Sinn Feín's leadership is to propose that Northern Ireland should offer the same range of abortion services that will be introduced in the Republic as a result of last month's referendum vote.

The issue is due to be debated at the Sinn Feín Ard Fheis in Belfast this weekend.

Northern Ireland does not provide the access to abortion services that applies in England, Scotland and Wales.

In the Republic the recent referendum result in favour of repealing the Eighth Amendment will lead to the introduction of access to abortion.

This weekend's ard fheis will be the first such gathering under the new leadership team of party president Mary Lou McDonald and Michelle O'Neill, the Sinn Féin leader in Northern Ireland.

The leadership favours change in Northern Ireland's abortion laws.

It says Sinn Féín is an all-island party and argues that the same access to abortion services should apply on both sides of the border.

At past ard fheiseanna there have been unsuccessful motions that sought to give elected representatives a right to abstain from or oppose party policy on legislation dealing with abortion services.

Similar motions are due to be debated at the weekend.

Large numbers are expected at the two-day gathering in the Waterfront Hall.