Pro-Life campaigners in Ireland have vowed to ‘dismantle the abortion law’ at a mass rally in Dublin.
The Pro-Life Vigil at Merrion Square in the city attracted an estimated 5000 supporters.
Organizers described the march and rally as the first step in their campaign to reverse the Irish government's endorsement of an abortion law last year.
The Irish Times reports that the rally heard recommendations that people should not vote in the forthcoming local and European elections for candidates from parties who had ‘broken their pro-life promise.’
Speakers also criticized the media which, speakers said, had helped push the Protection of Life in Pregnancy Act through last summer without critically analyzing it according to the report.
Deputy chairwoman of the Pro-Life Campaign Cora Sherlock told the meeting: “The passage of the legislation last July was a shocking example of the tragic breakdown in Irish politics.
“There had been no honest debate about the legislation. The politicians and the abortion lobby said there was a real need for abortion legislation to save women’s lives.
“We know there was never any need for this legislation. Essential life-saving medical treatment is there; that was always legally available.
“The media failed abysmally to ensure the content of abortion law and the Government’s claims about it were critically examined. The media were pushing the law instead of critically examining it.”
Sherlock also made reference to the death in Galway of Savita Halappanavar last year.
She claimed: “Most seriously, the tragic death of Savita Halappanavar was misused by major players in politics and the media.
“They were more concerned with getting abortion legislation passed than accurate reporting. Such journalists were more concerned with setting the agenda than reporting on it.
“There is something rotten at the heart of Irish public debate. As a result of corruption, the pro-life movement cannot sit back and tolerate this any longer.”
Sherlock urged supporters to quiz candidates ahead of the local and European elections and said it is important the pro-life electorate be ‘mindful’ of the parties that had let the movement down when casting their votes.
The Irish Times also reports that Caroline Simons, legal advisor to the Pro-Life Campaign, said after last year’s ‘setback’, they had no idea how many people would turnout at the Dublin rally.
Simmons said: “We realize it’s going to be a difficult road back, but we are massively encouraged that so many people are ready to get on board at this stage to help turn things around.
“Senior members of Fine Gael assured their backbench TDs (deputies) that once the abortion bill passed through the Dáil (parliament) they would have nothing to worry about because the pro-life movement would be crushed and beaten. How wrong they were.
“Your presence here today is proof that we are wasting no time in starting to rebuild. It’s going to take time, but when the public comes to realize the full horror of what the new legislation involves support for the repeal of the law will gather pace.”
The report also added that Lynn Coles of the Women Hurt told the vigil that in recent weeks she had counselled a woman who had been considering an abortion. She decided to proceed with it.
Coles revealed: “She took her own life on Tuesday. Abortion took not only her baby’s life but her own.
She leaves behind a husband and grieving extended Irish family on both sides of the Irish Sea. The media will not cover her story. This is the reality of abortion.”