Opposition Leader Tony Abbott will be judged on his long-held views on abortion and IVF access despite his chief-of-staff going public about his support for her IVF attempts, says Attoney-General Nicola Roxon.
Peta Credlin, Mr Abbott’s top adviser, has told magazine Marie Claire in an article to be published this week that she quizzed the Liberal leader about his views on IVF, abortion and contraception in 2010 before taking a job with him.
Ms Credlin, 41, revealed five failed IVF attempts for her and husband Brian Loughnane, a federal Liberal party director.
She told News Limited on Sunday she had said to Mr Abbott: “I will just never agree with you on abortion. I think you are opposed to it, desperately opposed to it, and you would ban it if you could.”
Mr Abbott’s response apparently was: “Well, that’s just bullshit. I believe it should be safe, legal and rare.”
Ms Credlin said she was satisfied with the opposition leader’s answers when he told her he was strongly supportive of IVF and was not opposed to contraception despite his strong Catholic faith.
Mr Abbott had cleaned out his fridge at federal parliament so Ms Credlin could store her IVF drugs in it.
Ms Roxon said he was on the record about his views on abortion, the use of abortion drug RU486 and older women accessing IVF.
“He has many years of record to stand by, and those are the things that people rightly will judge him on,” she told reporters in Sydney.
“I think it’s clear from these sorts of stories that the Liberal Party research must be showing that Mr Abbott does have a problem with women and that he’s trying to do something about it.”
Last month he defended his position on the controversial abortion drug RU486 when he was health minister in the Howard government.
Mr Abbott told parliament in 2005 the abortion rate of 100,000 annually in Australia was “a legacy of unutterable shame” but said he did not judge or condemn any woman for having one.
In 2009 he said a 2005 Howard government plan to limit the number of IVF cycles for women aged 42 or more had fallen foul of the “I’m over 40 and I need my baby brigade.”
Mr Abbott lost the ministerial power to approve the drug in 2006 in a parliamentary conscience vote but said he would have dealt with it on the basis of science and expert advice.Source: SMH “Abbott has long-held views on IVF: Roxon”
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