Pro-life TD Carol Nolan has resigned from Sinn Féin after the party passed a motion at its Ard Fheis supporting abortion-on-demand - while also rejecting a motion allowing members the right to vote with their conscience on abortion.
Deputy Nolan has won admiration for her courageous pro-life stance in the face of pressure and suspension from her party. In a statement today she said:
"I have decided to as of today 19th June to resign from Sinn Féin. I feel that as a pro-life republican woman that I no longer have a place in this party which doesn't recognise or show genuine respect for the pro-life views of members."
"It was disappointing that at the Ard Fheis which took place in Belfast at the weekend, the party's delegates voted against the motion to allow members to have a conscience vote on the issue of abortion. I want to thank all of the 24 Cumainn who put forward motions on the need for a conscience vote on the abortion issue."
"I feel that it is unethical to force TDs who are strongly opposed to abortion to vote against their conscience. 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 Fein. I want to assure the constituents that I represent in Offaly/ North Tipperary that I will continue to work hard on their behalf and that I will continue to represent them as an Independent TD in Dáil Éireann. I want to take this opportunity to sincerely thank them and my loyal supporters for their relentless support over the past few months," she concluded.
Ms Nolan is expected to speak at a meeting of Cherish All the Children Equally this Saturday in Dublin from 12 noon to 2pm at the Carlton Hotel, Old Airport Road, near Dublin Airport.
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