Less than two weeks before a historic vote on whether to allow increased access to abortion in Ireland, thousands of people gathered in Dublin on Saturday for a pro-life rally. Source: CNA.
The atmosphere among the crowd was “cautiously optimistic,” Paul MacAree, a radio producer for EWTN Ireland, told CNA. Recent polls have shown that as much as 18 per cent of Ireland’s Catholic-majority population is still undecided on their referendum vote.
“We’ve got about a 78 per cent Catholic population, but unfortunately the Catholic population is very poorly catechised when it comes to understanding these issues,” Mr MacAree said.
On May 25, Irish citizens will vote whether they want to repeal the country’s eighth amendment, which recognises the equal right to life of the mother and the unborn child. Under current law, abortion is illegal, unless the mother’s health is endangered. Pro-life Irish citizens are encouraging a “no” vote on the referendum.
There is already legislation being proposed which, pending the outcome of the referendum and approval by parliament, would grant unlimited access to abortions up to 12 weeks of gestation.
Pro-life activist Ruth Cullen, of the LoveBoth campaign in Ireland, told the Belfast Telegraph that the government’s proposal would enable abortion on demand in the country.
“There is nothing restrictive about the government’s proposals on abortion,” Dr Cullen said. “A ‘No’ vote on 25th May is the only way to avoid abortion on demand in Ireland.”
“It’s really encouraging, though, the way people are starting to scrutinise the government’s proposals and see for themselves just how extreme it is,” she added.
The proposal would “entirely remove all legal protection from every single child in this country for the first twelve weeks of his or her existence, and for the full term in the womb in certain cases,” Bishop Brendan Kelly of Galway said in a May statement on the referendum.
‘Cautiously optimistic’ pro-lifers attend Irish rally ahead of vote (Catholic Herald)