As surely as an aftershock follows an earthquake, the shockwaves of abortion are headed for Ireland.

It’s been widely reported that since 1980, 170,000 Irish women have traveled abroad to have an abortion.

The number of women who will be able to stay home for abortion will grow exponentially now that the country has voted overwhelmingly in favor of repealing an amendment that gave equal protection to the unborn as to their mothers.

We saw it happen in the U.S. after Roe v. Wade. 

In the U.S. in 1973, there were 744,610 legal abortions, according to statistics compiled by the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute and reported by the National Right to Life Committee. Five years later, the number had doubled to 1,409,600. In 1990, the U.S. disposed of 1.6 million of its children as medical waste. Rates are down now but there are still more than 900,000 abortion deaths in this country annually.

Murder of the innocents does not come without a cost. After abortion, many mothers discover that the procedure they thought would free them to get on with their lives unencumbered had become a burden too heavy to carry. Women turn to drugs and alcohol to numb the pain, or become involved in one toxic relationship after another. Some have trouble bonding with their future children and some never conceive again.

A woman never forgets her aborted child, even if she remains committed to the pro-choice cause. Breaking the mother-child bond is not as easy as abortion profiteers like to pretend.

Fathers, too, feel the shockwaves of abortion and it doesn’t make a difference what their role was. If they insisted on, or coerced the abortion, many men come to realize they have betrayed their very nature. Instead of protecting their children, they called for their deaths. Men who tell their wives or girlfriends that it’s her choice suffer this same regret. “How small a man was I,” Father Stephen Imbarrato says of the abortion that took the lives of his twins long before he ever thought about pro-life activism or becoming a priest. 

Those fathers who don’t find out about the abortion till after it’s too late also can feel the shockwaves. 

Dr. Philip Ney is a Canadian psychiatrist who has been studying the aftershocks of abortion for decades. In my book, Shockwaves: Abortion’s Wider Circle of Victims, Dr. Ney said this about fathers of aborted children:

Fathers have been overlooked and underrated for decades. The consequence of that is that they don’t involve themselves or take responsibility for the family the way they should. They might think, ‘I am a father, I should be able to look after my child, but I have no legal right to do so. If a baby can be aborted without their awareness or consent, it damages their manhood. I think the damage to men is just as severe as the damage to women.

But the shockwaves continue to spread outward, past the murdered child, past the parents, to grandparents, siblings, even extended families. Everyone feels the loss of those who are missing from the family portrait.

Ireland has nationalized health care, so it’s unclear whether abortion profiteers will set up shop throughout the republic. But what is certain is that, with the government footing the bill for abortion, there will be plenty of job openings for abortionists, nurses and clinic workers. All of these people, too, eventually feel the shockwaves of abortion. 

I will never forget Dr. John Bruchalski telling me that late-term babies in the womb will “fight back” a little bit. “They don’t want to be killed.”

Dr. Bruchalski and many other abortionists and clinic staffers have left the business because they know the truth about abortion better than anyone.

Because of the long battle that preceded Ireland’s historic and tragic vote, the shockwaves of abortion have already reached Irish shores and are being felt acutely by those who believe in the sanctity of life and fought so hard to “Save the 8th” amendment. They are the first victims of legal abortion in Ireland.

But there will be others, many, many others. Ireland will never be the same.