.- Some 100,000 Irish pro-life advocates took to the streets across the country on Saturday to oppose legalizing abortion in the Republic of Ireland.

“Abortion has no place in a compassionate and progressive society,” Niamh Uí Bhriain, a spokeswoman for Save the 8th, said March 12.

“These huge numbers are a rising of the people against the media and political elites and against the powerful international abortion industry who have poured millions into a campaign attacking our pro-life laws. Ireland is at a defining point in our history, and we are challenging the people to reject the abortion industry and to demand a better answer for mothers and babies.”

In Dublin, thousands marched from Parnell Square to Merrion Square for the Rally for Life. Their signs said “Save Lives, Save the Eighth,” “Repeal Kills Vote No” and “Keep Ireland Pro-Life.” For social media, they promoted the hashtag #SaveThe8th.

“Ten weeks to ensure that the best of Irish people vote ‘No’ to abortion,” Uí Bhriain told the rally, the Irish Times reports. “Stand in the gap against the media and the international elites who think they could browbeat and bribe the Irish people into accepting the unacceptable, the killing of our own children, but who are to discover in that assumption that they were totally and utterly wrong. Because we know that in repealing the right to life there is no going back.”

The Eighth Amendment to the Republic of Ireland’s constitution, approved by 67 percent of voters in 1983, recognizes the right to life of mother and unborn child equally.

A referendum to replace that language is planned for late May. The Irish government’s replacement language reads: “Provision may be made by law for the regulation of termination of pregnancies.”

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, the prime minister of the Republic of Ireland, has promised legislation to allow unrestricted abortion in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy if voters approve repeal.

Down syndrome activist Charlie Fien was among the speakers at Saturday’s rally in Dublin.

“Saving the Eighth will save the lives of babies with Down’s syndrome,” she said. “Ireland is one of the only countries in the world where babies with Down’s syndrome are safe inside their mother’s wombs.”

Uí Bhriain said the proposed change is an “extreme abortion referendum” that would be even more permissive than in Britain. She cited “heartbreaking facts” like the 90 percent abortion rate for babies with Down syndrome in Britain, saying that Fien’s call to protect disabled unborn children is “hugely important.”

Read more at Catholic News Agency.