When I visited the town of Derry (Londonderry to UK proponents) in Northern Ireland in 2019, I took note of Queen Victoria’s statue in the town’s guildhall.
She was missing her hands and had shrapnel marks all over her.
The tour guide told us that the bomber, an IRA member, got elected to public office upon his release from prison.
The Derry explosion happened in 1972, when the British and Irish were trading bombs and bullets, the former believing they were quelling an insurrection, the latter believing they were fighting to end nearly “500 years of British oppression.”
In 1998, the UK and Irish leaders signed a deal dividing Ireland and Northern Ireland. Ireland would be its own country. Northern Ireland would remain part of the UK but would have the powers of home rule.
In 2018, Ireland voted by referendum to legalize abortion during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. However, exceptions for late-term abortions are permitted.
Abortion proponents knew they could not win a referendum in Northern Ireland.
So in 2019, the UK took advantage of the breakdown of home rule when Northern Ireland was unable to establish its own government through the parliamentary process.
Despite the agreement allowing Northern Ireland independent rule, the UK Parliament voted to establish legal abortion (and same-sex marriage) in Northern Ireland.
Death won the day when the UK forced abortion upon Northern Ireland, not through a democratic process, but through opportunism.
It is upon such issues that otherwise divided people can unite. Northern Ireland is divided by doctrine and politics but has raised a pro-life effort that calls itself “non-denominational and non-party political.”
And pro-life activists there are pushing back legislatively. Recently, a bill to restrict late-term abortions was successful through two stages of the legislative process in the re-established home rule government. Supporters call it a “first step” toward restoring protections for the unborn.
Should Ireland ever reunite, increasing pro-life activism in Ireland and already established advocacy in Northern Ireland may be enough to end the atrocity of baby-killing throughout the island.
The British over the course of centuries have prevailed in Ireland, but they have not killed the spirit of independence in the Irish.
Forcing undemocratic laws in the North ultimately may weaken British power throughout Ireland to more accurately reflect the handless queen who stands in the Derry guildhall.