Pro-life demonstrators hold signs during a candlelight vigil outside the Irish parliament in Dublin Dec. 4, calling on the government not to introduce abortion legislation. A crowd estimated at 8,000 people gathered to call on Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny to keep a pledge made in 2011 not to introduce abortion legislation.
Catholic News Service
Thousands of pro-life demonstrators held a candlelight vigil outside the Irish parliament, calling on the government not to introduce abortion legislation.
More than 8,000 people braved bitterly cold weather to hear speakers from a coalition of pro-life organizations call on Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny to keep a pledge made before the 2011 general election not to introduce such legislation.
The protest came a week after Kenny promised “swift action” on study group recommendations that the government introduce legislation to provide for abortion in limited circumstances.
The government has promised to respond formally to the issue before Christmas.
In practice, abortion is illegal in Ireland. However, a 1992 Supreme Court judgment -- known as the X case -- found that there is a constitutional right to abortion where there is a substantial risk to the life of the mother, including the risk of suicide, up to birth.
Successive governments have not acted on the issue. However, the European Court of Human Rights ruled in 2010 that Ireland must clarify when women can access abortion under the 1992 ruling.