This is the untold story of Ireland's pro-life movement, who succeeded in protecting women and children from abortion for decades after the rest of the world had made it legal to end the lives of preborn babies.
For thirty-five years, hundreds of thousands of lives were saved under Ireland's 8th amendment. At the same time, Irish maternal healthcare was also amongst the best in the world.
Ireland was described by abortion campaigners as the jewel in the crown of the pro-life movement - but that became one of the reasons why international funding poured into a campaign to repeal the 8th amendment.
On May 25th 2018, that legal protection for preborn babies was stripped away after a deeply divisive campaign which saw the media relentlessly spin the removal of the 8th amendment as being necessary to protect women's lives. While the international news stories focused on the result of the referendum, until now the history of Ireland's pro-life protections and the people, the movement, the events and campaigns that kept abortion at bay has never been written.
This is the untold story of Ireland's pro-life movement - of the ordinary men and women who did extraordinary work to ensure Ireland's unborn babies were protected for decades after most of the Western World had fallen to the abortion industry.
It is the story of how the 8th was won, how the 8th was lost, and how hundreds of thousands of lives were saved in between.
Jonathan Van Maren tells how Ireland's constitutional ban on abortion came about, how thousands of unlikely heroes, fought in anonymity for years to save children not their own, persevering in the face of a hostile culture, a contemptuous media, and powerful political opposition.
Too often, the stories of the pro-life movement are told by others. Too often, they are told by a pro-choice media who act more like attack dogs than journalists.
This is the real story of the thousands of people who put boots on the ground to fight tooth and nail for the life of every pre-born baby.
It is the story of the men and women who fought with their ancestors at their backs and their children in their hearts, fired by the rock-solid conviction that Ireland’s babies were worth fighting for.
It is the story of how they succeeded in that fight for decades and how the exploitation of a woman's tragic death was used as a battering ram to breach those defences.
It is the story of resilience and defiance that is, even now, raising up the movement once again.
It is time for this story to be told.
Pre-order your copy of Patriots: The Untold Story of Ireland's Pro-life Movement today.
Carol Nolan Review
"Jonathan Van Maren’s account of how Irish voters came to repeal the pro-life Eighth Amendment is a fascinating and timely cultural resource that deserves the widest possible readership. What emerges alongside the historical analysis, and the biography of a movement dedicated to the retention of a constitutional human rights beacon, is the most comprehensive account yet of just what it took at the human level to try and save the Eighth.
In many ways it was not an easy book to read. To be brought back to the boundless optimism and hope of those years, before the onslaught of media and political manipulation reminded me of just how different things might have been. For all of this, the book is an extraordinary historical testimony that also remains unflinchingly honest in terms of the lessons we need to learn for the future."
Carol Nolan, Independent TD for Laois / Offaly
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