Video: Divisions inside and outside the Guildhall over abortion and same-sex marriage motion

There were divisions inside and outside the Guildhall as the Council voted to support the decriminalisation of abortion after rival pro-choice and pro-life rallies on Thursday.

A few dozen Alliance for Choice activists faced a similar number of anti-abortion campaigners ahead of the Council’s July meeting.

Alliance for Choice campaigners on the Guildhall steps.

Alliance for Choice campaigners on the Guildhall steps.

Hours later councillors divided on a motion tabled by People Before Profit Councillor Eamonn McCann that welcomed the recent Westminster vote to extend Marriage Equality and decriminalise abortion here.

Colr. McCann said: “I regard the outcome of the debate in the Lords, endorsed by the Commons, as a great day for the women of Ireland and therefore for Ireland.”

He added: “When this goes through what is over for all time is back street abortions, because if abortion is legal, if it’s not a crime, why would anybody go to the back streets when they could go to their local hospital?”

Aontú’s Anne McCloskey said: “Have we no better vision to offer? It is a sad and narrow prospect for a society when the progress and welfare of women pits them against their own children, the future of our human race. The tide is turning on this issue, and women and men are waking up to realise that this is the human rights issue of our time.”

Pro-life campaigners outside the Guildhall.

Pro-life campaigners outside the Guildhall.

The motion was backed by Sinn Féin, People Before Profit & Alliance. The DUP and Aontú voted against.

The SDLP and Independents divided on conscience. 17 for; 10 against; 5 abstentions.