Gladys Berejiklian being asked on air if she'd have an abortion is 'not OK', Minister for Women says
Updated August 25, 2019 12:26:02
A question from a Sydney radio host to New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian on whether she would have an abortion has been criticised as inappropriate by Federal Minister for Women Marise Payne.
- NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian was repeatedly asked on 2GB whether she would consider having an abortion
- Federal Minister for Women, Marise Payne, says the questions were inappropriate
- Debate over the contentious bill to decriminalise abortion in NSW continues
On Friday, 2GB host Ben Fordham interviewed Ms Berejiklian about the bill to decriminalise abortion that is before the state’s parliament.
The Premier has faced accusations she has tried to rush the bill through Parliament, with members of her own government scathing in their assessment of how she has handled the situation.
During the interview, Mr Fordham asked Ms Berejiklian whether she would ever consider having an abortion.
“I can’t speak for what circumstances I’d be faced with,” she replied.
“I don’t want to make people feel guilty who have had to go down that path.
“I’m not someone who’d be comfortable going through that process, but that’s just me, I can’t speak for other women.”
The interview has angered fellow New South Wales politicians, including Senator Payne.
“I don’t think it’s appropriate to ask anyone publicly, male or female, about sensitive health questions like that and it’s not OK,” she told the ABC’s Insiders program on Sunday.
Mr Fordham’s line of questioning to Ms Berejiklian on Friday continued after the Premier’s initial reluctance to share her personal view.
Fordham: Under no circumstances?
Berejiklian: I can’t speak for, I can’t speak…
Fordham: But within, Gladys, Gladys from Willoughby or wherever you live…
Berejiklian: But I can’t, but heaven forbid, I’ve not been in a situation where I’ve had to contemplate that, and nor would I. But I can’t make a vote according to me and my beliefs, I cast my vote because I know other people don’t have the life experiences I’ve had, don’t have my beliefs.
Fordham: You didn’t want your faith or your personal beliefs to flow over into everyone else’s views.
Berejiklian: That’s right.
Fordham: But for the record, your own personal view. Not your parliamentary view, or your Premier view.
Berejiklian: My personal view is I’m a very conservative person who would not feel comfortable in having that process, but that is just me, and it’s not fair for me … and Ben, you’ve been naughty in pushing me to say that, because I don’t want anyone to feel guilty about decisions they’ve made, because I’m not in their shoes.
Senator Payne, who as Foreign Minister is the most senior woman in the federal Liberal Party, said debate over the bill should be left to New South Wales politicians.
“But I do think it’s appropriate for that matter to be decriminalised in New South Wales, yes.”
Federal Opposition spokeswoman for women Julie Collins took to social media over the issue.
“Can’t believe anyone would think this question was OK,” she tweeted on Sunday.
First posted August 25, 2019 12:08:29