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Pro-life frontline organisations must be supported as abortions surge

I imagine that most people reading this are saddened and appalled by the number of abortions now taking place in Ireland. We’ve gone from being one of the safest countries in the world for mother and baby, to seeing our abortion rate soar to heart-breaking numbers in just under five years.

Equally saddening is the smug enthusiasm of Government ministers who seem focused on actions that push the number of babies killed by abortion higher and higher. There never seems to be a point where the abortion rate might give ministers pause, despite the false assurances given in the referendum that the procedure – the ending of a life – would be “rare”.

The numbers are stark: 6,666 abortions in 2019 alone. Another 6,577 in 2020 and 6,700 lives ended the following year.  And then a massive jump again to 8,156 in 2022, and indications that there may have been up to 10,000 abortions in 2023.

What are pro-life advocates to do in the face of so much reckless indifference to human life? The first step is to realise that we are undertaking the enormous, decades-long, task of rebuilding a broken culture. It won’t be easy and it will take time.



We can also be sure in the certainty that, while a minority might have voted pro-life in 2018, we represent the section of society that is not aborting our own future. Given the unprecedented demographic shifts we are currently seeing, change might come sooner than expected.

But what we also have is an unshakable certainty, an enduring truth, that prevails: that every baby is precious and wanted and loved in God’s eyes. And that we must work to cherish and protect every mother and every baby.

It’s also why we must celebrate every baby saved from abortion, and every mother who turns away from what is often sold to women in need as their “best option”.

To that end, it must be an imperative to ensure that the organisations who work on the frontline offering real support and compassion and love to both mother and child are supported to the extent that they become established in every county and with the help of every parish.

This is a mission for pro-life people everywhere, and always has been. It has always been the quietly consistent and selfless volunteers of organisations like Gianna Care, Every Life Counts, and Stanton Healthcare who offered mothers a better answer, and protected so many tiny, vulnerable babies. All so-called “pro-choice” campaigners have to offer women is abortion. They have no real solutions.

The mission of those frontline organisations is life-saving work, and it can be all-consuming and difficult, but it brings a reward beyond measure, and the knowledge that together we can light a candle rather than cursing the darkness.



The truth is that the Government is simply throwing millions at facilitating abortion. GPs can earn more from providing abortion than they would from providing healthcare to pregnant women, for example. A GP can make €450 from giving a woman abortion pills to kill a living growing baby, but he or she will only be paid €250 for providing care to a woman throughout her pregnancy.

It shows exactly where this government’s priorities lie. It is callous and shameful and profoundly morally wrong. In fact, between advertising and payments to GPs and other costs, the state has already paid more than €45 million to provide abortion in under five years – money taken from your taxes and mine, of course.

So the daily work done by the wonderful frontline groups – who of course receive no funding at all from the government – is even more important. Women are being horribly deceived by the whole apparatus of the State selling abortion to them as an easy option. In that situation, showing a mother that she can choose life is often all the more difficult.

In truth, Ireland already has many charities which provide essentials for those who are disadvantaged and poor. What we need more of is the kind of pro-life care and support that specialised frontline organisations provide.

It’s the whole wrap-around, fully pro-life, service. It’s the shining light in the darkness that literally saves lives. It’s making sure that women can avail of ultrasounds given by trained professionals, so they can see their baby and hear that precious heartbeat.

It’s knowing how to offer women the kind of truthful, compassionate, counselling that makes all the difference. That talking and listening can take away the fear of the unknown. It’s walking the whole journey with women: helping them get assistance they are entitled to from the State, or even being present when baby is born if that’s what women request because they don’t want to feel alone.

It might mean calling on a whole network to find temporary housing or a job or other vital supports for a woman who is often in very difficult circumstances. Those circumstances can include violence or poverty – or being terrified because you are being told both your lives will be ruined.



Sometimes needs are desperate, such as when Gianna Care sought to find accommodation for a young mother who was being kicked out by her family because she wouldn’t have an abortion. I thought of the Holy Family and their desperate search for shelter that night in Bethlehem, and of this Government which can pump millions into abortion but which can’t house the homeless.

And sometimes the needs are very pressing, such as establishing a new network of parents who have carried and loved very sick babies and who know how important support and kindness and real information is at that time.

If we want to make sure that every life counts, then we need to help the heroic efforts of those who work night and day to help parents cherish their babies no matter how short their lives. We need to make sure an alternative to abortion can be heard and be sought and found.

At Christmas, many good people give generously to these frontline organisations so that they can continue to offer hope and love and real compassion. Just as the light of the Christ Child extends beyond this holy season, we need to work and pray that the frontline heroes working to provide real alternatives to mothers are supported in and out of season.


This article was first printed in the Irish Catholic and is printed here with permission


Photo credit: fizkes / Shutterstock


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