The abortion referendum that wasn’t really about abortion

On Saturday, Ireland voted in favour of legalising abortion.

Prime Minister, Leo Varadkar, welcomed the ‘quiet revolution’ as pro-choice voters outweighed pro-lifers by two to one.

Christians must talk about abortion. But this referendum wasn’t really about when life begins or the rights of the unborn.

It was about freedom and authority. It was about choice.


The non-pro-life group don’t identify as pro-death. Or pro-abortion. They’re pro-choice. And this represents our society’s most popular worldview.

If I want it, who says I’m not free to do it? What authority do you have?

Now, let me be honest.

Without Christ, this would be my view. In a godless universe, why should anyone tell me what I can and can’t do?

What authority does one collection of complex molecules have to restrict the freedom of another?

As Dostoyevsky said, ‘Without God, everything is permitted.’


Which is why this wasn’t first about abortion.

It’s about whether there’s a God who has authority to say what’s good. What’s right. What frees us and what enslaves us.

In an increasingly secular society – even in Ireland – the people have spoken.

‘No, we decide what’s good - what enslaves us is anyone else deciding what’s good for us.'

Prime Minister Varadkar called it ‘the day Ireland stepped out of the…shadows and into the light.’

He was right that this marks a watershed moment for the country.


But if God is there and has spoken, the verdict is quite different.

“This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.” John 3:19

We all naturally vote for darkness. But God has sent liberating light into the world.

Through faith in and obedience to Jesus Christ we can all finally find the freedom we looked for in the shadows (1 John 1:7).