35,000 march in Dublin to oppose Ireland's abortion bill before key parliamentary vote


DUBLIN — More than 35,000 anti-abortion activists have marched through Dublin to oppose Irish government plans to enact a bill legalizing terminations for women in life-threatening pregnancies.

Today's demonstration was by far the biggest in a series of protests against the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill, which is expected to be passed into law next week.

Many demonstrators bore anti-government placards and called on Prime Minister Enda Kenny to withdraw the bill.

The government says the bill must be passed to end two decades of legal confusion over women's right to receive abortions in medical emergencies. A parliamentary vote is expected Wednesday night.

Ireland officially bans abortion. But the Supreme Court in 1992 ruled that the Irish constitution equally defends the pregnant woman's right to life, therefore life-saving abortions were legal.