On 25 May, Irish voters are to vote on the option of repealing the 8th amendment of the Irish Constitution, which effectively banned abortion by giving foetuses the same legal rights as pregnant women. Background from the BBC here
Ireland’s Catholicism has had a large role in the historical development of strong anti-choice, anti-abortion laws, but the Church has been curiously absent from current debates. That doesn’t mean that the current debate in the lead up to the referendum has been respectful and fact based, not at all. Amnesty International Ireland has come in for strong criticism in particular from anti-choice campaigners for the ridiculous complaints that Amnesty received donations from the Soros International fund and is thus “a US abortion organisation meddling in Irish affairs.” (Never mind that Amnesty was founded in London, and has been campaigning on a range of human rights for over fifty years, and has only recently changed its internal policies on how it handles abortion rights to be a more rights-based perspective!) Disclaimer: I am an active member of Amnesty International Australia, and a former board director here. I do not bother to hide my sympathies for my Irish colleagues, nor my disdain for the utter garbage being thrown at them by opponents.
Fake news is aplenty in the debates, with the anti-choice movement funded by donors within Ireland and overseas flooding Irish media and online with bots and misinformation presented as objective facts. This is extremely disappointing.