‘Don’t do it again’: Barnaby lashed
FORMER deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce has been branded a "hypocrite", "harassing", and just plain "cooked" for being the voice on an anti-abortion robocall sent to NSW residents.
The state is in the middle of a political debate which could see abortion decriminalised.
In the recorded call, the federal Nationals MP can be heard saying: "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 reason right up until the day of birth."
As a federal MP, Joyce has no vote on the matter which is before the NSW parliament.
Supporters of the bill have said the sex of the foetus is often known at about nine weeks and so doctors would have to be "mind-readers of sorts" to ensure no crime was being committed.
Social media has been flooded with angry posts from people who have received the calls.
"Just received a robocall from Barnaby Joyce on the abortion bill. F**k off Barnaby," said Kimberlii Baker.
"Don't do it again Mr Joyce. It's an invasion of my privacy and, quite frankly, your opinion of women's rights appears quite skewed," said one on Facebook.
Noddy Connors said the call was "lecturing", had disturbed her evening and appeared to be hypocritical.
"Did he not leave his wife and daughters to be with his pregnant girlfriend?
"What right does he have to tell women what they can and cannot do with their lives?
"For goodness sake, be a decent politician and fight for the lives of all our drought stricken farmers, the homeless human beings, the abused children, the people struggling to keep on top of their daily lives with no hope for the future etc. And of course all the environment issues which none of them are doing anything about, and which leave all of us without any foreseeable future."
@Barnaby_Joyce what the hell... Robo calls over decriminalisation of the basic human right to seek a medical procedure. How dare you put gender based abortions out there as a reason! There is no data to support this claim. #fuming— samantha (@mannthaface) August 19, 2019
"Will this man stop? Barnaby Joyce is harassing people with scandalous propaganda in the form of robocalls. Be gone sanctimonious person," said Liz Marmo.
"Amazed that Mr supercilious hypocrite has the nerve to pontificate," said Allan Turner on Facebook.
"Please don't #robocall me …," one recipient posted on Twitter. "Your opinion has been weighed, measured, and found wanting."
Graham Wheeler asked; "How the hell can he get an unlisted number?"
Indeed, during the same-sex marriage plebiscite, where a robocall from Yes campaigners was accused of an invasion of privacy, Mr Joyce demanded those in favour of changing the marriage act, "get out of my face".
"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 I will make the decision up myself," he told ABC's RN Breakfast in September 2017.
According to the Australian Charities and Not for Profits Commission, the Foundation for Human Development - which Mr Joyce said he was calling on behalf of - is a small Sydney charity with no staff and six volunteers whose main role is the "protection of human life from conception to natural death". It lists its main beneficiaries as "females" and in the past year had "assisted a number of women with financial needs arising out of pregnancies".
Pro-choice activists will rally outside NSW parliament on Tuesday when the bill comes before the upper house, while anti-abortion activists will protest in Martin Place and hold a vigil outside parliament from 6pm.
The private member's bill to remove abortion from the state's Crimes Act, which passed the lower house 59 to 31, was last week considered by an upper house committee ahead of the debate.
MPs are preparing for a long session to deal with the legislation, with upper house opponents planning to table amendments to the bill.
Finance Minister Damien Tudehope will move an amendment to ban gender-selection abortions while One Nation NSW leader Mark Latham will move a motion to make sure medical professionals aren't forced to do anything they consider morally wrong.
Christian organisation FamilyVoice Australia on Monday said the short time allowed for the committee inquiry had disenfranchised thousands of people, and the overall management of the bill lacked due process and procedural fairness.
Some MPs have also written to the premier seeking more time for the committee process but chair Shayne Mallard said it has completed the work and received a broad range of submissions.
"My personal view is that if we had six months we'd still have the same information. I can't see how anything would have changed," he told AAP.
"This issue's been debated since the 1960s and so my personal view is that you could have a six-month inquiry or six-day inquiry, everyone was ready to push print and send in their submissions."
Mr Mallard expected the committee's report would be tabled in parliament on Tuesday as initially planned, despite the inquiry receiving about 14,000 submissions.
The Liberal MP had personally received 10,783 emails regarding the bill, and counting, as of Monday afternoon.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian has received some criticism over her handling of the draft legislation, which is opposed by several frontbench MPs including Dominic Perrottet, Anthony Roberts and David Elliott.
The premier said conscience votes gave colleagues latitude and she had no issue with them expressing their views.
"My only restriction is please be respectful of other people's views and that's the expectation that I have," she told reporters on Monday.
News.com.au has contacted Mr Joyce's office for comment.