Abortion survivor Claire Culwell was the keynote speaker at a large pro-life event in Bundoran on Monday. Over 500 people attended the ‘Stand Up for Life’ rally which was organised by the Love Both Project and Pro Life Campaign.

Ms Culwell shared with the audience her incredible story of survival from an abortion that ended the life of her twin brother.

When her birth mother discovered she was pregnant, Claire’s grandmother took her for an abortion.  A few weeks later, Claire’s mum discovered she was still pregnant and another attempt to abort Claire happened but the pregnancy had developed to a point where no doctor was prepared to carry it out. Claire was born shortly after that and was subsequently adopted.

“Women, their partners and their babies deserve better than abortion,” she told the crowd. “We need to work on providing life-saving alternatives to abortion so that women don’t feel that they have no choice but to have an abortion when they find themselves unexpectedly pregnant.”

Also addressing the crowd, LoveBoth spokesperson and lawyer, Caroline Simons, urged those in attendance to redouble their efforts over the coming weeks so that the referendum to repeal the 8th Amendment is defeated. “The Government’s proposal is more extreme than England’s abortion law where 1 in every 5 babies are aborted,” she said. “If the 8th Amendment was repealed, Ireland would go from being a country that protected and respected unborn babies to one of the most extreme and unjust abortion regimes anywhere in the world. This is not overstating the reality of what repeal means.  It’s a stark, sad fact.

“Those in government pushing repeal are asking us to accept a proposal that would allow unrestricted abortion for the first 3 months in pregnancy, a time when the baby’s heart is beating, the baby is growing fingernails, has facial fingers and is yawning and sucking his or thumb in the womb. There is nothing humane about this and repeal would mean handing the Government a blank cheque to change our abortion laws at any time in the future without ever having to consult the people again in a referendum.”

Katie Ascough of the LoveBoth Project urged the crowd to stay focussed on the goal in hand. She said: “What each of us does in the next seven weeks will determine the kind of Ireland our children and grandchildren grow up in. It will determine whether Ireland continues to protect the right to life of unborn babies or abandons these protections in the false name of ‘choice’.”

Claire Culwell will address several other rallies throughout the country this week.  At each one, different speakers will share their own personal stories of how the 8th Amendment has impacted their lives in a positive way.