Hundreds of women and children from throughout the country have joined pro-life groups Youth Defence, Life Institute and Precious Life at the Dáil to tell TDs and Senators that proposals to legalise abortion are "not made in our name", and that the evidence shows Irish women are safer without abortion.
At a colourful protest, featuring pink banners and music, women from all around the country handed in letters to every TD and Senator calling on them to reject legislation that would introduce abortion.
Senator Jim Walsh and Deputy Terence Flanagan came to collect letters from constituents at the event.
"We're here to send an important message from the majority of Irish women to Enda Kenny and to every TD and Senator," said spokeswoman Niamh Uí Bhriain of the Life Institute. "We're mothers and daughters and sisters and grandmothers, and we know that women and children deserve better than abortion. Furthermore the record shows we are safer without abortion, so why are this group of politicians trying to introduce abortion in our name? It's unacceptable to misrepresent Irish women in this way."
Ms Uí Bhriain said that the letters pointed out that the evidence of the past 20 years had shown that the lives of Irish women were protected without recourse to abortion and that, according to the UN, Ireland was, in fact, the safest place in the world for a mother to have a baby.
The pro-life event took place ahead of a debate scheduled for the Dáil on a Private Members Bill proposed by Clare Daly and Mick Wallace which seeks to legalise abortion.
Ms Uí Bhriain said that the Bill was based on a "fundamentally dishonest claim that abortion is needed to protect women's lives. This claim amounts to the worst type of scaremongering, and polls show that it is rejected by the majority of Irish women," she said."Clare Daly and her cohorts were elected on an anti-austerity platform and they have no mandate to try and foist abortion on the Irish people," she added.
(Pic Courtesy of Photocall Ireland)
Amongst those attending today were women who were treated for life-threatening conditions while pregnant, and who had learnt at first hand that abortion was not required to save their lives. In recent weeks, the prestigious medical journal, The Lancet published findings which showed that, contrary to what had been practised in other jurisdictions, abortion was not required to treat women who had breast cancer while pregnant.
Rebecca Roughneen of Youth Defence said that the absolute lack of regard shown by abortion campaigners for the lives of unborn children was "totally at odds with how most Irish women view the child in the womb."
The pro-life spokeswoman said that it was important for the government to realise that they were obliged to honour the pro-life promise they had given before Election 2011, and the majority of Irish women were sick and tired of being misrepresented by small groupings of pro-abortion campaigners.
Motions before the Labour Party conference this weekend include several calling for abortion legislation, including provisions for abortion-on-demand.
- See Photos of the event here
- See more on the Campaign here
- Abortion Bill would lock up pro-life counsellors
- Women Speak Out
- 9 minutes in - http://www.rte.ie/player/#!v=1144738
- LMFM http://utv.vo.llnwd.net/o16/LMFM/2012/04/12/Loosetalk120412.mp3