Bright-eyed, well-spoken, good-humoured, driven by that fierce, inspiring, youthful determination.

Brenda Power, The Sunday Press, 1992

Since the publication of the Supreme Court judgement in the X case, Youth Defence has been to the forefront in campaigning for a pro-life referendum to reinstate full constitutional protection for Irish mothers and babies.

That has meant organising pro-life people across the country to lobby their local politicians, to send submissions to committees and to generally make a fuss. 

That bit of organising is needed, as usually everyone thinks that someone else is doing the job.

Add to that, the great weapon of pro-abortionists in this country, as well as in every country where abortion has been legalised: confusion. 

YD always do their best to frustrate the confusers. So when one of these abortion yes-men issue some new call to take away all rights from helpless babies, we’re there to call foul on their devious plans to confuse the issue. Sometimes it’s pretty straightforward: “What about the baby” we’d ask. “Ahh to hell with the baby” would come the reply, pretty much revealing the character of this sorry lot. 

So there we are; always calling foul when the plot thickens, and there they are (you know who you are!) grimacing and wishing we’d fall off a cliff or something. 


And then we go a step further, to their utter chagrin, by seeking to clarify the current position in Ireland, to explain the need for a pro-life referendum and to suggest a workable and watertight wording for that referendum. 

An example please? Sure. In the summer of 2000, when the government was preparing a report on the abortion issue, one option was to panic and hope for the best. Another was to maximise the number of submissions the crowd in Leinster House got looking for a pro-life referendum. So we got busy around the country getting everyone to write in. 

The long and the short of it was that, thanks to the plain people of Ireland, the All-Party Oireachtas Committee felt obliged to include the option of a pro-life referendum in its Progress Report on Abortion. A welcome about-turn, since before the pressure was piled on the boys in the Committee had not intention of letting the ordinary folks have any say on the issue. 

Protest at Abortion 'Masterclass' at NUI Maynooth

YD sent in a pretty lengthy submission. It was clear, comprehensive, and convincing, discussing the medical and legal implications of the issue, and setting forth the need, justification and public support for a properly worded pro life referendum.

And we’ve done that on a whole heap of occasions since – on embryo research, bio ethics, on the right to life of people with disabilities, and lots more.