SF abstains on council vote saying ‘both lives matter’

The motion on Newry and Mourne Down District Council was passed
The motion on Newry and Mourne Down District Council was passed

Sinn Fein have abstained on a motion calling for the lives of both pregnant mothers and their foetuses to be respected.

The vote took place in a full meeting of Newry, Mourne and Down District Council on Tuesday night, arising from a motion brought forward by DUP councillor Harry Harvey.

It expressed a belief “that in a pregnancy both lives matter, the mother and the unborn child,” and went on to call for a “perinatal hospice care facility or service in Northern Ireland to be established ... for those faced with a diagnosis of a severe life limiting condition”.

Sinn Fein was the only party bloc not to back the motion; UUP, SDLP and the sole Alliance councillor present supported it.

It was passed by 21 votes for, no votes against and with eight abstentions.

An amendment to the motion from Sinn Fein, stating that “this council trusts women to make the best decision for themselves and their families” – but adding that the party “agrees with the call for a perinatal hospice care facility” – was rejected.