Both in-person and online pro-life rallies will be held in Ireland this weekend amid a sharp rise in abortions in the country since the repeal of the Eighth Amendment.

Local “socially distanced” pro-life rallies will take place in cities throughout the country on July 3, while the national Rally for Life will take place online on July 4.

The Rally for Life’s website said that small, local rallies were an effective way to demonstrate against abortion in Ireland last year, when COVID-19 regulations prevented people from gathering in large numbers.

“This year, with the never-ending lockdown making a big Dublin gathering impossible for the second year in a row, ... pro-life leaders around the country are keen to make those local public events even more effective for 2021,” it said.

At least 39 local pro-life rallies will take place across the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland on July 3.

The virtual Rally for Life on July 4 will include speakers such as the pro-life apologist and author Stephanie Gray Connors, former abortionist Dr. Anthony Levatino, abortion survivor Claire Culwell, post-abortive woman Natalia Isherwood, and other pro-life leaders from the U.K. and Europe.

The events will be preceded by a livestreamed vigil for life at St. Mary’s in Cork on July 2. Groups have been encouraged to also organize local vigils in their cities.

In May 2018, Ireland voted in a referendum to repeal the Eighth Amendment, which guaranteed the right to life of the unborn. The Health (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy) Act entered into Irish law in December 2018 and went into effect on Jan. 1, 2019.

Figures released by the Department of Health on June 29 showed that 6,577 abortions took in place in Ireland in 2020, confirming a dramatic increase in abortions in the wake of the referendum.

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Eilís Mulroy of the Pro Life Campaign said: “When you add today’s figure of 6,577 to the 194 abortions on women from Ireland who traveled to England in the same period, the total number of Irish abortions in 2020 was 6,771. This represents a massive 70% increase since 2018, the year prior to the introduction of abortion.”

She commented that “today’s abortion figures are devastating and are the opposite of what members of the government repeatedly promised when they said abortions would be ‘rare’ if people voted for repeal.”

The theme of this year’s Rally for Life is “Exposing the truth about late-term abortion in Ireland.”

Mulroy said: “In the space of only two years, everything that the pro-life movement warned would happen has sadly come to pass.”

“In addition to the massive increase in abortions, we’ve seen from the recent study published in the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology that babies who survived late-term abortions under Ireland’s new law have been left to die without receiving any palliative or medical care.”

“Voters were promised that nothing as horrifying and inhumane as this would ever happen.”

“Likewise, we were told it was scaremongering to suggest misdiagnoses would occur in the detection of life-limiting conditions resulting in the deaths of unborn babies.”

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“Last week, we learned about the High Court settlement after baby Christopher Joseph Kiely was aborted following a misdiagnosis, leaving his parents bereft and devastated.”

“How many other babies were aborted in similar circumstances under the new law?”

Events inspired by the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C., have been spreading throughout Europe, including in Italy and Croatia.