Hundreds of people rallied in the coastal suburb of Dun Laoghaire, Ireland, on Saturday to show support for the country’s 8th amendment, which protects the right to life of both mothers and their unborn children.
The Feb. 10 event was called “Loving the 8th” and was organized by D√∫n Laoghaire Life Canvas and Cherish All the Children Equally as an extension of the Save the 8th Campaign.
Ireland’s 8th constitutional amendment was added in 1983 with nearly 67 percent of voters in favor and 33 percent opposed. It recognizes the equal right to life of the unborn child and the mother, outlawing abortion except in medical emergencies.
A referendum in May will ask voters if they want to repeal the amendment.
Mairéad Hughes, spokesperson for the Save the 8th Campaign, expressed the movement’s gratitude for local pro-life groups, and said the theme “Loving the 8th” would continue through this week.
“We were so delighted to see such a great crowd come out for this event today, and it's really indicative of how people are becoming energized at a local level to save the 8th amendment ahead of the referendum,” she said in a statement on the campaign’s website.
“It was such a positive event, pointing out that the pro-life 8th amendment protects both mother and baby, and is a provision [that] has saved so many lives.”
Those in attendance showed their support for the amendment with heart-shaped balloons, posters, and hats with the logo “Loving the 8th” in response to the upcoming referendum.
“I believe our laws currently show love to both mother and child, and we want people to understand that the 8th is life-saving, and that is why we're Loving the 8th,” Hughes said.
“The 8th encourages us to support women in crisis and to love both them and their baby, and surely that's the most progressive and compassionate way forward for Ireland,” she said. “[As] a mother whose baby was born very early because I had serious complications, I know the 8th protected us both. I know the value of the 8th.”