Pro-Life and Pro-Choice groups held rallies in Belfast city centre last weekend.
On Saturday 7th of July Precious Life, Youth Defence and The Life Institute organized a “Rally for life”.
Meanwhile a pro-choice counter rally was held in front of the City Hall.
A large group of pro-lifers marched through the city to “to keep abortion out of Ireland”.
The counter rally called for abortion rights to be extended to both Northern Ireland and to the Republic of Ireland, two of the last countries in Europe where terminations are illegal.
Abortion is a thorny issue, both socially and politically. The 1967 UK Abortion Act never came into force in Northern Ireland. The 1861 Offences Against the Person Act still applies. Every year more than 1000 women from NI and 4000 from the Republic of Ireland travel to Britain to have abortions. Pro-choice supporters say that women who can’t afford the journey could decide to undergo an unsafe illegal termination.
The pro-choice movement say that this has a serious impact on a woman’s human rights. But the pro-life movement consider the embryo to be a person and sees abortion as a threat to the rights of the unborn.
WIMPS.tv went to both rallies to hear the arguments.