C: D Storan

“700 abortions not enough for Sinn Féin”: Aontú slam bid to ‘ramp up’ access

Sinn Féin has been sharply criticised for its bid to ensure that abortion is more widely available in the north of Ireland. 

Political party Aontú, which has elected representatives throughout the island, said that Sinn Féín were “impatient to see the number [of abortions] increase”, after Mary Lou McDonald said her  party would formally ask Stormont to commission abortion services in the region.

In response, Aontú wrote that there were “well over 700 abortions in the North in the last year, yet it’s not enough for Sinn Féin.”
“Sinn Féin are impatient to see the number increase,” the party tweeted.


Abortion was imposed on Northern Ireland by the British Parliament in Westminister, after a vote, orchestrated by British Labour MP, Stella Creasly, used the timing of the collapsed Assembly at Stormont to override the right of the devolved parliament in the north to decide on sensitive social issues.

The move was backed by Sinn Féin who were accused by Derry Councillor, Dr Anne McCloskey at the time of going “cap in hand to Westminister” to ask for direct rule on abortion. Sinn Féin had previously long protested that  Westminster should have no part in governing the people of Ireland – and still refuse to take their seats in the British Parliament.

The imposition of abortion was opposed by Aontú and the DUP, and to date, Health Minister Robin Swan has not yet commissioned services across the region, saying the Executive must agree to the measure. Sinn Féin’s proposal – which will be brought by MLA Deirdre Hargey before the Executive next week – seeks to establish abortion provision across the north.

Party President Mary Lou McDonald said it was “totally unacceptable” that the Executive had not acted. However, Aontú pointed to the fact that more than 700 abortions had taken place in the first six months after Westminister forced through a change in the law.

The party’s Derry representative, Gemma Brolly, accused Sinn Féin of trying to “ramp up of the number of abortions in the North of Ireland”.

Ms Brolly told the Newsletter that it is “heart breaking for many nationalists” that Sinn Fein now opposes the 1916 Easter Proclamation vow to ‘cherish all the children of the nation equally’.

“Sinn Fein talks about disability rights, yet they brought about a bill that allows for abortion up until birth for a child with Down’s syndrome,” she said.

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