Barry O’Sullivan, a Nationals Senator for Queensland and someone you’ve most likely never heard of, has announced to Parliament that he is a woman, in an effort to get women to stop their “attacks” on his anti-abortion views.
This all started because he moved a motion calling for pro-choice activists to be banned from disrupting the “Day of the Unborn Child”, established by Pope John Paul II and held on March 25.
During the debate, Greens Senator Larissa Waters said:
“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, 10,000 women who have the right to make a decision about their own bodies without the opinion of senator O’Sullivan getting in their way.”
She later withdrew those remarks after Tasmanian Senator Eric Abetz objected.
Fortunately, the motion was voted down, but Barry was clearly distressed by Senator Waters’ request that he stop focusing on what people do with their own bodies.
He was so distressed that today, he announced to Parliament:
“I am going to declare my gender today, as I can, to be a woman and then you’ll no longer be able to attack me.”
He claims conservative politicians can’t even utter the word ‘abortion’ without being attacked by the Greens, and that the purpose of his announcement was to “call out the vomit and vitriol” of the Greens.
“These people come and attack me for my religious basis the other day, using words like rosary beads, because I had the audacity to raise issues around late-term abortions where babies that are only minutes away from getting a smack on the arse and a name are being aborted under the policies of the Australian Greens.”
According to Buzzfeed News, O’Sullivan had told people he was planning the stunt on Tuesday. And what a childish stunt it is.
Not only is it based on a flawed premise – that women’s views on abortion are above scrutiny (the number of women involved in the pro-life movement put that notion to rest), but it’s incredibly insulting to transgender people, for whom being open and honest about who they are is a hugely important thing. And O’Sullivan turned all of that into a joke, just to get a dig in at the Greens Senators who disagree with his views on abortion.