Jul 6, 2024

Thousands Attend Pro-life rally as Counter Pro-Choice Movement Voice Opposition

The march featured heavy religious imagery, including large banners of The Virgin Mary and the spreading of ashes,

Isabella Beatrice RousselContributing Writer

Thousands of people marched for pro-life campaign “Rally for Life” in protest of abortion access

The march began on Parnell street, Memorial Garden, and filtered down to O’Connell Street. The protestors visuals featured heavy religious imagery, including large banners of The Virgin Mary, Jesus, group prayer, and the spreading of ashes, likely symbolizing the perceived lost lives of babies. 

When asked why she participated in the rally, Áine cited “thou shalt not kill” from the bible, arguing that abortion was murder. While Catholicism appeared at the heart of the movement, some banners also attacked marxism, vaccines, and political correctness 


Standing beside the spire was the counter-protest “United for Choice” which included speeches from People-Before-Profit politician Bríd Smith and TCDSU President Jenny Maguire. 

“We already have an incredibly conservative abortion legislation,” Maguire stated, “and we should be demanding more and not having to just retain the crumbs that we have”.

Smith, a ferocious campaigner in repealing the 8th amendment in 2018, echoed this sentiment in her speech. “The Eighth amendment was inserted into the constitution in 1984, which is 40 years ago if I’m counting right. In that 40 year intervening period we have been fighting to get rid of it, and finally to keep us in the amazing referendum in 2018. But in that intervening period, there were dark days for Irish women, who had to take the boat to England before the .com flights. Those boats were full of Irish women trying to access clinics and care in places like London and Liverpool.” 

Smith drew parallels between women forced to travel then, and those forced to travel now for abortion, stating “300 women a year on average still have to travel abroad for abortion care, and the vast majority of them are women who are carrying fetuses with fatal anomaly. Because of the criminalisation, abortion and the restrictive nature of the legislation in this country, they are still being forced to travel”. 

In Britain, abortion can be accessed up to 24 weeks after conception, though exceptions can be made if the pregnancy poses a serious threat to the pregnant person, or if the baby is diagnosed with a serious or fatal condition. In Ireland it is possible to access abortion up to 12 weeks with exceptions should the pregnancy pose a threat to the mother, or if there is a fatal fetal anomaly. Due to the time limit, many Irish women still travel to England. 


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