Who are you?
We are a group of young people from around the island of Ireland, north and south. We came together to start the Minimise Project after the 2018 referendum to remove the right to life of preborn children from the Irish Constitution.
Why start a new pro-life group?
We are not another campaigning, politically focused pro-life group. We aim to facilitate better conversations about abortion and to discuss the reality of abortion in Ireland, promoting policies that could reduce the abortion rate. There are many organisations doing different kinds of pro-life work in Ireland; this diversity is positive and can be a strength of the pro-life movement. Some of our leadership team worked with various groups previously, but most have not.
In light of the referendum, it is clear that Ireland is not a pro-life country; many, many people in Ireland are disenchanted with, and unpersuaded by, pro-life arguments. We want to understand why so many people feel this way, engage with objections and concerns, and build a culture of respectful dialogue – so even if those we engage with still don’t agree with us fully, they have a better idea of what we believe and why we believe it. We hope that this engagement will change minds and create a space for cooperation with people who don’t agree with us about everything.
Why are you still talking about abortion in Ireland? Isn’t this debate over?
We think that abolishing abortion is a question of respecting fundamental human equality: this is a progressive human rights issue. It is also an ethically complex one. The pro-life movement has not always engaged with some of the valid points that pro-choice advocates make. In order to change people’s minds you have to be able to understand their perspective. We therefore believe the debate on abortion is far from over and believe we have something to contribute.
Are you campaigning to bring back the Eighth Amendment?
We have a longer document where we outline our position on the 8th Amendment; we encourage you to consult it. The short answer is, no, we don’t want to bring back the pre-Repeal status quo. We want it to replace it with something better. We believe that all human beings deserve the protection of law, but we see the law as a means to an end. Our goal is to make the abortion rate as low as possible, and so we think there is a place for pro-life laws, not least because they can help reach that goal. However, we do not see the legal or political route as the most fruitful avenue for making advances towards our aims in the short to medium term. Our main objective is to change minds rather than laws.
Are you religious?
The Minimise Project is not a religious organisation, nor are we affiliated with any religious or faith group. We promote secular pro-life positions and arguments. We are open to everyone, regardless of faith or religious background, or lack thereof.
Who is funding you?
We have had very few expenses so far and have covered them all ourselves.
On a practical level, what does the Minimise Project do to help people considering abortion?
There is no doubt that the support offered to people experiencing crisis pregnancies is completely inadequate. As a result, there are many voluntary organisations that work for and advocate on behalf of these people and families throughout Ireland. We see little point in duplicating their wonderful work, but we advocate, publicise, and participate in their campaigns and activities. Please see the Practical Assistance page, where we are building a list of resources available to those in crisis.
If you are against abortion, why not campaign for free contraception for everybody?
We have a separate document where we expand on our position on contraception. In short, we do not take a stance on contraception; along with many pro-choice people, we acknowledge that no level of contraception usage will completely eliminate the demand for abortion. It is unclear whether, or to what extent, increased access to contraception actually reduces abortion rates. Increased usage of contraception is therefore, at best, one of a range of initiatives needed to reduce the abortion rate. Given this, and since many others advocate effectively for increased access to contraception, we believe that as a group we can contribute most to the pro-life cause through other kinds of advocacy.