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 Paul Rodin, All Ireland Rally for Life Facebook page

DUBLIN, July 8, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — One year after Ireland voted to repeal the country’s constitutional protection for preborn children, thousands of pro-lifers marched through the streets of Dublin this weekend to affirm the sanctity of life.

Organized on July 6 by the pro-life groups Life Institute, Precious Life, and Youth Defence, the annual Rally for Life is meant to emphasize that “no vote, no act of parliament can ever make it right to kill a child” and to raise the “next generation to stand for life and to change the culture,” according to the Life Institute.

“Thousands” of attendees marched from Dublin’s Parnell Square to the Custom House (which houses the country’s Supreme Court), carrying banners declaring that “abortion steals hope” and chanting opposition to pro-abortion health minister Simon Harris, the Irish Times reports. All Ireland Rally for Life’s Facebook page puts the number of attendees at 15,000.

May 25, 2018, the day the Irish people voted by referendum to repeal Ireland’s 8th Amendment, was the “most shameful day in Irish history,” the Life Institute’s Niamh Uí Bhriain told marchers. “It is not our shame, because our hands are clean. You did not vote for this and you do not bear that shame. Instead, that shame should be felt by Simon Harris, by Leo Varadkar, by the Irish media, who were the Yes campaign[.] … This cruel abortion regime is a stain on what was once a proud pro-life nation.”

“The direct and intentional taking of the life of any innocent human being is always gravely wrong; we must avoid becoming desensitised to the value of every human life,” Archbishop Eamon Martin said. “More than one year on from the abortion referendum I am calling for more practical help for vulnerable women in this country who feel that their only way out of crisis is to end the life of their unborn child.”

Among the groups taking the opportunity to speak out are pro-life doctors whose conscience rights have been threatened by the new pro-abortion regime. 

“This is a form of bullying that is absolutely unacceptable because a person’s conscience is not subject to majority rule,” Dr. Trevor Hayes says. “We have a huge crisis in the health service, and that crisis is especially acute in staffing, so it is particularly appalling that staff in both nursing and medicine feel that they will be forced out of medicine because their right not to participate in abortion is not being respected.”

Uí Bhriain also took the turnout as a sign of the pro-life movement’s enduring strength, Live Action adds. “People kept telling me the pro-life movement was finished” after the referendum,” she said. “The pro-life movement should just literally go away, fold up its tent, and die. And it was astonishing to see.”

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