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Lawmakers Walk Out Of New Zealand Parliament To Protest Charges About Supporting Rapists

The Huffington Post The Huffington Post 12/11/2015 Sam Levine
ATHENA IMAGE © Hannah Peters via Getty Images ATHENA IMAGE

Lawmakers in New Zealand walked out of two separate Parliament session this week after the country's prime minister accused the opposition of supporting rapists.

While responding to questions about whether New Zealand citizens had been unfairly detained in Australia, Prime Minister John Key of the National Party said the opposition was "backing the rapists." Three-quarters of the members of Parliament belonging to the Labour Party and a handful from the Green Party immediately walked out after the comment, The Guardian reported

The following day, four female MPs said they took offense to Key's comment because they were sexual assault survivors. When they asked the prime minister to apologize for what he had said, their comments were ruled out of order. Two women were thrown out and at least eight others chose to leave with them.

Speaker David Carter said he would not ask the prime minister to apologize because the women hadn't voiced their objections at the time the comment was made.

Green Party MP Catherine Delahunty, one of the women who revealed she had been sexually assaulted, said the women walked out to send a message to women across the country.

"We’ve walked out because every woman in this country needs to know that women parliamentarians will not put up with this," she told The Guardian.

Metiria Turei, a co-leader of the Green Party, said revealing her sexual assault was necessary after the prime minister had politicized rape.

"There's a point at which you have to disclose some details to genuinely represent the people who sent us here," she told the New Zealand Herald .

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