An Irish Catholic politician hit back at media claims that he was “discourteous” to a group of parents who aborted their unborn babies after they were diagnosed with serious fetal abnormalities.
“I deeply sympathize with the women in this case while remaining true to my own view that even severely disabled babies with a short life expectancy deserve to be allowed live their natural life,” Senator Ronan Mullen told CNA April 24.
The controversy emerged after four mothers who had opted to abort their disabled babies met with Irish lawmakers in Dublin on Wednesday April 18. At present, Irish parents who want to abort their baby in such circumstances have to travel abroad as the Ireland’s laws currently protect the life of the unborn.
Speaking subsequently on the Irish television station RTE's the Late Late Show, the women claimed that one politician they met had been “extremely unpleasant” to them and had asked what their “real agenda” was. They later identified the politician as Senator Mullen leading to, what he described, as “a furore on social media” along with an article in the Irish Times newspaper.
“While I expressed my view that abortion is unjust I was respectful and courteous to all the people involved at all times,” said Senator Mullen.
“I was deeply conscious of how personally sensitive this issue was for all involved. Some of the women had undergone an abortion only a matter of weeks previously.”
Last week saw a bid to legalize abortion in Ireland defeated in the Dublin parliament. Senator Mullen feels that various pro-abortion lobby groups were “using such sad cases to pursue a much wider abortion agenda.”
He also criticized attempts “whether by misrepresentation, scorn or invective,” by some abortion advocacy groups “to marginalize the contribution of pro-life persons or to intimidate them from entering the debate.”
RTE has recently faced accusations of anti-Catholic bias after it falsely accused a priest of raping a minor and fathering a child. The Dublin-based media company could now be fined up to $333,000 by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland following libelous allegations made against County Galway priest Father Kevin Reynolds earlier last year.
“I call on the media to treat everybody fairly and with respect, and to ensure a balanced treatment of these very sensitive issues at all times,” Senator Mullen said.