Save the Eighth Campaign organized the rally that saw tens of thousands in Ireland's capital over the weekend, which left them "energi[z]ed and motivated" two months ahead of the abortion referendum in May.
"These huge numbers are a rising of the people against the media and political elites and against the powerful international abortion industry who have poured millions into a campaign attacking our pro-life laws," said Niamh Uí Bhriain, a member of the campaign. "Ireland is at a defining point in our history, and we are challenging the people to reject the abortion industry and to demand a better answer for mothers and babies."
The attendees marched from Parnell Square to Merrion Square for the Rally for Life. Participants' carried signs that included "Save Lives, Save the Eighth," "Repeal Kills, Vote No" and "Keep Ireland Pro-Life" and used the hashtag #SaveThe8th on social media.
The rally hosted a number of speakers, including doctors, mothers, people with disabilities and political leaders even though most marchers were not political activists, student unions or taxpayer-funded lobby groups. One of the speakers summed up the rally, saying, "They have awoken a sleeping giant."
For the next 11 weeks our message will be focused on ensuring that the Irish people vote no to this extreme abortion referendum. One of the heartbreaking facts we [have] seen emerging from Britain is that 90 percent of babies with Down syndrome are aborted before birth, and Charlie Fien's call to protect babies with a disability is hugely important at this time.
Down syndrome babies in the United Kingdom are aborted 90 percent of the time, according to a 2013 parliamentary inquiry. Charlie Fein, a Down syndrome activist, pushed back at the rally against the abortion of Down syndrome babies in Ireland: "Saving the Eighth will save the lives of babies with Down's syndrome. Ireland is one of the only countries in the world where babies with Down's syndrome are safe inside their mother's wombs."
Fein ripped Ben Achour, a pro-abortion U.N.speaker, in November for supporting the abortion of Down syndrome babies.
The Eighth Amendment to Ireland's Constitution passed in 1983 with almost 67 percent in favor and 33 percent opposed. It outlawed abortion in all cases except for emergencies involving the life of the mother.
A referendum will take place May 25 over whether or not to repeal the Eighth Amendment and legalize abortion on the Emerald Isle. Abortion was legalized in limited cases in 2013, but repealing the Eighth Amendment would pave the way to much wider abortion access.
The Save the Eighth Campaign is one of 62 local groups working across Ireland to train a thousand volunteers to protect the lives of the most vulnerable.
Save the Eighth said that "the rebellion has begun," while students, parents and other adults defended life in cities, towns, villages and rural communities across Ireland."
On February 10, hundreds of family members and young women stood up for the unborn with heart-shaped balloons and posters at "Loving the Eighth" event in Dublin's coastal suburb of Dún Laoghaire. The event was organized by Dún Laoghaire Life Canvas and Cherish All the Children Equally.
The Emerald Isle is hosting another coastal Rosary event like the Rosary on the Coast for Life and Faith last November, which attracted more than 30,000 people to 295 registered locations across the Isle.
The Rosary at the Mass Rocks for Life and Faith will take place this Sunday at 2:30 p.m. at Mass Rock locations and monastic sites throughout the country "to ask Our Lady and our deceased brethren, who gave their lives for faith, to intercede for Ireland, at this critical time in our history" for the protection of the unborn.