A ‘Rally for Life’ took place in Dublin on Saturday, 2 July, organised on the back of Roe vs Wade coming to an end. The anti-choice march was the first one to take place in person in 2019 and was organised by anti-abortion groups, including political party Aontú and independent TDs Carol Nolan and Mattie McGrath.
Attendees varied in ages from young children to the elderly with a number of people in the crowd wearing American flags and pro-Trump merchandise. The Irish far-right political party, National Party, were also in attendance.
The march took place just a week after Roe vs Wade was overturned by the American supreme court, with Irish attendees celebrating the decision. Posters reading “Bye-bye Roe, hello future pro-life” were distributed amongst the crowd depicting iconic feminist artwork Rosie the Riveter pregnant.
— Rallyforlife (@theRallyforLife) July 3, 2022
Marchers started at Parnell Square before making their way to Custom House where a number of speakers took to the stage. The founder of anti-choice group Precious Life Bernadette Smyth especially praised the efforts of anti-abortion campaigners in the US, saying “today we share their joy. We commend and applaud all the pro-life groups in the US and we now celebrate the beginning of the end of abortion”.
Aontú leader Peadar Tobin went as far as to compare the success of anti-abortion lobbyists internationally to the “abolitionists who brought the slave trade to an end”.
Tobin went on to call the Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy Act 2018 “a draconian, anti-human rights law”, claiming: “the cure to the damage that has been done to our country is activism. The remedy to the anti-human rights culture in Ireland is political action”.
Nothing says "local grassroots activism" like everyone carrying the same, professionally printed placard referencing a court ruling in another country. pic.twitter.com/9oYyI9bvEE
— Daragh 🏳️⚧️ (@shutupdaragh) July 2, 2022
Other speakers at the anti-choice march included Doctors for Life, Dr Dermot Kearney, who has supplied women with the abortion reversal pill and the Vicky Wall of every Life Counts. Self-proclaimed ‘Trad-Catholic’, Irish Freedom Party member and author for the far-right media-outlet Gript Ben Scallan was also invited to the stage, using his time to ask for funding for independent media.
The spokesperson for the Life Institute, Meg Ní Scealláin was the last to speak at the anti-choice march. Using the slogan from the Northern Irish pro-choice movement, she proclaimed “Roe has been overturned. It is our turn to say ‘The North is Next'”.
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