I won't be ousted from Sinn Fein for disagreeing on abortion, says Molloy
A Sinn Fein MP has said he has absolutely no qualms about remaining in the party while disagreeing with its shift towards supporting what he calls "abortion on demand".
Francie Molloy, who represents the Mid Ulster constituency with leader Michelle O'Neill, also said he doesn't accept that his personal opposition to abortion is inconsistent with his membership.
The MP added that he won't be ousted by those within the party whose opinions are opposed to his stance, stressing that he wouldn't be following in the footsteps of Limavady councillor Anne Brolly, who resigned from Sinn Fein over abortion.
At the ard fheis in Dublin last weekend, the veteran republican spoke out against a motion which supports allowing greater access to terminations, saying that it would legitimise abortion on demand.
Previously the party had supported abortion in limited cases of fatal foetal abnormality; but members of Sinn Fein have now voted to support access where the woman's life, health or mental health is at risk.
Mr Molloy last night said: "I'm opposed to the conditions of an extension of the conditions where the party was saying an abortion could happen and I spoke against that."
Mr Molloy said he was reflecting the views of his constituents, many of whom had voiced concerns about the party's position on the issue "even as it was - a compromise" in the past.
But he said he could co-exist with the party while not supporting what he labels "a more pro-abortion" stance.
"I'm an elected MP for Mid Ulster. I represent the opinions that are given to me on the doors and that's why I've taken my present position; that position is as far as people wanted to go and that's why I've taken this stand," he said.
"Some people might say it's not a big change but it is a big change for me because it now means the door is open to any health issues that people might have, for example depression."
The MP said he won't be forced out. Asked if he thought the party might wish to remove him, Mr Molloy replied: "If others were to decide to do that it would be regrettable, because it's flying in the face of what my constituents are saying."