The outrage at a cartoon detecting Mary-Lou as a witch in the Irish Independent at the weekend has completely overshadow the failure of Sinn Féin to support a woman’s right to choose in the north.

Gemma Weir, Workers’ Party representative for North Belfast said:
“Reports today that women were being screamed at, in Newry, as they attempted to access services is totally unacceptable. Last week 12 MLAs voted to stand with women attempting to access abortion services. 12! And apart from a few small headlines in the papers and an insulting excuse from Mary-Lou McDonald as to why her party abstained on the vote the whole thing is forgotten”.

She continued:
“We now have to endure the self righteous indignation from Sinn Féin about a cartoon in the Sunday Independent. Frankly, this is nothing more than a deflection tactic from their failure to support women in the north when women in the north needed support. How can they, in all sincerity, cry misogyny at this cartoon yet fail to support working class women themselves in a material way”.

She concluded:
“Women in the north are discriminated against at every opportunity. Not only in this instance but the absence of a strategy to tackle violence against women for so long has been a travesty. The north is used as tool during elections and it is time that Sinn Féin were called out once and for all on their hypocrisy. As a 32 County party their failure to support women in need is something they must be challenged on north and south”.