(WNS)–American billionaire George Soros’ money has helped abortion advocacy groups in Ireland, but the nation’s government has demanded the groups return his donations.
The Irish Standards in Public Office Commission (SIPO) demanded that Amnesty International in Ireland return the Soros-funded Open Society Foundation’s 137,000 euro ($160,964) donation for its “My Body My Rights” campaign to repeal the country’s abortion ban.
Ireland’s finance laws bar foreign donors from giving to groups that seek to sway elections or public policy. Amnesty International executive director Colm O’Gorman said the order is flawed and his organization “will consider every opportunity to challenge this decision.”
The Irish Family Planning Association and Abortion Rights Campaign also received money from the Open Society Foundation. The Abortion Rights Campaign has already returned its donation, while SIPO is discussing a $150,000 gift the Irish Family Planning Association received.
International funding has played a role in recent pro-abortion efforts to legalize the procedure in Ireland, where abortion is illegal under the Eighth Amendment to the Irish Constitution. A parliamentary committee voted last Wednesday 14-6 to recommend repealing the abortion ban, and Parliament will later decide whether to hold a referendum in the spring.