Pro-life activists have protested the SDLP on the Ormeau Road, Belfast today, because of what they described as the party’s “betrayal” of voters on the abortion issue.

“Because of the SDLP walkout at Stormont yesterday, there was no ‘nationalist’ representation in the Stormont chamber. Any vote to elect a speaker, with cross-community support, became impossible. The first Stormont session in almost three years was forced to come to an end,” said Bernadette Smyth of Precious Life.

“That meant the legalisation to kill unborn babies in Northern Ireland came into force at midnight.”

Ms Smyth said that while Sinn Féin’s support for direct rule from Westminster to ensure a liberal abortion law was well flagged, the SDLP had long told voters they were a pro-life party.

“The SDLP – who still spout the lie that they are a ‘pro-life party’ – have betrayed the unborn babies of Northern Ireland by walking out of the Stormont Chamber. They pulled the life-line from our unborn children. They walked away and abandoned unborn babies in their greatest hour of need,” she said.