fbpx
Select Page

Pro-life SDLP councillor resigns over abortion stance of party

A councillor for the Social Democrat and Labour Party (SDLP) has resigned from the party over its stance on abortion.

Stephanie Quigley announced on Monday evening that she was quitting the party but would remain a councillor for Causeway Coast and Glens.

Ms Quigley, who was preceded by her father Gerry McLaughlin as the SDLP councillor for Coleraine, told Irish News last night that the right to life was at the core of her politics.

“My natural home was in the SDLP,” she said.

“It was where my father honed his political voice.

“The philosophy which my father espoused was based on non-violence and the right to life.

“I followed in his footsteps and held the right to life and the life of the unborn child as the cornerstone of my political philosophy.”

However, according to Irish News, Ms Quigley said she could no longer remain a member of the SDLP given its position on the matter.

Ms Quigley, who will continue to serve as an independent councillor, added: “I have made friends for life within the party and wish them all the best for the future. I must however place the rights of those without a voice ahead of populism.”

SDLP MPs become first NI MPs to vote to impose extreme abortion regime on NI

Just last month, the SDLPs two sole MPs, joined Alliance Party MP Stephen Farry, voting in favour of a motion approving the Government’s decision to impose an extreme abortion regime on Northern Ireland.

On Wednesday 17 June, Colum Eastwood and Claire Hanna joined in with MPs from Great Britain in approving the motion by 253 votes in favour and 136 against.

Prior to the 2019 election, all Northern Ireland constituent MPs had voted against introducing the extreme abortion regime.

SDLP prevent progress of Bill preventing extreme NI abortion law

Last year, the SDLP, a self-proclaimed pro-life party, sabotaged a Bill that would have prevented an extreme abortion regime from being imposed on Northern Ireland.

A last ditch attempt to form a Northern Ireland Executive on 21 October, which would have prevented Westminster MPs from being able to force abortion on the province, failed after SDLP leader Colum Eastwood dismissed the move as a political stunt – yet staged a walkout with his party.

By walking out, the SDLP made the decision not to support the efforts to stop Northern Ireland from having one of Europe’s most extreme abortion laws imposed on them by Westminster.

This unilateral decision was made by the party despite a significant majority of its supporters outlining their opposition to the abortion regulations.

A poll, weighted to reflect Northern Irish society, revealed 66% of SDLP voters were against the regulations.

Opposition to the extreme abortion regime formed a majority among every age category of both men and women.

‘No way I will be ever voting SDLP again’

Following the SDLP’s walk-out, DUP leader Arlene Foster noted that Northern Ireland would now have one of the most liberal abortion regimes in Europe. She said it was a “very sad” and “shameful day”.

TUV leader Jim Allister told the media: “There was a definite pathway here but it was blockaded both by Sinn Féin and the SDLP, and particular shame on the SDLP who parade, on occasions their pro-life credentials.”

Nationalist voter Mary Lewis expressed shock that the SDLP, a Nationalist party who claim they are pro-life, would “willingly allow the UK Parliament to legislate for the people of Northern Ireland and impose the most extreme abortion law in Europe on our small province, without consideration of the devolution settlement.”

She added: “As an SDLP voter, I am appalled that the SDLP leader, Colum Eastwood, has dismissed an attempt to save lives of unborn children as a political stunt. I am further shocked that his party chose to walk out of the chamber which meant that the attempt to introduce a bill to stop Westminster imposing abortion on Northern Ireland would have blocked.

“There is no way that anyone from the SDLP can now call themselves pro-life. There is also no way that they can call themselves Nationalist when they actively blocked an attempt to stop Westminster imposing legislation on Northern Ireland. There is no way I will be ever voting for the SDLP again.”

Help stop abortion up to birth for babies with disabilities including Down's syndrome & club foot

Article Syndication

Join other leading publications from around the world who syndicate our articles

Syndicate this article
Syndicate now

Dear reader

In 2020, the UK Government imposed an extreme abortion regime on Northern Ireland, which included a provision that legalised abortion right up to birth for disabilties including Down’s syndrome, cleft lip and club foot.

A new Bill has been launched at the Northern Ireland assembly that will remove the current provision that allows abortion for ‘severe fetal impairment’.

It is under these grounds in the regulations that babies with disabilities including Down’s syndrome, cleft lip and club foot can currently be singled out for abortion in Northern Ireland because of their disability and can be aborted right up to birth.

Before the new abortion regime was imposed on Northern Ireland in 2020, disability-selective abortion for conditions such as Down’s syndrome, cleft lip and club foot was not legal and there was a culture of welcoming and supporting people with these disabilities rather than eliminating them.

This is reflected directly in the latest figures (2016) from the Department of Health in Northern Ireland, which show that while there were 52 children born with Down’s syndrome in Northern Ireland, in the same year only 1 child from Northern Ireland with Down’s syndrome was aborted in England and Wales. 

This contrasts with the situation in the rest of the United Kingdom where disability-selective abortion has been legal since 1967.

The latest available figures show that 90% of children diagnosed with Down’s syndrome before birth are aborted in England and Wales.

We are, therefore, asking people like you to take 30 seconds of your time and add your support to the campaign to stop abortion up to birth for disabilities including Down’s syndrome, cleft lip and club foot in Northern Ireland.

If you live in Northern Ireland: 
Ask your MLAs to vote to stop abortion up to birth for disabilities including Down’s syndrome, cleft lip and club foot:

If you live outside Northern Ireland: 
Show your support by signing this petition in support of the Bill:

Article Syndication

Join other leading publications from around the world who syndicate our articles

Help stop abortion up to birth for babies with disabilities including Down's syndrome & club foot

Syndicate this article
Syndicate now