The head of Ireland’s Amnesty International affiliate insists it is in the right to keep a grant received from the foundation of left-wing billionaire George Soros to assist in making abortion legal in Ireland.
Colm O’Gorman continues his public arguments with Ireland’s Standards in Public Office (SIPO) Commission over a grant of €137,000 his Amnesty International affiliate received from Soros’s Open Society Foundations (OSF).
— Colm O'Gorman (@Colmogorman) January 29, 2018
TheJournal.ie reports the twists and turns of the controversy over the Soros donation.
In November 2017, SIPO referred to the grant as “a prohibited donation” which violated the Electoral Act of 1997. The Act states organizations receiving donations larger than €100 “for political purposes” must register as a third party.
In October 2016, however, a SIPO official told Amnesty it had not violated the Electoral Act. Then, claiming it received “new information,” the watchdog said in December 2017 OSF provided confirmation the funding was intended for political purposes. Now, OSF is denying its confirmation.
Niamh Ui Bhriain, a spokesman for the Life Institute in Ireland, told Breitbart News in August the funding being debated is only “the tip of the iceberg, because almost €20 million has been poured into pro-abortion coffers in Ireland in the past decade to soften up Ireland to repeal the right to life of unborn children.”
Amnesty used the funding for its My Body My Rights campaign, focused on overturning Ireland’s Eighth Amendment, which gives equal rights to mothers and unborn babies. Amnesty claims abortion rights are “human rights.”
Colm O'Gorman is out sermonising again in his attempts to legalise abortion. What a horrible shame that an organisation that campaigned for human rights is now campaigning to strip them from the most innocent of human beings #savethe8thhttps://t.co/ZspG2fYvyG pic.twitter.com/Y9rVILqwvV
— Life Institute (@lifeinstitute) February 4, 2018
As Breitbart News reported in August, a leaked memo from DCLeaks.com revealed Soros has been funding groups through his OSF with the intention of turning Ireland – long considered the “jewel in the crown of the pro-life movement” – into a pro-abortion country.
“With one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the world, a win there could impact other strongly Catholic countries in Europe, such as Poland, and provide much-needed proof that change is possible, even in highly conservative places,” the document stated.
This evening the Cabinet gave formal approval to the holding of a referendum on abortion which will be held in late May or early June this year. pic.twitter.com/dQ6P2JEPPK
— Leo Varadkar (@campaignforleo) January 29, 2018
The Irish Cabinet formally approved a referendum last week to be held in May or June to repeal the Eighth Amendment. Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said he is advocating a “yes” vote, arguing that Irish women must travel abroad to have abortions, while some are taking abortion pills without medical supervision.
“We already have abortion — unsafe, unregulated, unlawful,” he said. “We cannot continue to export our problem and import our solution.”
O’Gorman has now referred to SIPO’s demand that it return the funding to OSF as “unreasonable” and “unjust.”
“It’s absolutely clear to us that the application of the Electoral Act in this way violates international human rights law and certainly violates civil society freedoms,” he said, according to TheJournal.ie. He added that application of the law in this way would “shut down” most civil rights groups in the country.
Pro-life campaign Savethe8th said in a press release that O’Gorman is “prevaricating.”
“SIPO’s findings are clear, and nothing in Irish law prevents advocacy groups from operating,” the campaign asserts. “If the public cannot trust O’Gorman to obey the law, they cannot trust him to tell the truth.”
“Mr. O’Gorman has repeatedly refused to obey the law, and is pretending that this is some grave matter of human rights,” Savethe8th Communications Director John McGuirk said. “It is not … This is an attempt to steal a referendum with illegal foreign cash.”
Media Research Center’s Nora Sullivan – an associate scholar at the pro-life Susan B. Anthony affiliate Charlotte Lozier Institute – writes what is happening in Ireland now mirrors how abortion was “sold” to America:
Forty-five years ago, the United States stood on the same precipice on which Ireland now teeters. For this reason, perhaps the Irish people should look towards the U.S. for insight into what impact abortion can really have on a society.
Pro-abortion activists sold abortion to the American public with the idea that it was a basic freedom. Women would be free to terminate their pregnancies when necessary. They would be free to make decisions about their own lives and bodies. Legal abortion meant there would be equality of the sexes, reduced poverty, and happier families.
What has transpired since that time is far from the idyllic vision that was sold to America. Since 1973, more than 60 million American children have been lost to abortion. That is more than 12 times the population of the Republic of Ireland.
The legalization of abortion ushered in appalling injustices to the United States. The abortion industry has been involved in the exploitation of women (particularly minorities and the disadvantaged), grotesque criminal abuses such as that of infamous abortionist Kermit Gosnell, and the selling of aborted fetal organs and body parts. It has led to the, perhaps irreparable, polarization of American politics, countless protests, and endless debates.
— Save Lives. Stop Abortion (@SaveLivesAlways) February 3, 2018
Catholic Bishop of the Elphin diocese Kevin Doran also sees an inevitable cultural decline if the Eighth Amendment is repealed.
In a pastoral message about the referendum, Doran wrote:
A number of EU member-states have already legalized euthanasia. I am convinced that if we concede any ground on abortion, the very same arguments which are now being used to justify abortion will be used to justify ending the lives of frail elderly people and people with significant disability. This is the final frontier. If we cross it, there will be no easy way back.
Sullivan echoes Doran’s words as she reflects on the U.S.’s path.
“The United States must now fight to repair the tragic fallout of abortion,” she concludes. “Ireland still has a chance to make better decisions and protect its women and children from such a fate.”