Abortion wasn't her concern. She was "just an ordinary person, doing ordinary things," until God called her.
In 2012, Bernadette "Bernie" Smyth shook our stage and our hearts, challenging us not to just to enter the battle against abortion, but to be confident of our ultimate victory. "The revolution has begun! You people are called for a time like this! ...One day America will have the most pro-life government in the world because you people are going to change history! ...We can stop the killing because we are called for this battle, this greatest human rights battle. And we don't walk in defeat - we walk in victory! We are a people of victory!"
Last year, everything changed for Bernie. For the first time, abortion became legal in Ireland.
Like a true warrior, Bernie wasted no time. Before the Marie Stopes clinic could start doing business, Bernie had people on the streets, protesting the abortion center's plans, and petitioning Northern Ireland's politicians to keep abortion out. In 2013, she started the process of opening Stanton Belfast, a pro-life women's health care center near Marie Stopes.
Bernie's victories have not been without persecution - a lot of persecution. Marie Stopes would like nothing more than to silence her, which it is trying to do right now with false allegations of harassment. Bernie is scheduled to go to trial one month before the International ProLife Youth Conference.
This year, Bernie will bring with her the sorrow of recently legalized abortion in Ireland, but the steel-like resolve of abolishing abortion, nonetheless. For 17 years, Bernie has been the voice of Precious Life, of Northern Ireland, and was even named one of the top Catholic people of 2013. What inspired her to delve into the pro-life movement 17 years ago? As she described in a recent interview, it was a pamphlet she received at a pro-life conference. At the last conference, she told us about that experience:
"In 1997, God broke my heart. He broke my heart when he showed me a picture of an aborted baby. I was just a normal person, who was doing normal things, who thought they were serving the Lord. And abortion wasn't my problem. Abortion was someone else's problem. The battle wasn't my battle. And you'll hear many people saying, "Oh, it isn't my ministry." This is everybody's ministry."
Bernie has style, grace, is more of a warrior than ever, and just as much a lady. Learn more about her work with Precious Life here.