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'We've too many one night stands' says TD

THE TD who shocked the Dail by saying most unwanted pregnancies stem from "fornication" denies she is old-fashioned, adding: "We have too many one- night stands."

Fine Gael deputy Michelle Mulherin stunned many of her Dail colleagues when she claimed fornication -- the term for sex outside of marriage -- was the main reason 4,500 Irish women have abortions every year.

The comments were dubbed "disgusting" by Socialist TD Clare Daly, who said she had "played out a Monty Python sketch in the Dail".

However Ms Mulherin, a first time TD, today stood by her use of the word 'fornication', adding that many people's views towards sex are "in the shadows". She told the Herald: "People are not looking at the bigger picture here. They are looking at one word which in the dictionary means consensual sex between two people outside of a relationship. There's no doubt this is the cause of abortions and we need to have a debate about this.

"I'm not being judgmental. I'm not pushing my views down people's throats. I'm merely saying that we have serious issues in this country, such as one- night stands and that is resulting in terminations."

The 40-year-old's comments were made during a debate on a bill which called for abortion to be allowed in the event that a woman's life is in danger.

The bill, proposed by Clare Daly, was defeated.

However during her speech, Ms Mulherin said that nobody should be having unprotected sex in Ireland, adding: "Fornifcation ... is probably the single most likely cause of unwanted pregnancies in this country."

Ms Mulherin admitted that she had received plenty of "adverse reaction" but said she stands firmly behind her views.

Meanwhile, Ms Mulherin is due to appear on The Saturday Night Show with Brendan O'Connor tonight.

The programme airs on RTE One at 10pm