Thousands of pro-life advocates marched Monday in Dublin, Ireland to urge their country to protect unborn babies’ right to life again.

Five years ago, Ireland voted to repeal its Eighth Amendment and legalize abortion on demand. Since then, more than 6,000 unborn babies have been killed in abortions every year.

The Irish Mirror reports the March for Life brought thousands of people to the streets of downtown Dublin to protest a new government report that proposes expanding abortions even more.

Among other things, the report calls for eliminating the three-day waiting period and restricting medical professionals’ right to refuse to kill unborn babies on moral or religious grounds.

“The decision to end the life of a child is a massive decision. It’s an irreversible decision and women and mothers shall be given time to consider it,” Peadar Tóibín, leader of the pro-life political party Aontú, told the marchers.

Tóibín, who resigned from Sinn Féin in 2018 after party leaders punished him for voting against a pro-abortion bill, said the waiting period provides a much-needed time of reflection for pregnant mothers in crisis, according to the report.

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“Because all of us human beings make mistakes, especially at times of difficulty and crisis,” he said.

Strong evidence, including studies, data and testimonies from former abortion workers, confirms that waiting periods do help pregnant mothers to reconsider aborting their unborn babies.

According to Doctors for Life: “In 2021, for example, the state made 8,284 payments for initial consultations regarding abortion with GPs and clinics, but in that period there were a much lower number of completed abortions, recorded at 6,683. That means 1,601 women did not return for an abortion after the three-day wait. A small number may have sadly miscarried, but it certainly looks as if the three-day wait is leading to fewer abortions – something most reasonable people would welcome.”

Meanwhile, the number of unborn babies being killed in Ireland every year is growing. Writing at Gript, Niamh Uí Bhriain of The Life Institute said Health Minister Stephen Donnelly recently revealed that approximately 8,500 unborn babies were aborted in 2022 – a huge jump.

“The trend is both heart-breaking and disturbing,” Uí Bhriain said. “It seems obvious that the state is utterly failing women in crisis, and failing all of its responsibilities to offer alternatives to abortion or give any protection to the helpless baby in the womb. Abortion now seems like a first, rather than a last, option.”

Yet, government leaders want “to make it even easier to get an abortion and thereby increase those devastating figures even further,” she said.

Some have expressed reluctance to expand abortions, including Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, the Mirror reports. But Eilish Mulroy of the Pro-Life Campaign, which helped organize the March for Life, said pro-lifers need to prepare to fight the proposal anyway.

“It’s clear from Taoiseach Leo Varadkar’s remarks in recent days that he understands just how extreme and biased the recommendations of the report are,” Mulroy said. “Nonetheless, there’s every reason to be concerned that the government will seek to give effect to the recommendations for no other reason than to placate the very vocal and very small and never satisfied pro-abortion lobby. We have to work extremely hard to ensure this doesn’t happen.”

In 2018, Ireland voted to repeal its Eighth Amendment, which granted unborn babies a right to life. By the end of 2019, 6,666 unborn babies had been legally aborted in the country.

The law allows abortions for any reason up to 12 weeks and up to birth in cases of fetal anomalies. Two reports indicate babies are surviving abortions and potentially being left to die. However, there is no record of the number.

Most countries in Europe allow unborn babies to be aborted for any reason in the first trimester and often later in limited circumstances. However, a few, including Poland and Malta, protect unborn babies by banning abortions.

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