An Irish MP from the ruling Fine Gael party has apologised for pulling a female colleague on to his lap during the marathon debate on introducing limited abortion into the country.
Teachta Dála (Dáil member) Tom Barry described his behaviour during the discussions in the Irish parliament, which lasted until the early hours of Thursday morning, as "disrespectful and inappropriate".
Live footage of the debate showed Barry pulling fellow Fine Gael TD Áine Collins on to his lap around 3am on Thursday.
Despite the gravity of the subject being debated, party sources initially dismissed the incident as "horseplay". But later Barry, a TD for Cork North East, issued his apology.
"I have apologised to Áine Collins and she graciously and immediately accepted my apology. No excuses. I just shouldn't have done it," Barry said in a statement issued through the party's main press office on Thursday.
Ireland passed a measure in their lower house allowing abortion for the first time, but in extremely limited circumstances.
A bill introduced by nine Republican state lawmakers in Iowa on Wednesday would define abortion as "murder," sending doctors and raped women who terminate pregnancies to jail.
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