07/15/2013 05:31 pm ET

Tom Barry, Irish Parliament Member, Pulls Female Colleague Áine Collins Onto His Lap (VIDEO)

This doesn't look good.

Footage from a late-night debate over an abortion bill in the Irish Parliament shows 44-year-old politician Tom Barry pulling a female member of Parliament, Áine Collins, 43, directly onto his lap, holding her there awkwardly for a few moments. The incident was captured on video and stirred up a controversy after it went viral.

Barry, a representative of Ireland's center-right Fine Gael political party, has a wife and three children. He admitted that he had been drinking before the session, the Irish Independent reported.

Barry apologized to Collins, who is also a Fine Gael representative, and said he was "sick to his stomach" at having embarrassed her. "I can’t offer any excuse other than to put it down to stupidity, naivety and inexperience,” he said, according to the Irish Independent.

Barry also said he was "upset" that the incident was being described as sexist, the paper notes.

Barry pulled the stunt early Thursday morning during a discussion over a piece of legislation known as the Protection Of Life Pregnancy Bill, which aims to allow women in Ireland to obtain abortions when their lives are in danger from continuing pregnancy. The bill, which was passed the same night, includes suicide as a justification for abortion.

Previously, abortion in Ireland had been technically allowed under specific circumstances by the country's constitution since 1992, but because there was no legislation directly allowing it, doctors risked jail if such procedures were later deemed unnecessary, NBC News explains.

While the bill is a victory for pro-choice advocates, some of its critics note it has several shortcomings, including its lack of an exception for cases of rape or incest.

(Hat tip, Klewless via Jezebel)



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