An Irish government official has found a strong link between having sex and making babies.
“Fornication, I would say, is probably the single most likely cause of unwanted pregnancies in this country," Michelle Mulherin said during a public debate, The Journal.ie reported.
The Irish Times noted that the word "fornication" is an especially loaded term, because it means consensual sex between people who are not married to each other, and comes from a Latin word for "brothel."
After Mulherin blamed fornication for all unwanted pregnancies, the hashtag #fornicationtax began trending on Twitter.
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"It could be the answer to all our financial problems," one Twitter user sarcastically remarked.
Mulherin, a member of the Irish Parliament, and other officials were debating a proposed bill that would have provided limited access to abortion.
Abortion is "one of the most deeply divisive issues in Irish society," the New York Times reported. Ireland legalized abortion about 20 years ago, but only for very limited circumstances, and successive governments have resisted putting forth the laws necessary to allow women to have abortions, the Times said.
The proposed bill would have allowed pregnant women to have abortions if the pregnancy is putting the mother's life at risk.
But the bill was defeated today, the Irish Times reported. And Mulherin's comments made during the debate about the bill drew some controversy.
"I am against abortion in any form myself," she said, according to The Journal.ie. "The grace of God is so liberating and provides so many options to get the best out of life despite our fall in nature, and we all have that."