National Vigil for Life, Merrion Square, Dublin

| June 10th, 2013

The Pro-Life Vigil in Merrion Square on Saturday, 8 June, was the largest ever pro-life demonstration in the country. Event organisers said there were well over 40,000 people in attendance though the Gardaí estimate was somewhat lower.

People of all ages and conditions were there. Particularly striking was the number of young couples with children who were out in the hot sun to

Sr Roseanne Power
Holy Family Convent, Newbridge

declare their opposition to the abortion bill, euphemistically called Protection of Life in Pregnancy Bill.

“The Government must stop misrepresenting its proposed abortion legislation as restrictive and face up to the dangers in its abortion plan,” Pro Life Campaign spokesperson Caroline Simons told the crowd. “The turnout today shows that the middle ground of Irish opinion is increasingly concerned about the Government’s abortion legislation,” she continued. “It’s time for the spin to stop. The medical profession is radically divided over this because there is nothing evidence-based about the claim that abortion can be the right response to a suicide threat,” Ms Simons said.

“The absence of time-limits in the bill adds the possibility of further horrors with destructive late-terms abortions having to be permitted over time,” she said.

Sr Roseanne with her brother

There was a strong call to the Government to change its plans by focusing on guidelines instead of legislation for the X case. In this way the requirements of the European court can be met without opening the door to abortion.

The Vigil also heard a moving testimony from John McAreavey, husband of Michaela who was murdered on their honeymoon. “Other countries have made the mistake of legalising abortion and have unleashed a terrible sadness across their societies. Often it is a hidden sadness. Let’s not make that mistake in Ireland,” Mr McAreavey said in a recorded message.

The crowd also heard from Adele Best of the organisation Women Hurt who described the pain and suffering that many women face as a result of abortion, but also the hope and healing that comes from helping others to choose a better path.