(Bernadette Smyth, Director of the Precious Life organisation, poses for a photograph in her office with a life size replica of a foetus at twenty weeks, in Belfast, Northern Ireland September 27, 2012.  REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton)

Patricia Casey’s views on abortion were formed at the age of 12 when she came across an image of what looked to her like a torn-apart baby – an aborted foetus.

Now, at 25 a veteran anti-abortion campaigner in the semi-autonomous UK province of Northern Ireland, she’s committed to a fight to ensure the abortion law in neighboring Ireland remains one of the world’s strictest, preventing terminations in nearly all circumstances.

“It is a battle, definitely it’s a battle,” she said. “You’ve got to go out there fighting.”

The issue pitches Ireland’s Catholic conservatives against a younger secular generation at a time when the church’s grip on society is weakening and the European Union, of which Ireland is a member, is demanding a review of its laws.