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Ireland Campaigns on both sides ramp up with rallies in city

09:25  13 may  2018
09:25  13 may  2018 Source:   independent.ie

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AGAINST: Aida Deak (14) pictured with Ali (12), mother Lydia and Mila Matejko from Dublin at the LoveBoth rally © Provided by Irish Independent AGAINST: Aida Deak (14) pictured with Ali (12), mother Lydia and Mila Matejko from Dublin at the LoveBoth rally

Thousands of people attended a 'LoveBoth' pro-life rally in Merrion Square in Dublin and heard speakers call for a No vote.

Hours earlier, hundreds of doctors gathered in a nearby hotel to call for a Yes vote.

As the Merrion Square rally began, Dr Ruth Cullen of the LoveBoth campaign said: "There is nothing restrictive about the Government's proposals on abortion.

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Both sides in the Eighth Amendment referendum debate have been taking part in the final full day of campaigning ahead of the broadcast moratorium. On the Yes campaign trail, Health Minister Simon Harris, Tánaiste Simon Coveney and several cross-party TDs and senators gathered for a billboard

"A No vote on May 25 is the only way to avoid abortion on demand in Ireland.

"It's really encouraging though, the way people are starting to scrutinise the Government's proposals and see for themselves just how extreme it is."

The meeting of hundreds of doctors in favour of a Yes vote was told that more than 1,000 doctors have already signed a public declaration of their support for repeal of the Eighth Amendment.

DUBLIN, IRELAND - MAY 12: Thousands of No campaign supporters hold placards aloft during a LoveBoth Stand Up For Life rally on May 12, 2018 in Dublin, Ireland. The referendum on the abortion issue in Ireland will take place on the 25th of May. The No vote led by the LoveBoth movement is against repealing the 8th Amendment in Ireland which rules abortion is illegal unless it occurs as the result of medical intervention to save the life of the mother. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images) © Getty DUBLIN, IRELAND - MAY 12: Thousands of No campaign supporters hold placards aloft during a LoveBoth Stand Up For Life rally on May 12, 2018 in Dublin, Ireland. The referendum on the abortion issue in Ireland will take place on the 25th of May. The No vote led by the LoveBoth movement is against repealing the 8th Amendment in Ireland which rules abortion is illegal unless it occurs as the result of medical intervention to save the life of the mother. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)

The declaration was unveiled at a National Doctors Together For Yes meeting in a city hotel.

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Dr Mark Murphy said: "The Eighth Amendment isn't working - it puts doctors in a constitutional straitjacket which holds us back from providing proper care to our patients."

Donegal GP Dr Anna McHugh said: "I do not want to be complicit in a healthcare system where we continue to speak about women's healthcare issues in hushed tones.

DUBLIN, IRELAND - MAY 12: A nun and a priest enjoy a chat during a LoveBoth Stand Up For Life rally on May 12, 2018 in Dublin, Ireland. The referendum on the abortion issue in Ireland will take place on May 25. The No vote led by the LoveBoth movement is against repealing the 8th Amendment in Ireland which rules abortion is illegal unless it occurs as the result of medical intervention to save the life of the mother. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images) © Getty DUBLIN, IRELAND - MAY 12: A nun and a priest enjoy a chat during a LoveBoth Stand Up For Life rally on May 12, 2018 in Dublin, Ireland. The referendum on the abortion issue in Ireland will take place on May 25. The No vote led by the LoveBoth movement is against repealing the 8th Amendment in Ireland which rules abortion is illegal unless it occurs as the result of medical intervention to save the life of the mother. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)

"I hope that another generation of Irish women do not have to travel to the UK for care, or stand petrified alone in their bathrooms performing their own unsafe abortions with pills.

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"I want to know that when a woman comes to me in a crisis pregnancy situation, she feels unafraid to do so - that I can support her completely without fear," she said.

Obstetrician and gynaecologist Professor Louise Kenny, said: "Under the Eighth Amendment, doctors like me can only perform a termination of pregnancy if we agree that there is a real and substantial threat to a woman's life.

DUBLIN, IRELAND - MAY 12: Thousands of No campaign supporters hold placards aloft during a LoveBoth Stand Up For Life rally on May 12, 2018 in Dublin, Ireland. The referendum on the abortion issue in Ireland will take place on May 25. The No vote led by the LoveBoth movement is against repealing the 8th Amendment in Ireland which rules abortion is illegal unless it occurs as the result of medical intervention to save the life of the mother. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images) © Getty DUBLIN, IRELAND - MAY 12: Thousands of No campaign supporters hold placards aloft during a LoveBoth Stand Up For Life rally on May 12, 2018 in Dublin, Ireland. The referendum on the abortion issue in Ireland will take place on May 25. The No vote led by the LoveBoth movement is against repealing the 8th Amendment in Ireland which rules abortion is illegal unless it occurs as the result of medical intervention to save the life of the mother. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)

"There is no medical or legal definition of real and substantial, and the uncertainty this creates is unhelpful and occasionally dangerous."

"I have cared for women whose health has been irreparably harmed by the Eighth Amendment.

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"I have cared for women who have died because of the Eighth Amendment. As an obstetrician, I never met a woman who wanted a termination, but I've met many women who desperately needed one."

DUBLIN, IRELAND - MAY 12: Two year old Joseph Quaid holds a plastic foetus as he is held by Eirinn Quaid during a LoveBoth Stand Up For Life rally on May 12, 2018 in Dublin, Ireland. The referendum on the abortion issue in Ireland will take place on May 25. The No vote led by the LoveBoth movement is against repealing the 8th Amendment in Ireland which rules abortion is illegal unless it occurs as the result of medical intervention to save the life of the mother. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images) © Getty DUBLIN, IRELAND - MAY 12: Two year old Joseph Quaid holds a plastic foetus as he is held by Eirinn Quaid during a LoveBoth Stand Up For Life rally on May 12, 2018 in Dublin, Ireland. The referendum on the abortion issue in Ireland will take place on May 25. The No vote led by the LoveBoth movement is against repealing the 8th Amendment in Ireland which rules abortion is illegal unless it occurs as the result of medical intervention to save the life of the mother. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)

Former Fianna Fail Justice Minister Maire Geoghegan-Quinn, who backed the Eighth Amendment in 1983, joined with Labour's Joan Burton and Fine Gael's Frances Fitzgerald and Health Minister Simon Harris to jointly appeal for a Yes vote.

Catholic Bishop of Galway Brendan Kelly said: "In the current debate, it often seems we have nothing but abortion to offer distraught mothers. Does this 'solution' not let us all off the hook regarding the critical matter of being a truly caring and compassionate society?

"Our challenge in Ireland today, at every level, is to build a society that truly cherishes motherhood and parenthood. We must ensure all the necessary supports for mothers and their children in the womb are put in place regardless of cost."

Ministers attack RTÉ after debate win for No .
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has criticised RTÉ's live debate on the abortion referendum, which was won by the No camp. Mr Varadkar, who is refusing to take part in live TV debates, told the Irish Independent there was "a lot of point-scoring" in the programme.And Health Minister Simon Harris compared the "whooping, jeering and hollering" in the debate to a football match.The chair of the Oireachtas Committee on the Eighth Amendment, Fine Gael Senator Catherine Noone, said she would refuse to take part in a similar debate.

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