Tens of thousands of pro-lifers took to the streets of Dublin on Saturday to call on the Republic of Ireland Government to preserve the country’s abortion law.
The Rally for Life was led by the Life Institute, and attracted a reported 70,000 supporters.
The country’s new Prime Minister, Leo Varadkar, has already promised to hold a referendum on the issue. It is expected to take place next year.
Right to life
Every life has value, every life matters
Ireland’s Eighth Amendment pledges to “defend and vindicate” the equal right to life of the unborn and the mother, “as far as practicable”.
Niamh Uí Bhriain, of the Life Institute, said: “This is an incredible, powerful day, when massive crowds of ordinary people turned out to Save the 8th, to say no to abortion and yes to Life, to tell Leo Varadkar that he would lose this referendum on abortion, because the pro-life majority has arisen and will work night and day to Save the 8th.”
Marchers faced opposition from pro-abortion activists during the event.
‘Every life matters’
Karen Gaffney, international advocate for people with Down’s syndrome, also appeared at the event.
She urged marchers to support the Eighth Amendment to protect the right of “people like me”, and warned how in other countries, screening programs led to up to ‘100 per cent of people with Down Syndrome being aborted’.
In the days leading up to the march, Gaffney spoke to Irish politicians at the Dáil to urge them to protect the right to life of people with disabilities.
She has previously said: “I believe that Down Syndrome is a life worth saying ‘yes’ to. It is a life worth saving. Every life has value, every life matters, regardless of how many chromosomes you have.”
Last year a report argued that over 100,000 lives have been saved by Ireland’s constitutional protections for the unborn.
The Pro Life Campaign produced the document, saying: “To date, there has been way too much focus on the push for repeal of the 8th Amendment.
“It’s time some attention was given to all that’s good about this life saving constitutional provision.”