By Ann Marie Foley - 13 February, 2020
The Pro Life Campaign has stated that all 15 TDs who voted against abortion legislation in December 2018 have been re-elected in Election 2020.
“While the pro-life cause has suffered challenges in recent months and years, it’s truly uplifting to see,” stated the Pro Life campaign, which helped with canvassing and ran a national billboard, newspaper and online advertising campaign encouraging people to canvass for and vote for pro-life candidates this election.
Carol Nolan, an independent candidate for the Laois/Offaly constituency, who left Sinn Féin over the abortion issue, told Catholicireland.net that the issue was raised by many voters she met when she was canvassing.
“It was coming up on the doorsteps. People felt very strongly about the issue and they felt very strongly about voting for a pro-life candidate because they wanted to have a voice, and they wanted their views represented,” she said.
She explained that voters expressed their support for her stance against proposed abortion legislation, which went against the position of what was at the time her party, Sinn Féin, and resulted in her being suspended and later leaving the party.
“The pro-life issue has not gone away. People feel it as strongly as ever. It was coming up too [on the canvass] how the media had deceived the public at the time of the referendum,” she said. “That it was totally an unfair referendum because the media were so biased and that the pro-life people did not have voice and fair representation in the media apart from the few politicians who stood up, and the pro-life movement.”
Another independent politician with a pro-life stance told her that he also found this issue was raised frequently by voters.
Sinn Féin is currently talking to political parties, groupings and independent politicians about forming a coalition government. However, Carol Nolan will not join them because of what she calls her unfair treatment by Sinn Féin, who denied her a conscience vote on the abortion issue. She feels she could not work with such a “negative” organisation again. However, she will try to be constructive in the formation of any new government.
She said that the rural independent politicians’ group has met and may get involved in government if they can progress rural and other issues such as pro-life.
She thanked the local Laois and Offaly pro-life groups and the national Pro Life Campaign that helped her with canvassing. “They were part of the success, a big part of it,” she said.