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Basmah Qazi

“Not OK”: Ben Fordham criticised for posing inappropriate question to NSW Premier

“Not OK”: Ben Fordham criticised for posing inappropriate question to NSW Premier

Federal Minister for Women Marise Payne has slammed a Sydney radio host after he asked a question to New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian or whether she would have an abortion.

Sitting down with 2GB host, Ben Fordham, Berejiklian was grilled about the bill to decriminalise abortion that is before the state’s parliament.

The Premier has been heavily criticised as accusations have been made against her saying she tried to rush the bill through Parliament, with members of her own government furious as to how she handled the situation.

During the interview, Fordham asked Berejiklian whether she would ever consider having an abortion.

“I can’t speak for what circumstances I’d be faced with,” she said.

“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.”

Senator Payne was angered by the interview, saying it was inappropriate to ask such an invasive question.

“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 Insider program on Sunday.

The exchange between Fordham and Berejiklian went as follows:

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 is currently the most senior woman in the federal Liberal Party due to also being Foreign Minister, said that the bill should be left up to New South Wales politicians to decide.

“But I do think it’s appropriate for that matter to be decriminalised in New South Wales, yes.”