TD takes a principled stand and walks out of Sinn Fein over party’s hard line on abortion

‘It is not for politicians or society, in general, to decide who lives or dies.’

‘I do not want to have any hand, act or part in bringing about the end to the life of an unborn child, the most vulnerable in our society.’

Sligo News File.

Sinn Fein’s hard line on abortion has cost them a TD and may lead to numerous supporters also pulling away from the party in the longer term.

Popular Offaly TD Carol Nolan

Carol Nolan resigned in protest after the party’s delegates refused to allow members to have a conscience vote on the issue of abortion.

The highly popular Offaly TD said in a statement that she felt it was unethical to force TDs who are strongly opposed to abortion to vote against their conscience.

She said: “Every TD in Leinster House is directly responsible for the laws that they enact, if a TD votes for abortion they are responsible for all abortions that happen in this state.

“I do not want to have any hand, act or part in bringing about the end to the life of an unborn child, the most vulnerable in our society.

“It is not for politicians or society in general to decide who lives or dies. Every life is precious and every child deserves the chance to live. I don’t believe that abortion is the solution to any crisis, how can it be when it takes the right to life away from the unborn?”

“I cannot and will not support abortion and for that reason I have made a decision to leave Sinn Féin.”

Last weekend, Pope Francis, who is due to visit Ireland in August, condemned abortion as the “white glove” equivalent of the Nazi-era eugenics programme.

Under legislation proposed by the government ahead of the papal visit, mothers will be legally free to have their babies killed up to 12 weeks of pregnancy, and 24 weeks in specified circumstances.

Local Fianna Fail and Fine Gael TDs who opposed the removal of the child protecting 8th amendment from the Constitution have reportedly confirmed that, like Sinn Fein, they will be supporting the government’s legislation.

The leader of Sinn Féin Lou McDonald said: “The people have spoken on this issue. The Sinn Féin ard fhéis has democratically agreed the party’s position to support the forthcoming legislation.

The Sinn Fein decision appears to mean that there is now no room in the party for those opposed to abortion.