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Thousands join the All Ireland Rally for Life in Dublin

Thousands have attended Dublin’s first ‘Rally for Life’ since 2019, as pro-lifers launch a campaign to retain the 3-day waiting period before an abortion.

In the aftermath of the overturning of the Roe v Wade decision and the federal abortion law in the United States, organisers of the Rally for Life said the primary aim of the rally was to urge the public and the Government to rethink abortion.

Spokeswoman for the rally, Megan Ní Scealláin, said that the rally sought to hold the government to account.

She said: “I know that even a lot of people who voted Yes are horrified by the shocking rise in the abortion rates, with Junior Minister Mary Butler telling the Dáil that at least 21,000 abortions have taken place in just three years, despite assurances from then Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and others during the repeal campaign that abortion would be ‘rare’”.

“We also know  – from the doctors involved in performing the abortions – that late-term abortions are taking place in Ireland, with no pain relief for the baby. Then we have evidence that parents are being pushed to abort after a diagnosis of severe disability. The Abortion Review must honestly and transparently examine these outcomes”.

The three-day waiting period must be retained

Irish law requires that a woman seeking an abortion must undergo a three-day waiting period before she can undergo an abortion. Scealláin said that a campaign to retain the three-day waiting period before undergoing an abortion was being launched at the Rally for Life.

“Voters were guaranteed that women would have a three-day period to reflect between a first abortion appointment and the doctor giving the abortion pill, and it is appalling to see abortion campaigners now push to have that time to think scrapped”, she said.

“We know from figures released to Carol Nolan TD that between 800 and 1,000 women did not proceed with an abortion after that initial appointment. Scrapping the requirement for those three days to think might mean another 1,000 abortions a year”.

Referencing the recent overturning of the federal abortion law in the US, she added: “People are excited to be part of this major celebration of Life at the rally this time. The overturning of Roe v Wade shows the power of perseverance and that culture can change. We can ensure better options for mothers and babies. We’re seeing too that change is possible in Poland, in Hungary and in Croatia, where polls show that 60% of doctors now won’t perform abortions and political support for change is growing”.

Right To Life UK spokesperson Catherine Robinson said: “Pro-lifers in Ireland and across the world are working tirelessly to end abortion. It was amazing to see thousands of people in Ireland turn up to the Rally for Life over the weekend. Well done to the team at the Life Institute for putting on such an amazing event and to the thousands of people who turned up to hold the Government in Ireland to account”.

Dear reader,

You may be surprised to learn that our 24-week abortion time limit is out of line with the majority of European Union countries, where the most common time limit for abortion on demand or on broad social grounds is 12 weeks gestation.

The latest guidance from the British Association of Perinatal Medicine enables doctors to intervene to save premature babies from 22 weeks. The latest research indicates that a significant number of babies born at 22 weeks gestation can survive outside the womb, and this number increases with proactive perinatal care.

This leaves a real contradiction in British law. In one room of a hospital, doctors could be working to save a baby born alive at 23 weeks whilst, in another room of that same hospital, a doctor could perform an abortion that would end the life of a baby at the same age.

The majority of the British population support reducing the time limit. Polling has shown that 70% of British women favour a reduction in the time limit from 24 weeks to 20 weeks or below.

Please click the button below to sign the petition to the Prime Minister, asking him to do everything in his power to reduce the abortion time limit.