Published Sunday, 06 July 2014
Crowds make their way through Belfast during Saturday's Rally for Life. (© Presseye)
People of all ages travelled to the city for the All-Ireland Rally for Life which began at Custom House Square in the afternoon.
The crowds made their way around Belfast to the city hall and back to the square for speeches.
Protection of unborn children with severe disabilities was the theme for this year's demonstration.
Abortion is currently outlawed in the region - except when the life of the mother is at risk.
In December, Justice Minister David Ford announced plans to launch a consultation on changing Northern Ireland's abortion laws in cases involving terminal foetal abnormality.
At the time, the Alliance leader stressed he was not proposing "a fundamental change" or the introduction of the 1967 Abortion Act, which does not apply in Northern Ireland.
Bernadette Smyth, of Precious Life, said that this proposal would have "devastating effects on mothers and their babies throughout the whole of Ireland" and said that the attempt to target children with special needs was "abhorrant and unacceptable".
The pro-life rally heard from parents whose children had life-limiting disorders, who believe that better support for families, not abortion, is the answer when children are diagnosed with severe disabilities in the womb.
Three mothers whose children had been diagnosed with terminal conditions told the crowds of their individual experiences, and of the need to raise awareness about conditions such as Trisomy 13 and 18 and anencephaly.
They want better provision of perinatal hospice care throughout Ireland.
Gemma Bradley, a campaigner for Trisomy Awareness, said that many parents have been told that these conditions are "incompatible with life".
She said that her baby, Lily Rose, was "compatible with love, joy and cherished memories".
Gemma said: "She was alive, I felt her move, and babies with Trisomy have lived for hours, days and weeks after birth. The length of that life does not make it less of a life."
Former MEP Dana Rosemary Scallon attended the rally, saying that it was "a great turnout, it's a celebration of life and we want to protect life at all its stages."
Meanwhile, a pro-choice demonstration was held in front of Belfast City Hall.
© UTV News