Nicola Sturgeon urged to back efforts to legalise abortion in Northern Ireland

The SNP has been challenged to back efforts to legalise abortion in Northern Ireland, with Nicola Sturgeon accused of putting animal rights ahead of equal rights for women. Getty
The SNP has been challenged to back efforts to legalise abortion in Northern Ireland, with Nicola Sturgeon accused of putting animal rights ahead of equal rights for women. Getty
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The SNP has been challenged to back efforts to legalise abortion in Northern Ireland, with Nicola Sturgeon accused of putting animal rights ahead of equal rights for women.

Nicola Sturgeon challenged to back efforts to legalise abortion in Northern Ireland.

SNP MPs were told to abstain on a Commons bid to repeal Victorian-era legislation that continues to apply in Northern Ireland, making abortion illegal.

Only two nationalists broke the whip - Livingston MP Hannah Bardell, who backed the Labour bid, and Western Isles MP Angus MacNeil, who voted against it.

A further attempt to force the government to act on abortion in the absence of a Northern Ireland Assembly will take place tomorrow afternoon.

“Nicola Sturgeon was happy to commit to her MPs voting against the UK Government over fox hunting, but apparently not over equal rights,”

Labour MP Ged Killen said. “I want Nicola Sturgeon to tell me why she values scoring political points over the Tories more than the rights of Northern Irish women and same sex couples.”

An SNP spokeswoman said the vote was only procedural and added: “SNP convention is that members do not vote on devolved matters.”