DUBLIN (ChurchMilitant.com) - Abortion advocates gathered in Dublin over the weekend to protest Ireland's strong pro-life abortion laws.
Irish media reports more than 20,000 people gathered in the streets of Dublin for the March for Choice on September 24 to protest Ireland's Eighth Amendment — the most generous pro-life law in Europe after Poland.
Protesters chanted, "Not the Church, not the state; women must decide their fate," "Get your rosaries off my ovaries," and "Pro-life, that's a lie; you don't care if women die."
After marching for just over a mile to the Lower House of the Irish Parliament, participants indulged in baked goods, coffee and tea and took part in "a creative workshop, a SpeakOut, performances and party!"
Last year's event advertised the after-party as "a safe environment that privileges sharing not debate."
Speak Out here about personal experience of abortion, or of personal experiences in pro-choice activism. The event will provide a safe space to speak out and articulate your experiences and views as we celebrate how individuals have expressed their protest of the 8th Amendment and how networks of support and activism have formed. You are invited to share your personal anecdotes, essays, music, artwork and short films about your abortion and your pro-choice activism on the night.
Protesters in London, New York, San Francisco, Toronto and other cities gathered in solidarity with Dublin's protesters.
The March for Choice is coordinated by the George Soros-funded Abortion Rights Campaign. Soros has dedicated nearly $1 billion to pro-abortion and pro-homosexual organizations, especially in traditionally Catholic European countries.
The Eighth Amendment was added to the Irish Constitution in 1983 to reinforce an 1861 law, the Offenses Against the Person Act, which forbade abortion. The act was passed by a 67-percent majority in the Irish Parliament and enjoyed considerable support by Irish Catholic bishops.
The 1861 law condemned a woman "with intent to procure her own miscarriage" and declared that any other person who assists is guilty of a felony and condemned to "penal servitude" from three years to life, or to be imprisoned for up to two years with hard labor and/or solitary confinement.
The Eighth Amendment reads, "The state acknowledges the right to life of the unborn and, with due regard to the equal right to life of the mother, guarantees in its laws to respect, and, as far as practicable, by its laws to defend and vindicate that right."
Pro-life advocates are generally happy with the wording, but critics argue it's not strong enough and still allows for abortion. For instance, abortion is illegal except "to protect the life of the mother," which critics say still values the mother's life over that of the child.
In June, Irish lawmakers reconsidered the amendment after the United Nations claimed the Eighth Amendment causes suffering and discrimination against women, especially since abortions for fetal abnormalities are illegal. Catholic Prime Minister Enda Kenny noted that the UN's accusation is "not binding" and warned that an immediate repeal of the Eighth Amendment would end in failure.
Limited abortion was allowed under Kenny for the first time in Ireland's history when he signed into law in 2013 an exception allowing abortions in the case of risk to the mother's life, including the possibility of suicide.