By Jonathon Van Maren
After several weeks on the road with the Save the 8th Campaign in 2018 campaigning for the pro-life side in the Irish abortion referendum, I wrote a book on the rise and fall of pro-life Ireland titled Patriots: The Untold Story of Ireland’s Pro-Life Movement. I spent hours interviewing pro-life activists who’d spent weeks, months, and years campaigning to keep Ireland abortion-free. They were all heartbroken; many were angry. And nothing made them angrier than the scene that unfolded at Dublin Castle after the vote was read out. Men and women danced, sang, screamed for joy. As I wrote in Patriots:
Repeal campaigners with Yes tattoos on their cheeks literally wept with joy that abortion would be coming to Ireland. Flags were hoisted, signs waved, and young men and women clutched at each other, many trembling with happiness at the newfound freedom that feticide would bring them. It was a wild and emotion-wracked wake for a nation that had protected pre-born children in the womb, but there were only happy tears here. Compassion, sobbing voters told the equally jubilant journalists, had come to Ireland. They did not explain how forceps, suction aspirators, and other instruments of death could be compassionate. They no longer had to.
There is something gut-wrenching about the idea of men and women dancing on the graves of generations yet unborn, and yet that is precisely what happened. The most breathtakingly evil story to emerge after the referendum was of a woman who went out, got drunk to celebrate, conceived a baby with another abortion-celebrating partier, and then had an abortion. It was a bloody microcosm of everything the pro-life movement stands against, and everything the partiers at Dublin Castle had stood for.
Sadly, we have seen similar scenes unfold since. Millions marched in defence of the unborn in Argentina, and in 2018, senators voted yet again to protect pre-born children. But in 2020, after enormous pressure was placed on a handful of politicians, abortion was decriminalized. Impromptu dance parties erupted, with abortion supporters wearing green makeup, green scarves, and other green garments taking to the streets in celebration. Looking at that footage now, I wonder if beautiful brown-eyed María del Valle González López was among them. She was a twenty-three-year-old abortion activist, and she died with her child during a legal abortion in 2021.
Now, we have seen the same sinister celebrations come to Colombia. Abortion was once illegal in most circumstances in Colombia, but this week the country’s constitutional court ruled five to four to decriminalize abortion up until 24 weeks of pregnancy, transforming the nation overnight into South America’s most liberal abortion regimes. Babies can now be killed weeks after they are viable outside the womb — a tragedy for human rights, human reason, and human compassion. Abortion supporters are a minority in Colombia, but as is the case in so many countries, they only needed to convince a handful of judges for millions of death sentences to receive pre-emptive stamps.