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Pro-life groups claims it caused SF loss - The Irish News
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Pro-life groups claims it caused SF loss

Michele Gildernew at the Fermanagh South Tyrone count
Connla Young

A CATHOLIC anti-abortion group that urged people in Fermanagh/South Tyrone to vote for pro-life candidates has claimed its campaign resulted in the defeat of Michelle Gildernew.

Dungannon based St Joseph's Pro Life Group said it distributed 20,000 leaflets across Fermanagh and South Tyrone in the run up to Thursday's poll calling on members of the public to vote for anti-abortion candidates.

There was controversy earlier this year when Sinn Féin gave support for abortion in some cases at its annual conference in Derry.

The party faced criticism from groups bitterly opposed the use of abortion in any circumstances.

The group said that all other parties or candidates were pro-life.

Group member Catherine Sewell (32) said the marginal seat was deliberately targeted by pro-life activists who distributed leaflets produced by anti abortion groups Society for the Protection of the Unborn Child and Precious Life.

“Our agenda was not political it was pro-life,” she said. “Our aim was to give the facts,” she said.

“We had a fantastic response. We were not telling people how to vote, we were just giving them the information.”

The mother-of-two, who is seven months pregnant, said there was little doubt their campaign had an impact on the outcome of the election which saw the UUP's Tom Elliot clinch the seat from Sinn Féin's Michelle Gildernew.

She also said the group will target next year's assembly election.

“We will be out there pushing our pro life (message) hoping parties will adopt pro life policies for next year,” she said.


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