DCLeaks.com revealed last year that billionaire investor George Soros has been using his Open Society Foundation (OSF) to turn Ireland – what Planned Parenthood refers to as the “jewel in the crown of the pro-life movement” – into a pro-abortion country.
Catholic News Agency (CNA) broke the news last August of Soros’s leaked strategy to use Ireland as a prototype to upend anti-abortion laws in Catholic countries around the world.
“With one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the world, a win there could impact other strongly Catholic countries in Europe, such as Poland, and provide much needed proof that change is possible, even in highly conservative places,” the document says.
The New York-based Open Society Foundations’ proposed 2016-2019 strategy for its Women’s Rights Program appears to be among the documents published by the website DCLeaks.com.
One of the program’s three themes is enabling access to legal abortion, including through efforts to repeal Ireland’s Eighth Amendment to its constitution.
The Eighth Amendment – passed by voters in 1983 – instituted a constitutional ban on abortion in Ireland. It states:
The State acknowledges the right to life of the unborn and, with due regard to the equal right to life of the mother, guarantees in its laws to respect, and, as far as practicable, by its laws to defend and vindicate that right.
The leaked documents claim that OSF planned three years of strategies to “stem, mitigate and reverse the tide of fetal personhood laws and constitutional amendments” and to generate “a robust set of organizations advancing and defending sexual and reproductive rights and injecting new thinking/strategy into the field.”
Additionally, the documents indicate the Soros foundation saw the legalization of same-sex marriage in Ireland in 2015 as providing “valuable and timely opportunities to advance the campaign” against the pro-life constitutional amendment.
“The Open Society Foundations work in many countries to promote full and equal rights for women, including sexual and reproductive autonomy,” an OSF spokesperson told CNA, describing the leak as part of “an aggressive crackdown on civil society and human rights activists that is taking place globally.”
According to the leaked documents, Soros’s foundation granted Amnesty International Ireland €137,000, the Irish Family Planning Association (IFPA) – an affiliate of International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) – €132,000, and the Abortion Rights Campaign (ARC) at least €25,000 “to work collectively on a campaign to repeal Ireland’s constitutional amendment granted equal rights to an implanted embryo as the pregnant woman (referred to as ‘fetal personhood’).”
However, Ireland’s Electoral Act of 1997 prohibits the use of overseas funding for political campaigns in the country. Following public outcry, Ireland’s Standards in Public Office Commission (SIPO) conducted an investigation into the donated funds to the Ireland-based abortion rights groups.
In an exclusive interview with Breitbart News, Niamh Ui Bhriain (pronounced Neeve O’Brien), a spokeswoman for the Life Institute in Ireland, noted, “Following a SIPO investigation only the ARC were obliged to hand back the amount deemed to be political, €25K. The other groups argued that their campaign was not political, which is preposterous given they want to push through a change to our Constitution.”
It remains unclear as to why SIPO allowed Amnesty and the IFPA to keep almost €300,000 in political funding. However, an equally pressing question is the revelation that this funding is the tip of the iceberg, because almost €20 million has been poured into pro-abortion coffers in Ireland in the past decade to soften up Ireland to repeal the right to life of unborn children.
The Irish Catholic also observed:
That an organisation calling itself the Abortion Rights Campaign (ARC) should ever have denied that it was engaged in political activities seems, on the face of it, absurd, and it is hardly surprising that it was ultimately forced to face this reality. What’s more interesting, in some ways, is that Amnesty International Ireland escaped the same fate.
Soros’s OSF has been joined in the pro-abortion Ireland campaign by U.S. billionaire Chuck Feeney and his Atlantic Philanthropies.
Ui Bhriain wrote at the Life Institute in 2015 that the influx of cash from the wealthy social justice activists turned small, struggling pro-abortion organizations into powerhouses:
The Irish Council for Civil Liberties were a tiny group raising less than €9000 a year, but $11.3 million dollars of Feeney’s money transformed them into a major abortion campaigner. He gave $5.1 million to Amnesty Ireland (who for many, many years had a neutral position on abortion) and, hey presto, now they are rolling out an expensive abortion push, spending lavishly on corporate-style events and music festivals to demand abortion be legalised, as if killing babies was a human ‘right’.
Another $1.1 million was handed to the National Women’s Council of Ireland, who immediately upped their game in pushing abortion, lobbying politicians and holding pro-abortion conferences, though they were careful to take time out to attack women who publicly said that they regretted their abortions.
