WITH the discussion on abortion still ongoing, Sinn Féin have clarified their position on abortion. Speaking to Down News after speaking at an Assembly debate , South Down MLA Caitriona Ruane said: “We are not in favour of abortion. We opposed and voted against the extension of the 1967 Act to the North when it was proposed in the Assembly. That remains our position.
“Sinn Féin believes that in the case of rape, sexual abuse, incest or where a pregnant woman’s life is in danger the option of termination should be available. That has also been our position for some time and and that remains our position
“We try to approach this complex issue with compassion and understanding and respect, conscious of strong and sincere views held on all sides.
“With that in mind we support legislation to protect pregnant women where their lives are in danger and believe there is a need for guidance to give legal certainty to medical practitioners and ensure they work in accordance with the law.
“The SDLP/DUP’s amendment was not the correct way to handle this very sensitive issue. The amendment is clearly an attempt to restrict the right of a woman to obtain a termination in life threatening circumstances. It is an attempt to further compound their trauma by marginalising women at a time in their lives when they are most vulnerable.”
“By simply tagging this amendment onto the end of a Justice Bill, which the SDLP and DUP tried to do, without giving the proper time for scrutiny or public consultation on such an sensitive issue only leads to bad legislation.
“Sinn Féin were not prepared to let that happen and therefore signed the Petition of Concern.”