Wednesday 23 May 2018

Sinn Féin wants to Repeal the Eighth but avoids saying 'abortion'

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire
Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

Sinn Féin is campaigning for a Yes vote in the abortion referendum, despite still being against terminations up to 12 weeks.

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald has denied putting herself at the centre of the party's poster campaign ahead of the Eighth Amendment referendum for political gain.

The Dublin Central TD features heavily in the posters unveiled by the party yesterday - but there is no mention of either abortion or the Eighth Amendment. The party supports repeal but currently stands against allowing abortion up to 12 weeks.

A special Árd Fheis is to be held to assess whether the party should liberalise policy - but not until after the referendum.

The party's new posters urge a Yes vote and have the words "care", "compassion" and "trust" alongside a Sinn Féin logo and a large image of Ms McDonald.

"I think it's important as a political leader to stake out my position on the issue. I'm very clear, and we're very clear, that we want the repeal of the Eighth Amendment," the party leader said.

It is not expected other party leaders will feature on posters to be placed around the country.

Asked if her personal image takes away from the message of the posters, Ms McDonald said: "So as with any other major constitutional or political issue as a leader, you lead, and you lead from the front."

Meanwhile, the LoveBoth campaign has accused Health Minister Simon Harris of being obsessed with the referendum.

"We have heard reports that 2,400 children were suffering on hospital trolleys while they wait for treatment," said a spokesperson. "Yet the minister for health is not focusing on healthcare at all but is distracted from his real job as he campaigns for abortion on demand."

The minister has rebutted claims he plans to introduce 'abortion on demand'.

Irish Independent

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News