Attempt to block abortion law

Sinn Féin has joined forces with Alliance and the Green Party to block an attempt at tightening Northern Ireland’s abortion law. The parties jointly submitted a ‘petition of concern’ against a DUP amendment to the Justice Bill which was debated in the Assembly on Tuesday.

The amendment would have made anyone who ended the life of an unborn child subject to a prison sentence “unless their actions were lawfully performed at a health and social care trust property such as a hospital or elsewhere if the circumstances were urgent and without a fee”.

Two years ago, a similar petition of concern blocked an amendment to ban private abortion clinics.

Pro-life group Precious Life, who staged a protest outside Stormont, said “Sinn Féin is disregarding the voices of 35,000 people who have made clear that Marie Stopes or any private abortion provider is not wanted or needed in Northern Ireland”.