Pro-life protest outside Michelle O'Neill's office
Anti-abortion activists who staged a protest outside Michelle O'Neill's constituency office yesterday will continue to target Sinn Fein's vice-president because they view her as the main advocate for British-style abortion here.
Tyrone Pro-Life Network, which is demanding rights for the unborn, gathered to say the Rosary outside the party's Coalisland office.
It said its "specific prayer will be that Michelle O'Neill will never be permitted the opportunity to introduce laws that will lead to the murder of a single unborn child".
Earlier this month delegates at Sinn Fein's ard fheis in Belfast voted to change the party's position on abortion, backing a motion stating women should have access to the procedure within "a limited gestational period".
But it prompted anger, with protesters yesterday gathering outside Mrs O'Neill's office.
Prominent Tyrone pro-life activist Catherine Sewell said Mrs O'Neill was perceived by her group as the main advocate for British-style terminations here, making her the chief focus of the campaign.
The anti-abortion activists have promised a "long, hot summer" for Sinn Fein in Tyrone and challenges at next year's local council elections.
Sinn Fein said: "The issue of abortion is a very sensitive and emotive one and we respect the right of people to express their views in a respectful way.
"It is also an issue that demands compassion, and it is obvious that the current legislation north and south is failing women.
"Sinn Fein supports legislative change in the north and the provision of appropriate, modern and compassionate healthcare for women across the island of Ireland."