Today, the debate around abortion laws in New South Wales entered the upper house, with many hoping for it to be soon decriminalised. However, in the eleventh hour, former deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce has chimed in by serving residents unsolicited anti-abortion robocalls.
Cue the eye roll.
In the pre-recorded call, Joyce says, “Barnaby Joyce here. I’m calling on behalf of the Foundation for Human Development about the abortion bill in the NSW parliament. This allows sex selective abortions. It legalises abortions for any reasons right up until the day of birth.”
Joyce has been ripped to shreds for his last-minute call to action, with many angry NSW residents taking to social media to express their concern.
One Twitter user wrote, “What right does he have to tell women what they can and cannot do with their lives?” and another posted, “Did he not leave his wife and daughters to be with his pregnant girlfriend?”
It’s true. Let’s not forget that Barnaby Joyce left his wife in 2017 after having an affair with his former employee Vikki Campion. The couple now have two children together, but it’s unclear as to why this gives Joyce the right to tell women what they can and cannot do with their bodies.
Only adding to the double standards is the fact that Joyce denounced Yes campaigners, who were accused of privacy invasion for robocalls, during the same-sex marriage plebiscite of 2017.
He told ABC’s RN Breakfast, “I can’t stand these people who stand at the corner and start yelling at you about what your views are on a very personal issue, just get out of my face, leave me alone and I will make the decision myself.”
In an opinion piece for the Sydney Morning Herald boldly titled, ‘NSW abortion bill imposes death penalty on the innocent,’ Joyce echoed the misguided sentiments in his robocalls.
Fellow MPs have slammed Joyce for his anti-abortion campaign, including Federal Greens MP Adam Bandt who told Sky News, “we’re on very dangerous ground here when it comes to politicians…telling women what they can and cannot do with their body.”
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian also made a subtle dig at Joyce’s behaviour, telling The Australian, “NSW Parliament is for NSW Parliamentarians to get views from their communities…this is an issue for NSW MPs and I’ll leave my comments there.”
Considering Barnaby Joyce is a federal MP and therefore has no say on NSW abortion laws which are being discussed by NSW parliament, I think we can all agree this would be a good time for him to see himself out.