Thousands gathered in Dublin on Saturday to protest Ireland’s abortion laws, as well as to celebrate the repeal of Roe v. Wade in the United States.
Thousands of people from across Ireland took to the streets of Dublin on Saturday to protest the country’s abortion regime, which many NGOs are pushing to have liberalised even further after pregnancy terminations were initially legalised in the country in 2018.
The annual Rally for Life protest — which had not been held since 2019 due in part to draconian COVID restrictions in place in the country — also saw attendees celebrate the recent overturning of Roe v. Wade in the United States, a ruling which one again recognises it is individual American states who have the power to set their own rules regarding abortion.
Starting near Ireland’s Garden of Remembrance — a memorial dedicated to “all those who gave their lives in the cause of Irish freedom” — the rally filed down Dublin city’s O’Connell Street waving banners and chanting slogans such as “Roe v. Wade is overturned. Come on Ireland, it’s your turn.”
Although the rally was slated by certain elements in Ireland on social media, only a handful turned up to counterprotest the event, with one woman standing at the end of the main Dublin thoroughfare holding a rude sign.
The annual event concluded with a number of speakers, including Dr Dermot Kearney — an Irish medical professional working within the UK’s socialised health service who helps women who have had a change of heart after taking an abortion pill to save their babies — as well as politicians Peadar Tóibín — leader of political party Aontú — and Independent Carol Nolan, both of whom serve in Ireland’s parliament.
Having been illegal in Ireland for many decades, around 21,000 abortions have been conducted in Ireland since the procedure has been legalised in late 2018.
Despite the high numbers, efforts are now being made to suggest that terminations are not easily enough available, with the mandatory waiting period of three days currently in place for an abortion, in particular, bearing the brunt of pro-choice outcry.
For example, the Abortion Rights Campaign — a group which has also been involved in denouncing alleged “transphobia” in Irish media — slammed the waiting period as putting up a barrier to abortion in Ireland, which it argues will delay “care” for women.
However, pro-life politicians have hit back at the claim, saying that the 3-day wait protects lives, allowing many women to rethink their decision to have an abortion.
“…there are 2,500 children alive today as a result of that 3-day waiting period,” Peadar Toibín previously argued, saying that the figure could be reached by extrapolating numbers obtained by fellow TD Carol Nolan via a parliamentary question.