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‘New policy on women’s healthcare is the compassionate thing to do’ – O’Neill

16 June, 2018 - by Michelle O'Neill


The decision taken by the Sinn Féin membership at today’s Ard Fheis to amend the party’s policy on the provision of women’s health care services is the compassionate thing to do, Deputy Leader Michelle O’Neill has said.

Endorsing the Ard Chomhairle motion which brings Sinn Féin policy into line with the Oireachtas committee recommendations in the South, Michelle O’Neill commented: “We recognise that there are sincere strongly held views but we must face the reality that the lives of some women are placed at a real and substantial risk due to their pregnancy.“During the recent referendum campaign I was struck by the scores of women who came out to tell their personal stories.“One of the most powerful messages of the Together for Yes campaign was that, ‘a woman in your life, needs your Yes’.“It is so powerful because it is so true.“Not one of us in this hall today can predict if we, or our sisters, daughters or friends will ever find ourselves in that situation.“But if we ever did, we need to have a compassionate, health care service to be available to help us.“This is not about opening floodgates.“It is not about Pro-life or Pro-choice.“We are all pro-life.“It is not about labels or rhetoric. “It is about very real and very tragic scenarios. “It is about providing care and compassion and trusting the women in our lives to make the best decisions for them and their families.”And the Sinn Féin Deputy Leader said that legislators have a responsibility to make law for everyone.  “It is not right that I, or any section of Irish opinion, should seek to impose our outlook, or will, on society generally.“It is possible for individual members to have their own views on this issue but it is also important that the party has a position, that people know what it is and as legislators that it is something that we vote for together.   “The buck stops when our legislators go to act on this in the Dáil and the Assembly.“We must speak with one voice and implement the will of the people. “We are unique amongst the parties in that our members decide our policy. 

“We must respect that and recognise that we are not independents - we are Sinn Féin elected representatives first and foremost.”

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