A Sinn Féin TD suspended from the party for her pro-life views has claimed that the Midlands is 70:30 in favour of retaining the Eighth Amendment.
Offaly TD Carol Nolan said the Midlands is “overwhelmingly” opposed to next month’s referendum during a pro-life event where she did not rule out leaving Sinn Féin unless the party allows a conscience vote on future abortion legislation.
Speaking at a Cherish All The Children launch at Dublin’s GPO which saw pro-life campaigners compare women who have had abortions to Magdalene laundry victims, Ms Nolan said she respects all people’s views.
However, she said in her opinion there is a ground-swell of pro-life support, saying that after canvassing in Offaly, north Tipperary, and Laois she believes there is a 70-30 split in favour of retaining the Eighth Amendment in the Midlands alone.
“I’ve been in a lot of counties and it has been overwhelmingly pro-life,” said Ms Nolan.
Ms Nolan, who was suspended by Sinn Féin for voting against holding a referendum earlier this year, said she hopes to return to the party ranks in the coming months.
However, while saying she would like to remain in Sinn Féin, Ms Nolan said she may have to choose between the party and her beliefs if she is forced to vote in favour of proposed 12 weeks abortion access laws if the referendum is passed.
Speaking at the same event, Sinn Féin TD Peadar Tóibín denied his pro-life views are causing tensions with party leader Mary Lou McDonald.
Meanwhile, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar told the Dáil yesterday he does not believe posters or murals will change people’s minds about voting in the abortion referendum.
He said he is “committed” to Sinn Féin, saying “I’ve been in the party 20 years and I hope to be in the party for another 20 years”, but did not say if he what he will do if he is told to vote in favour of abortion laws if the referendum passes.
He defended the charity regulator’s decision to remove a pro-choice mural in Dublin city centre, amid criticism from Solidarity-People Before Profit TD Ruth Coppinger.
A number of high-profile sports stars, including former Ireland rugby player Gordon Darcy, yesterday said they support repealing the Eighth Amendment.
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