Amnesty International released an ad this week, calling for Ireland’s eighth amendment to be repealed. The Eighth outlaws abortion, even in cases of rape, incest, or potentially severe damage or injury to the fetus. The ad was co-produced by a woman named Helen Linehan and her husband, Graham Linehan (writer of Father Ted, Black Books and The IT Crowd). Linehan was living in London when she got pregnant and found out that the fetus had a condition called acrania, where the skull hadn’t fully formed around the brain, and that if the child was born, it would die (painfully) within an hour of birth. So she terminated the pregnancy, which is something she would not have been able to do, had she been in her home country of Ireland— at least, not without facing a 14-year prison sentence. According to The Guardian, 10 women travel from Ireland to England or other European countries for a legal abortion EVERY DAY.
Amnesty International’s ad shows footage of creepy, abandoned churches and calls the amendment “a cruel ghost of the last century,” part of “a constitution written for a different time. It is the shadow of the country we’d left behind.” Catholic groups are upset with the ad for being anti-Catholic, but there’s one part of this they’re REALLY pissed about: That it’s voiced by Liam Neeson.
Liam Neeson, of course, also lent his voice to the Chronicles of Narnia series as Aslan, the not-even-really-thinly veiled Jesus figure of a fictional world. So how can Irish Jesus now be waving the abortion flag? It just doesn’t make any sense! The National Catholic Register sure doesn’t get it, saying “I expect this from Amnesty International but not the guy who voiced Aslan.” Those Catholics also got in some sick burns, with “the ad was a lot more watchable than Neeson’s Taken 3. I hope this effort bombs as badly as that movie did.”
Other pro-life groups have called the use of Aslan’s voice here “tasteless.” Newsbusters, the self-described anti-liberal bias “media watchdog,” also plays the Narnia card, saying “after voicing Aslan in the film adaptation of C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia, actor Liam Neeson is lending his voice again — this time in support of abortion.” They also say that “besides championing abortion, the short film contained anti-Catholic messaging.”
Let’s just make one thing clear here. I thought it would have been obvious, but I guess not. So for anyone still confused, this is Liam Neeson:
This is a fictional lion:
Neither of those “supports” or “champions” abortion itself, but one of them is in favor of a woman’s right to an abortion. The other is, again, a fictional talking lion. Hope that clears things up.