Cross Party Petition of Concern submitted
March 11, 2013
Sinn Féin MLA Caitríona Ruane today confirmed that Sinn Féin will be opposing the DUP/SDLP amendment to the Criminal Justice Bill as it undermines a pregnant women’s ability to receive emergency treatment in life threatening circumstances. She stated that a cross party petition has been submitted by Sinn Féin and MLAs from the Alliance and Green parties in relation to the DUP/SDLP amendment.
Ms. Ruane said:
“Sinn Féin is 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. However, in circumstances where a pregnant woman’s life is in danger we believe that the option of termination should be available.
“Unfortunately this amendment, which was introduced at the last minute, is not about protecting women’s health, it is about undermining a pregnant women’s ability to receive emergency treatment in life threatening circumstances. That is why we will oppose the amendment. This is a view held not just by Sinn Féin but is one, which is shared by parties and individuals across the Assembly chamber.
“A cross party petition of concern has been submitted by Sinn Féin and MLAs from the Alliance and Green parties and this will be voted on in the Assembly tomorrow.
“We approach this complex issue with compassion and understanding and respect, conscious of strong and sincere views held on all sides and we hope that tomorrow’s debate will be conducted in this manner.”