British actor Jeremy Irons is receiving criticism on social media for saying that abortion harms a woman both psychologically and physically, and that the Church is right in calling it a sin.
"Take abortion … I believe women should be allowed to make the decision, but I also think the Church is right to say it's a sin," Irons, the "Die Hard With a Vengeance" star, told The Guardian.
"Because sin is actions that harm us," the 67-year-old actor, who plays Bruce Wayne's butler Alfred in "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice," explained. "Lying harms us. Abortion harms a woman — it's a tremendous mental attack, and physical, sometimes. But we seem to get that muddled. In a way, thank God the Catholic Church does say we won't allow it, because otherwise nobody's saying that it's a sin."
Backlash began soon after Irons' comments.
"Jeremy Irons, a man who's previously equated gay marriage to incest, spent a recent Guardian interview preaching about the mental and physical cost of abortion. Jeremy, my guy! Do us all a favor and shut your [expletive] cake hole, okay?" wrote a blogger on Jezebel.com.
The Marie Claire magazine tweeted: "Jeremy Irons has WAY too many strong opinions about abortion," with a link to an article it carried on the actor's comments.
However, Irons was also thanked by some of fans for speaking the truth. "Thank you, Jeremy Irons, for speaking truth about the harm abortion brings to women!" said Live Action on Twitter.
In the interview, Irons also suggested that the U.K. is based on Christian values.
"Our society is based on a Christian structure. If you take those religious tenets away, then anything goes and it will become terrible — and you usually get into trouble," he said.
"Adultery might be very nice, but finally it [expletive] us up. And it [expletive] up the structure of society. We don't steal — well, some people do — because it makes life intolerable for everybody. Yes, you can be in love and raise a family wonderfully by not being married, but actually marriage does give us a strength, because it's quite hard to get out of, and so it makes us fight more to keep it together. If divorce becomes dead easy — which it sort of has — then we don't have that backup. Because, for everybody, relationships are hard," the actor added.