Barnaby Joyce's Latest Hypocrisy Is Lecturing Women About Abortions
He says he deserves privacy at personal and emotional moments -- but he's not willing to afford women that same luxury.
Former deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, dumped from that position after a personal scandal, has again stuck his nose where it doesn't belong, carpetbombing NSW voters with intrusive robocalls to share his thoughts on the state's abortion debate.
Calling on behalf of an anti-choice religious organisation, Joyce's recorded automated call tells those who pick up that laws up for debate in NSW would allow "sex selective abortions".
He adds: "It legalises abortions for any reason right up until the day of birth."
Despite being a federal member and not a state MP, Joyce -- as we said in June last year -- is in one way as entitled as anyone to put in his two cents on the abortion debate. Just as you or I have the freedom to voice our ideas or concerns about a proposed law, so does he.
Joyce is strongly anti-abortion, a view he is both entitled to hold and one he made clear during a controversial (and paid) interview after leaving his family for his pregnant former staffer.
But again, as we said at the time, where the hypocrisy comes in is when Joyce demands one thing for himself but has no intention of giving that to others.
In this case, as it was then, it's privacy.
In June 2018, when Joyce was pleading for privacy around his affair, he was giving multiple media interviews and sticking his nose into a different NSW abortion debate -- that time, it was about safe zones around clinics.
"We need a tort of privacy," Joyce railed numerous times in that period, asking that he be allowed time to himself during a tumultuous personal episode that included the breakdown of a marriage, intense media scrutiny, the derailment of his career, a new relationship, and a new baby son.
“What I want to do is make sure that private matters remain private,” Joyce ABC's 7.30 in February.
“I don’t think it profits anybody to drag private matters out into the public arena.”
While the situation was entirely of Joyce's own making, it would be hard for anyone to deny that they, too, would have liked privacy in a similar situation.
But Joyce's repeated attempted interventions into the NSW abortion debate are entirely oblivious to the privacy and freedom desperately requested by women in the state. The choice to abort a pregnancy is not one anyone takes lightly, and is often preceded by intense self-reflection, thought and consideration.
Each person considering accessing this basic health option should have the right to do so in peace and private.
Which is why it is galling for many that Joyce would again seek to fight that option for people who need to access abortions.
One person who said they received a call decried it as "a ridiculous pack of emotive lies".
On Facebook, one man told Joyce to "stick to federal issues". The Member for New England replied: "This is too important not to be involved, a child's right to live is on the line."
Staying with the privacy and hypocrisy theme, others said they were annoyed at their privacy being intruded by a robocall.
It's not Joyce's first foray into this bill, with a speech in federal parliament earlier this month raising eyebrows, as he linked his toddler son to to the debate.
"Inside the womb, Tom kicked, punched, grabbed his umbilical cord, felt pain, slept and dreamed -- to say he didn't have the rights of other human life is to say he must be sub-human," Joyce said.
"In the NSW parliament they are debating whether Tom had no classification or human rights."
The NSW abortion bill, which had been set to be passed through parliament this week, is now to be delayed until at least September, after Premier Gladys Berejiklian said she would not force it through the chamber.
It now appears more likely that some amendments to the bill will be at least considered. Many were disappointed to see the bill's delay.
"The NSW Legislative Assembly and people across the state have sent a clear message that it's time to decriminalise abortion. This reform is long overdue and it's now incumbent on the upper house to pass the bill as soon as possible," said Independent MP Alex Greenwich, who introduced the bill.
But, as one advocate noted:
The debate is set to return to the floor of NSW parliament next month.