Too far or appropriate? Ben Fordham slammed for asking personal abortion question

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Ben Fordham has found himself in hot water for questioning a politician about her personal views on abortion and whether she'd had one if she was in the position. Source: Getty

Radio host Ben Fordham has received an outpouring of criticism from members of the government and the Australian public for questioning the NSW premier about whether or not she’d ever have an abortion.

The 2GB presenter sat down for a chat with Premier Gladys Berejiklian to discuss the potential decriminalisation of abortion in the state when he decided to ask her personal opinion on the matter and how she would handle the situation. While Berejiklian initially tried to avoid the question claiming he didn’t want to make anyone feel uncomfortable, Fordham continued to ask until the politician eventually gave her answer.

“I’m not someone who’d be comfortable going through that process, but that’s just me, I can’t speak for other women,” she said on the 2GB. Adding: “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.”

The host was slammed for his questioning of the premier with Minister for Women Marise Payne claiming it wasn’t appropriate. Appearing on ABC Insiders following the interview to discuss the topic the politician said: ” I don’t think its appropriate to ask anyone publicly, male or female about sensitive health questions like that. It’s not okay.”

When asked about her thoughts on the decriminalisation of abortion she added: “It’s a matter for the NSW parliament but I do think its appropriate for that matter to be decriminalised in NSW.”

Others have echoed her view, taking to social media to share their thoughts with many claiming it was a “horrific” question to ask someone in a public atmosphere. “What a horrific question to ask the premier,” one person commented on Twitter. “It’s very personal.”

While another added: “It’s a woman’s personal business and is between a woman, her doctor and those she chooses. Keep your nose out of our personal health and welfare issues.” And a third said: “Well congratulations @BenfFordham any respect I had for you I just threw out the door into the wheelie bin. What a shit interview! And the matching lack of respect for Premier of NSW.”

However, other have backed Fordham claiming the premier should expect questions such as that in her position as a politician. Some claimed he had the right to ask Berejiklian her personal opinion and that people have become too soft nowadays and are offended easily.

Responding on Facebook one person wrote: “What! So questions are too offensive now? Yes it’s a personal question, but when you have the power to make decisions that will affect thousands of people, it’s fair game.”

A second commented: “Good on him. It’s kind of his job to ask these questions.” Another chimed in writing: “It’s a question. How soft are we getting. Is she going to sue him now?”

The debate around the decriminalisation of abortion has been a heated one with politicians all weighing in on the topic. However, it it Barnaby Joyce who has created the most noise so far, joining protestors recently to condemn the legalisation in Sydney.

Not only that, the pollie said he will quit the Nationals Party and sit on the crossbench if members of his party publicly state they’ve lost faith in him. Joyce is a pro-life politician and has condemned possible plans to decriminalise abortion in New South Wales. The only problem is the proposed bill has been backed by the 52-year-old’s fellow Nationals.

Do you think Ben Fordham's question was appropriate or should he have avoided asking it as it was personal?

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