortion, especially after the Supreme Court dismantled Roe v. Wade last year. Now there’s a push for a federally-mandated 15-week abortion ban, and various states, like Florida and Texas, have implemented stringent pro-life laws. Even amongst the American populace, abortion’s popularity has taken a downturn, with 52% now backing the overturning of Roe. As the race for the Republican presidential nomination heats up, earning the support of pro-lifers will prove crucial to potentially winning the White House.
S.A. McCarthy serves as a news writer at The Washington Stand.