The annual All-Ireland Rally for Life, which took place in Belfast this year, saw what organisers claimed was its largest ever turnout in the city. Organisers estimated that 8,000 people attended the march.
The rally heard from parents whose children had life-limiting disorders who said that better support for families, not abortion, is the answer when children are diagnosed with severe disabilities in the womb.
According to the Irish Times, Bernadette Smyth of the Precious Life group in Northern Ireland said the gathering was sending out messages to the Taoiseach Enda Kenny and the North’s justice ministerDavid Ford “that the lives of the unborn must be protected” at all stages.
Ms Smyth read a letter from the All Party Pro-Life Committee in Stormont, which supported the rally amd added that the rally was telling the Alliance leader and the North’s justice minister Mr Ford that he should not attempt to bring in legislation that would allow for abortion in cases of foetal abnormality.
Mr Ford is considering amending elements of current abortion legislation in to allow for abortion in cases of foetal abnormality. Abortion is currently legal in Northern Ireland only if continuing a pregnancy is judged to present a “serious threat” to the mental or physical health of the mother. There are around 40 legal abortions in Northern Ireland each year.
The abortion issue came to public prominence again last year after two women, one carrying twins, disclosed that their babies had anencephaly and that under Northern Ireland law they could not have abortions in the North.
LifeSiteNews reports that Gemma Bradley, a campaigner for Trisomy Awareness, many parents have been told that these conditions are “incompatible with life.” But she said that her baby, Lily Rose, and others with similar conditions are “compatible with love, joy and cherished memories.” "She was alive, I felt her move, and babies with Trisomy have lived for hours, days and weeks after birth. The length of that life does not make it less of a life," said Bradley.