Pro-lifers took to the streets of Dublin on Saturday to urge the country to vote ‘no’ in the upcoming referendum on abortion.
The Irish constitution’s Eighth Amendment pledges to “defend and vindicate” the equal right to life of the unborn and the mother, “as far as practicable”. A referendum on whether to repeal the amendment is set to take place at the end of May.
The organisers estimate that ‘Rally for Life’ attracted 90,000 supporters.
No way back
The Save The Eighth campaign, who led the rally, said it was “overwhelmed” by the attendance – one of the largest pro-life marches ever held in the country.
Spokeswoman Niamh Uí Bhriain said: “Ireland is at a defining point in our history, and we are challenging the people to reject the abortion industry and to demand better for mothers and babies.”
“We know that in repealing the right to life there is no going back”.
The Government has no right to impose this on us.
‘The ultimate exploitation’
A wide range of speakers addressed the crowds. A GP, Dr Judy Ceannt said: “We are not meant to intentionally kill or harm any patient, least of all the most helpless, the unborn baby. The Government has no right to impose this on us.”
Pro-life feminist Destiny Herndon-De La Rosa said: “Abortion is the ultimate exploitation of women, and is a symptom of women’s oppression. Ireland should lead the way by saving the 8th”.
Charlie Fien, who has Down’s syndrome, also spoke to the crowd and warned against babies with the condition being targeted for abortion.
She said: “Ireland is one of the only countries in the world where babies with Down syndrome are safe inside their mother’s wombs.”
Abortion on demand
At the end of May, voters will be asked whether or not to repeal the Eighth Amendment, which would then be replaced with: “Provision may be made by law for the regulation of termination of pregnancies.”
If the country votes in favour of repeal, the Government has said it will introduce legislation to allow for abortion on demand during the first twelve weeks of pregnancy.