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Dublin: 6 °C Saturday 23 August, 2014

TD: ‘Fornication most likely cause of unwanted pregnancies’

Michelle Mulherin TD said during today’s Dáil debate that “fornication… is probably the single most likely cause of unwanted pregnancies in this country”.

Michelle Mulherin TD
Michelle Mulherin TD
Image: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

A TD’S COMMENT that “fornication” leads to unwanted pregnancies has created some controversy today.

Michelle Mulherin, a Mayo Fine Gael TD who was elected to Dáil Éireann in 2011, said during the Dáil debate on a proposed X case bill today that “fornication, I would say, is probably the single most likely cause of unwanted pregnancies in this country”.

After Mulherin’s made her comments, the trending tag #fornicationtax appeared on Twitter, with users suggesting ways in which the tax could be implemented.

During her speech Deputy Mulherin said:

I am against abortion in any form myself. The grace of God is so liberating and provides so many options to get the best out of life despite our fall in nature, and we all have that.
Having said that it is an ideal to aim for. In an ideal world there would be no unwanted pregnancies and no unwanted babies. But we are far from living in an ideal world. An honest and a scriptural view is that things are getting harder for people, so what then for the weak in our society?
Abortion as murder, therefore sin, which is the religious argument, is no more sinful, from a scriptural point of view, than all other sins we don’t legislate against, like greed, hate and fornication. The latter, being fornication, I would say, is probably the single most likely cause of unwanted pregnancies in this country.
But at the end of the day, it is the nature of religion to fuss over appearances above the truth and the inner state of the person.

Mulherin made her comments before the Dáil voted on draft legislation which would have permitted abortions to be carried out in Ireland under limited circumstances. The legislation was rejected by 110 votes to 20 in a debate this afternoon.

This isn’t the first time Deputy Mulherin has made controversial comments – in March 2011, she criticised the Libyan National Transitional Council and said Libyan rebels “did not follow democratic means”, the Irish Times reported at the time.

Mulherin also called for National Service to be introduced for all young men, and warned against a “culture of entitlement”, the Irish Independent reported in June 2011.

- Additional reporting by Gavan Reilly

Response: ‘We need a discussion around who, in this day and age, is having unprotected sex’

Read: Dáil rejects proposals to allow limited abortion in Ireland>

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