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Mulherin: women are using abortion as ‘birth control’
By Fionnan Sheahan Political Editor
FINE Gael TD Michelle Mulherin last night stood by her view that some women use abortion as “birth control” and said she wasn’t being judgmental.
The Mayo TD and constituency colleague of Taoiseach Enda Kenny sprang to prominence last week with her use of the word “fornication” during a Dail debate on abortion.
Ms Mulherin told the Irish Independent she continued to receive a positive reaction to the opinions she expressed on abortion, morality and responsibility.
“People are delighted the subject is being talked about in a calm and down-to-earth fashion and it can’t be just glossed over — that really political correctness had gone mad,” she said.
She said the furore over her use of “fornication” in her speech arose because people were reacting to a word — not to her argument.
“Some of the upset is being driven by some liberals believing that politicians have to be muffled and muzzled by political correctness,” she said.
During an interview on RTE’s ‘Saturday Night Show’, she said she would be against sex outside of marriage.
“As an ideal I would, but we fall short on ideal because we’re human,” she said on the show.
Ms Mulherin also spoke out about unprotected sex, sometimes arising from casual encounters.
She said there were 4,500- 5,000 women who felt they needed to go to Britain for a termination of their pregnancy and, in some of these cases, the pregnancy arose from unprotected sex.
“I’m not a prude, or anything like that, but, as a woman, you have an awful lot to lose, and getting pregnant could be one of the best things that could happen you. You could get AIDS, you could get some other sexually transmitted disease that you’ll be dealing with for the rest of your life,” she said.
“I think that it’s about acknowledging that, in some instances, abortion is being used as birth control,” she added on the programme.
Last night, Ms Mulherin stood by her statement and said there were cases of abortions arising out of unprotected sex.
“None of my comments are designed as judgmental,” she said.
Again, the Fine Gael TD stressed her core argument was about responsibilities arising from freedoms. “To me it’s a question of valuing oneself, and actually it’s not like I’m being cruel to other girls.
“I’m saying to girls and to girlfriends, friends I have here with me, that you know, at the end of the day, the whole push towards abortion and contraception as part of the agenda for feminism, well hold on, it’s the woman who ends up holding the baby, so if you’re out there and of course you’re going to have sex, you’re going to end up carrying the can.
“Is that really the best you want to hope for for yourself?” she said on the show on Saturday night.
Also at the weekend, a newspaper reported Ms Mulherin’s ex-boyfriend is the father of a child from a past relationship, where he was not married to the mother.
Ms Mulherin was going out with Danson Kole some years later. He was living in Ms Mulherin’s home town of Ballina.
He has since returned to his native Kenya and the relationship ended, but the pair are understood to still be friends.