The now annual Rally for Life took place yesterday, Saturday 3rd, outside the GPO. The timing of this year’s rally coincided with the stark news earlier in the week that abortions had continued apace throughout 2020 with over 6 and a half thousand infanticides recorded.
The Rally itself was a more low-key affair this year than it would have normally been, consisting of dozens of smaller local rallies throughout the country than the larger events we would be more used to seeing. By the time of the Rally at 2 pm on Saturday July 3rd, the morning rain had moved on and the Rally outside the GPO had a relatively upbeat atmosphere. In Dublin the crowd consisted by my estimates of between 100 and 150 individuals, with 55 smaller rallies taking place across the country according to the organisers, ranging from Keady to Kerry.
There had seemed to be a very brief counter-protest at the Rally, but it had dissipated within about 5 minutes and they made their way up Henry Street. It was unclear whether this group were counterprotesting the Rally, or an earlier anti-lockdown protest which began a few hours earlier and which had begun marching around the city before the Rally took place.
Pro-Life advocates in Ireland have unfortunately been caught wrongfooted over the last number of decades, as supposedly pro-life parties have vacated that position and ignored promises made in favour of bringing about abortion in Ireland. In the South, Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael are overseeing the destruction of the next Irish generations while Sinn Féin cheerleads from the sidelines and joins with the SDLP in the North in lobbying Westminster in passing legislation for the six counties.
It is difficult to see the long-term strategy of the pro-life movement in Ireland, given the relative paucity of young people who hold those views. It seems to be a negative feedback loop: young people generally view the pro-life movement as something from a bygone era so do not get involved, and thus by not getting involved that view is confirmed.
While the religiosity of many inform their pro-life view, this religiosity is also a barrier for most young people who are, for better or worse, agnostic or openly hostile to Catholicism. I am not religious myself and am not hostile to the faith, but I can see clearly the hostility to it which is ingrained in my generation.
We should then consider how best to formulate a pro-life argument from an agnostic perspective. I do not think that framing it in the context of “human dignity” or “rights of the unborn” is what will sway many people – they have, and will, connect those with the “right to abortion”. My own view is formed of the belief that we have a duty and a responsibility to see the continuance of the Gaelic race, that no nation can survive the willing genocide of its own unborn children and the flattening to zero of its fertility rate.
It is at least a topic worthy of discussion as to how the movement ought to strategise going forward, for we are at the lowest ebb and cannot go much further given the sheer scale of abortion in Ireland. We at the Burkean look forward to engaging proactively in the discussion, and we encourage our readers to do likewise.