Anne Brolly quits Sinn Fein over abortion stance
A high profile Sinn Fein member has said she has quit the party over its stance on abortion.
Anne Brolly is now a leading member of a new republican lobby group Cherish All Children Equally.
The former Limavady Mayor who has served on the council for almost 15 years told the BBC she "can't compromise on principle".
Last year Sinn Fein changed its policy on abortion to allow terminations in cases of fatal foetal abnormality.
Unlike Britain, the 1967 Abortion Act does not extend to Northern Ireland, where abortions are illegal except where the life or mental health of the mother is in danger.
Mrs Brolly said: "I also believe that the party has to be reflective of all the views of all the people who vote for them and I don't think that that is maybe happening.
"It's an abuse of power to make people vote against their conscience, so it was from that perspective that I left Sinn Fein."
She added: "It was difficult enough for me to walk away because, I think, Sinn Fein have done a lot of very good things.
"They have brought us through a peace process and I became involved in Sinn Fein after the peace because I felt I had a contribution to make.
"It was on the basis of community that I got involved with the party although ultimately I will always support them in their drive towards a united Ireland."
A Sinn Fein spokeswoman said: "The Sinn Fein position on abortion has been debated and agreed over a long period of time at Ard Fheiseanna.”