Sinn Fein deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald backs change to abortion law
Sinn Fein deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald has put pressure on some of her party colleagues by coming out strongly in favour of a motion proposing to allow terminations in cases of fatal foetal abnormalities.
The motion has set the scene for an emotive debate at this weekend's ard fheis in Londonderry.
Sinn Fein sources said the motion proposing to allow terminations "under limited circumstances" will prove difficult for some members.
"Certainly it is the one motion that will cause division," one source noted.
The motion is one of four abortion-related proposals set to be voted upon at the ard fheis. It has the backing of Ms McDonald who said she is "anxious" to see this area being addressed.
"I am personally very, very keen to see that motion accepted by the ard fheis. I thought it was most unfortunate that we had that policy gap and I'm personally extremely anxious for that matter to be resolved," said the Dublin TD.
Last month, a proposal to change the Republic's abortion law to legalise terminations in fatal foetal abnormality cases was rejected by the Dail. All Sinn Fein TDs abstained.
Stormont Justice Minister David Ford has proposed legalising abortion in fatal foetal abnormality cases in Northern Ireland.