Part I appeared in the July issue.  It provided a brief history of how abortion legislation has changed during this century.  Part II focuses on some of the important organizations which promote the anti-life, anti-family philosophy and concludes with a reflection on Ireland.

Who are the people who promote abortion and why?

The best-known promoter of abortion around the world is the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), with headquarters in London, but with most of its impetus and motivation coming from its U.S. founding member, Planned Parenthood Federation of America.  Most of its funding comes from Western governments, with the U.S. as chief donor until 1985 when, as a result of protests against IPPF’s involvement in abortion, it diverted a large part of its contribution to a sister body, IPPF/Western Hemisphere.  IPPF also receives large annual contributions from the governments of Britain, Japan, Germany and Sweden, among others, as well as donations from private organizations committed to its objectives and ideology.

Private organizations involved in promoting abortion worldwide include the Rockefeller and Ford Foundations, which fund many of the diverse groups with which they are directly or indirectly connected.  Other less well-known bodies include the Pathfinder Fund, The Population Council and the Population Crisis Committee.  There are numerous other such groups, which are often fronts for the same handful of elite entities and families who feel they know what is best for the world and for its people – at least for some of them.  Some of these bodies, notably The Pathfinder Fund, also receive a large part of their budgets from the U.S. government through its Agency for International Development (USAID).

The United Nations

One of the most important coordinating bodies for this anti-life and anti-peoples activity is the United National Population Fund (UNFPA), which is responsible for advising on and funding the notorious Chinese one-child-per-family policy, among other examples of human rights abuses with which it is associated.

UNFPA is in the front line of this dirty work for the U.N. and for the international community, but it is only the tip of the iceberg of U.S. activities designed to implement a world-wide policy of social engineering by which people are reduced to mere cogs in the wheel of international finance, useful only for the production and consumption of goods and services.  Other U.N. agencies such as the World Health Organization, UNESCO, and UNICEF are also highly involved in promoting and implementing this policy.

The World Health Organization has the franchise for the French abortion drug RU-486, in countries where the manufacturer, Roussel Uclaf, is not in a position to make it available.  This is designed to ensure that this dangerous drug is widely distributed in poorer third-world countries for which it was principally intended, regardless of the acknowledged fact that it will cause the deaths of untold numbers of women in these countries, not to mention the babies who are its chief target.  The drug has not proved safe even in France, despite the best medical facilities and monitoring of each woman taking it, and has led to at least one known death and a number of serious side effects which would be multiplied enormously in the unsanitary conditions prevailing in most third world countries.

UNICEF and UNESCO prepare the ground in the public and educational environments of the world for the acceptance of this overall policy of people management through their mother-and-child health programs (which include the promotion and distribution of abortifacient “contraceptives” and dangerous implants), and through sex education programs which leave young people more likely to engage in sexual activity and therefore more likely to need the contraceptive and abortion “services” to which they are then referred.

Many well-meaning and sincere people and institutions, even Church-related bodies, are taken in by the professional prepared and slick presentations of those who promote the culture of death.  There is a clear connection between all of these programs and the drive to undermine and ultimately destroy the family by having all the services and facilities, such as divorce, contraceptives and abortion, freely and widely available.

The Irish connection

Is there any more justification for finding a right to abortion in the Irish Constitution than there was for finding one in the U.S. Constitution?  In fact, we should have to say that there was a great deal less justification, if that is possible, given that the Irish people had so very recently expressed their convincing wish that their laws and constitution should never be used to legalize abortion in Ireland.

How then could it happen, you ask?  How could the highest court in the land find a right to abortion in Article 40.3.3 which was inserted into the Constitution for the specific purpose of preventing just such an interpretation by the Supreme Court?  The simple answer is that it could not happen, unless of course a majority of the justices decided to show pubic disdain for the wishes of the people – just as their American counterparts had done 19 years ago.

To argue that the right to life of the unborn child in question could be cast aside on the basis of the mother’s threat to kill herself is certainly stretching the imagination of all but the most ideologically committed pro-abortion fanatics – and also, it would appear, of Supreme Court justices.  Are Irish babies to be hacked to pieces in their mothers’ wombs (up to the moment of birth and for any reason) just because someone (whom the Court has never even seen) is reported to have threatened to kill herself if she could not have an abortion?

Unfortunately, according to the present ruling it seems that they are.  But, fortunately, that’s not the end of the story; there is a means of redressing the situation and of overturning this disastrous decision.  How this is done, however, is a matter of no mean importance, for if it is done wrongly we could end up with a result somewhat similar to that in Italy – that is, enshrining a right to abortion for Irish women in the Constitution, even if only abroad.


What is now needed is a complete rethink on the part of the Irish pro-life movement in favor of resisting the right to travel abroad for an abortion, in addition to resisting any right to abortion-directed information and counseling.  If Ireland is to continue to give moral leadership to the world in the area of protection for all its children, born and unborn, it will have to take a firm and uncompromising stand now on ensuring the right to take the life of another – at home or abroad.

Adapted from a talk given in Maynooth College, the national seminary of Ireland, on 23rd March 1991 by William Sherwin, a founding broad member and secretary of the International Right to Life Federation based in Rome.