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Barnaby Joyce launches abortion bill robo-call campaign

CALLING UP: New England MP Barnaby Joyce has reportedly launched a robo-call campaign lobbying against a bill seeking to decriminalise abortion. Photo: Gareth Gardner 101018GGD04
CALLING UP: New England MP Barnaby Joyce has reportedly launched a robo-call campaign lobbying against a bill seeking to decriminalise abortion. Photo: Gareth Gardner 101018GGD04

BARNABY JOYCE has defended his role in a statewide anti-abortion robo-call campaign which was funded by the Foundation for Human Development.

The Leader was told the calls reached outside of his electorate and urged people to contact their local state MPs and voice their displeasure with the state government's reproductive health care reform bill.

Dubbo resident Veronica Hudson was taken aback by the call.

"I'm not in the electorate," she said.

"And what if I'm not displeased with the bill?"

She said it was a women's rights issue and asked what right Mr Joyce had to launch a robo-call campaign such as this outside of his electorate.

In a written response, Mr Joyce defended his role in the campaign and said he wouldn't mind if state politicians from outside New England began lobbying in the region.

"Yes, I would find it appropriate if the matter warranted it," he said.

"I find it ridiculous we've had a longer inquiry into caged birds than this legislation and the brevity of the inquiry inspired the intensity of the response as people are not given the right to have the issue properly ventilated."

Mr Joyce said he consulted with his state counterparts on the anti-abortion campaign, including Dubbo MP Dugald Saunders, Kevin Anderson and deputy premier John Barilaro.

Mr Anderson was contacted for comment.

The Tamworth MP voted in favour of the bill after conducting a community survey which found 50.9 per cent of respondents supported it.

Mr Joyce has voiced his opposition to the bill in recent weeks also launching an online petition and penning an opinion piece for Nine on the reforms.

"It bases rights on the random timing of birth: after birth, you are a person; before birth you could face termination, which if it is on a day the baby could be viably born, basically reinstates the death penalty, though this time without needing a crime," Mr Joyce wrote.

"You have a responsibility to look after a baby after they are born.

"It is not a right that you can do as you wish with that person before they are born, as inconvenient at times as that may be."

This story Joyce robo-calling outside of electorate on abortion bill first appeared on The Northern Daily Leader.