A male Australian senator mockingly proclaimed himself to be a woman before parliament last week so that he, as a pro-life male, could speak against abortion. Barry O'Sullivan made the announcement after being criticized for his faith and told he could not understand abortion because it is a women's issue, Catholic News Agency reports.
"I’m going to declare my gender today, as I can, to be a woman, and then you’ll no longer be able to attack me," O’Sullivan said.
Earlier this month, O'Sullivan, who is Catholic, motioned for pro-choice protesters to be banned from the pro-life Day of the Unborn child events. Larissa Waters, a member of the Australian Greens party, suggested O'Sullivan could not understand abortion as a male.
"Senator O'Sullivan needs to get his hands and his rosaries off my ovaries and those of the 10,000 Queensland women who have an abortion each year," Waters said.
Waters later withdrew her comment because it attacked O'Sullivan's faith.
"These people come and attack me for my religion … using words like ‘rosary beads,’ because I had the audacity to raise issues around late-term abortions, where babies who are only minutes away from getting a smack on the ass and a name, are being aborted under the policies of the Australian Greens," O'Sullivan said.
"So I will not stand silent, I will not stand mute while these people try to continue to marginalize policies and ideas that we want to continue to discuss for this nation," O'Sullivan added.
O'Sullivan believes the "values" issues he raises reflect the views of an "ever-increasingly silent majority" of Australians who fear backlash for their beliefs.