The handy sum of $236,850 was also forked out to the Family Planning Association in the north of Ireland to fund a court case to challenge a ban on abortion there – FPA are an associate of the ghastly Planned Parenthood Federation who have been caught on camera arranging the sale of the body parts of babies they have aborted.
Then there’s the Centre for Reproductive Rights, a massively wealthy outfit who raised €25 million in 2014 alone from the likes of Bill Gates and the Ford Foundation, and who are up to their necks in pushing abortion in Ireland.
Ui Bhriain notes that – in addition to outright direct cash to groups and organizations – the wealthy donors are also providing funding for legal cases.
The Centre for Reproductive Rights, she explains, is using funding from the Gates and Ford Foundations for “a legal case which is going to the United Nations in Geneva, accusing Ireland of ‘torture’ because we don’t approve of our babies being killed before they are born.”
“Their American lawyers appeared on Prime Time and many other Irish media outlets but they were never asked, not once, why they thought our abortion laws were any of their damn business,” she asserts, and summarizes the problem of progressive media for pro-life groups:
We actually have no idea exactly how much more has come in from Soros’s foundation or any other source to abortion campaigners. What’s reported could just be the tip of the iceberg. The media in Ireland are not remotely interested in investigating the millions coming into push for abortion – most of them roundly ignored the Wikileaks revelations, and barely covered the SIPO investigations which saw a fraction being returned. Had Soros being giving millions to pro-life groups it would have made news headlines for a week or more.
It’s all part of a media strategy which demands no transparency or accountability from abortion campaigners but holds pro-life people to a completely different set of standards.
According to Ui Bhriain, U.S. President Donald Trump’s expansion of the pro-life Mexico City policy – barring U.S. funds to non-governmental organizations that promote or perform abortion – is a positive influence.
“Organisations like Planned Parenthood and Centre for Reproductive Rights are determined to see abortion on demand available everywhere,” she explains. “The expansion of the Mexico City policy and changes to laws in the U.S. does mean that these might be seeking to spread resources around a little more. However, because they understand the huge significance of Ireland’s pro-life laws, they will do all they can to push abortion here.”
IFPA tweeted its criticism of the Mexico City policy – known as the “global gag rule” among pro-abortion groups:
Ui Bhriain says now she and her colleagues are expecting a referendum to abolish the Eighth Amendment next spring.
“The new Taoiseach (prime minister) Leo Varadkar is making the vote a priority,” she notes, adding, however, that the campaign to repeal the amendment is not coming from the general public.
The Irish Times reports that, despite the Citizens’ Assembly vote to extend abortion access with “no restrictions as to reasons” (64 percent), “The evidence of today’s poll suggests that Irish voters do not share the views of the assembly on the extent of liberalisation.”
The report continues:
They believe that Ireland’s abortion laws should be changed, for sure: there are solid majorities for legalising abortion in cases of a serious physical or mental risk to the women’s health, in cases of rape, or a foetal abnormality that makes death likely.
But voters are split in cases of a foetal abnormality where death is not likely (36 per cent favour liberalisation, 47 per cent oppose it) and categorically against abortion for socio-economic reasons.
Asked simply if abortion should be available on request, two-thirds (67 per cent) say no.
“Abortion campaigners rely heavily on the mainstream media support (which is almost absolute with many Irish journalists openly campaigning for abortion), and they do not have a good ground game,” states Ui Bhriain. “After the 2008 economic crash, some extreme left-wing TDs were elected by communities understandably angry at austerity measures, but they have used those platforms to relentlessly push for abortion.”
The pro-life activist says that her organization’s initiatives, such as the National Life Canvass days, have the benefit of thousands of volunteers who move door-to-door to talk to average citizens about abortion.
“There are 1.1 million homes in Ireland,” Ui Bhriain observes. “We’ve reached almost 200,000 with the Canvass so far, and expect to reach a total of 800,000 before polling Day.”
Ui Bhriain notes that Planned Parenthood has described Ireland as the “jewel in the crown of the pro-life movement.”
“That’s because Ireland’s experience shows that you could ban abortion and protect women’s lives,” she explains. “We have one of the lowest maternal mortality rates and some of the best maternal healthcare in the world according to the UN. So abortion campaigners are focused on smashing Ireland’s laws because they know pro-lifers the world over can look to Ireland as a real, proven example of why abortion is never necessary.”