Dublin, Ireland, Apr 6, 2017 / 14:53 pm
Facing legal scrutiny over foreign funding of efforts to fight Ireland’s anti-abortion law, a pro-abortion group has returned a $25,000 grant to billionaire George Soros’ Open Society Foundations.
But Cora Sherlock, spokesperson for the Pro Life Campaign, fears the grant to the Ireland-based Abortion Rights Campaign was only “the tip of the iceberg.”
“There is no question this was politically motivated funding,” she told CNA April 5. “I think it is a good thing that the money was returned but there are still outstanding questions that have not be answered.”
In August 2016, CNA broke the news of documents that had been reportedly hacked from Open Society Foundations and posted to the site DCLeaks.com.
These documents showed a strategy proposal for the foundations’ Women’s Rights Program to fund the Abortion Rights Campaign, Amnesty International Ireland, and the Irish Family Planning Association “to work collectively on a campaign to repeal Ireland’s constitutional amendment granting equal rights to an implanted embryo as the pregnant woman (referred to as ‘fetal personhood’).”
That same month, the Republic of Ireland’s Standards in Public Office began to examine whether the funding violated Irish law, according to the newspaper The Irish Catholic, which cited documents released under a freedom of information act request.
Irish law forbids campaign groups accepting more than 100 Euro in donations from foreign sources that could be used for domestic political purposes.
Irish officials repeatedly sought copies of correspondence between the Abortion Rights Campaign and the Open Society Foundations, including its funding application.